Today’s interview with a Fellow Travel Video Blogger is with my dear friend Gareth from www.Tourist2Townie.com. I first met Gareth at the TBEX Conference in Vancouver in June 2011 and he really inspired me with his videos, content and ideas of how her wants to travel the world. Unlike most others Gareth chooses to travel very slowly and is more interested in becoming a local and really enjoying a place and making it his own more than trying to score a big number of “countries visited”list. Basically anyone who travels somewhere long enough to learn the language impresses me and someday I hope to travel like him too. I love the feeling I get when walking around in a foreign country and I get confused as being a local, I love fitting in somewhere different half way around the world.
Gareth gives a great interview below, I hope you enjoy it and please stay tuned for an upcoming post summarizing all of the tips and videos from all of my interviews with Fellow Travel Video bloggers.
Who: Gareth Leonard
You should watch: Otavalo Market in Otavalo, Ecuador (Editors note: around 2:44 is my favorite part haha)
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your website and what got you motivated to start traveling? How did you get the travel bug?
2 years ago I was caught up in a business that was running my life. I had this fire inside pushing me to do more but had no idea what direction to go in.
Back in college, I spent a semester in London and ever since then I’ve had the urge to explore the world and discover new cultures.
I thought traveling would clear my head and help me uncover my next endeavor, so I left work, booked a 1-way ticket to Buenos Aires and started Tourist2Townie.com.
Although I say “travel” in a sense of going someplace foreign, I wanted it to be more than taking pictures with monuments and trying exotic foods. I wanted to see what it took to become part of something I knew nothing about.
I set out to speak the language, absorb the history and date the women. I wanted to completely submerge myself in the culture.
After Argentina I got addicted to South America, so now I “travel deeper” one mission at a time.
2. Why did you decide to incorporate video into your website and blog?
I think video adds a different dimension to a story. It gives your audience the opportunity to be a part of something with you in that moment.
Also, from a personal branding perspective, it’s second to none, especially if you’re trying to score a travel show. : )
3. Aside from yourself, do you have any favourite people that make travel videos? Anyone that has inspired you or whom you just enjoy good content from?
Absolutely, I enjoy the creativity of Marc Passion and Ryan Van Duzer, the travel info provided by As We Travel and Positive World Travel and the cinematography of Lisa Lubin and 2 Backpackers.
4. What has been your favourite travel video that you have made to date?
I think the Art of the Kiss video was my favorite just because of the reaction I got at work when I walked in filming. Although, next week’s video might take the cake.
5. Did you have any previous filmmaking experience?
I plead the 5th on that one.
6. Do you have any tips for other people who are wanting to start making travel videos?
Yes. Start by making travel videos and then try to make each one better than the last. That’s my strategy at least. Also, always be yourself, unless you’re boring… then be somebody else.
7. What equipment do you use? Camera? Editing program? Type of computer?
I just shot the first video with my new Canon s95. A big step up from the Sony Handycam/Flip/Sony Point-and-Shoot combo I was rocking before. Still way behind but I have a GoPro waiting for me back in the States thanks to Trip Films that will hopefully up my video street cred.
For editing I use, Final Cut on my Mac Book Pro.
8. Vimeo or Youtube?
Youtube for traffic, Vimeo for style.
9. How do you go about promoting your videos? Do you have any suggestions for other people to promote theirs?
I don’t do much to be honest. I post it on my site and Youtube and then talk about it once or twice across social platforms. My hesitation for all-out promotion comes with the idea that I don’t feel as though I’ve created anything truly remarkable yet.
When I develop my video skills beyond the realm of “travel video” into just a great piece of work, that’s when everyone will hear about it. That’s when I won’t need to do much promoting.
10. How long do you suggest a video should be 2min? 10min? A good length to keep people watching but not bore them?
I really think it all depends on the content. People say between 2 and 3 minutes, but I think that’s bullshit. I’ve seen some 2-minute travel videos that I couldn’t get past the first 20 seconds and some 8-minute videos that I wish wouldn’t end.
Make something epic and nobody will care how long it is. Look at The Godfather.
(Editors Note: I agree! )
11. How much advanced planning do you put into your videos?
I’m trying to do more planning with each video. I used to just figure it out as I filmed but that leaves you with such a headache when it comes to editing.
Now I try to layout a purpose/concept for each video and write down a few shots I know I want in advance. Soon I might even try writing down what to say.
12. Music is often a difficult thing to find for videos; do you have any sites that you recommend for people to get free music from?
Vimeo just came out with a great new platform for finding music that I’m pretty excited about. Otherwise, I’m trying to teach myself how to make my own music in Garage Band. Right now it’s just a lot of fart noises.
(Editors note: hahaha oh god, that probably didn’t go well wit the art of the kiss video?)
13. Do you find it easy to edit on the road?
I travel a lot slower than most so I usually have the opportunity to sit down and work on edits. The problem is I’m learning as I go so I’m not as efficient as I’d like to be.
I have a constant battle with prioritizing content. If it takes me a week to edit a video, I could have edited travel photos or written 3 articles within that time. It’s for that reason I have 8 videos in the queue.
14. Do you think you will continue to make videos once you stop traveling? Will you ever stop traveling?
My goal is to never stop creating, exploring and improving. As long as making videos and traveling fulfills at least one of those objectives, I’ll never stop.
15. Do you think you will ever stop being a tourist and finally just be a “townie” of the world? Is that your ultimate goal?
Townie of the world sounds great, but I’d be happy being recognized in a few special places.
16. South America seems to be your thing. Are you interested in traveling to other places? Where might you go once you have explored everywhere in South America?
If the moon is still a pain to visit, I’d love to explore Central America, Cuba and Puerto Rico. There’s something about that Latin culture I can’t get enough of.
From there, I’d like to experience the Far East. I think “Becoming a ninja” would make for an interesting T2T mission.
(Editors note: When traveling to the moon stops becoming such a pain lets go together? I’m dying to visit there soon too!)
Thanks Gareth for the interview! Stay tuned for more from Travel Yourself