After making YouTube fishing videos for the last five years and cranking out more than 300 Instagram fishing videos these last two years alone for ActionHat, I figured it was time to share some of the “best practices” that anyone can use for making a simple, “watchable” fishing video.
First, let’s spend some time to go over some common drivers as to why people are making these videos in the first place. Most do it simply to remember that magic moment and share it with their friends and family. Others make fishing videos to help support their sponsors or perhaps to get sponsors. Lastly, there’s others who want to share their experience and knowledge with others. They do this because fishing is awesome and everyone should freaking do it, or at least try it.
For each reason, these simple editing concepts can help you. You don’t need any special fancy professional program and the techniques are stupid simple to execute. Stupid simple.
If you’re making videos “just for memories”, these tips will help you make shorter, more “watchable” videos. Some of these videos are 12 minutes long and I can tell you, even your closest friends and family ain’t gonna watch you fight that fish for 10 minutes. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
If you’re making “promotional” videos, these tips will help you not look so “spammy” and present you as more professional, someone who is conscientious of your audience and their time. Basically, you won’t look like your making a commercial (even though you might be).
If your about sharing your awesome fishing experiences and passing on the knowledge you’ve learned, then these tips will really help you out. These simple tips will make your video watchable.
Learn to cut. Master the scissors.
The best way to learn HOW to do this is to go watch someone else’s fishing video. Watch that video in entirety, then watch it again. The second time you watch it, pay special attention to the parts that you want to fast forward through. The beauty of this exercise, is that you’re not “in love” with their footage like you’re “in love” with your own footage. Now, all those parts you’d fast forward through on their’s… cut it out of yours. The concept behind this is that you only need a few seconds of fighting that fish. Keep a few clips of when the fish hits breaks the surface or splashes, but otherwise you breathing heavily and your rod bent over does not need to take up 5 minutes of the video. Master the clip tool, it’s usually the scissors icon, sometimes it’s a razor blade. Every clip you use should help move the story along, nothing more and nothing less. Don’t drag it out.
Keep it simple with transitions, logos and text.
Maybe it’s just me, but nothing makes me want to turn off a video more than having to watch a minutes worth of sponsor logos BEFORE even knowing if I’ll care what this video has to show me. Knock out those logos fast in the beginning or pop them in at the end or just leave them out and add it the gear you use in the description. The other common sign of a new video maker is the overuse of transitions, wild fonts and text constantly coming in and out. Don’t use that rippled water transition. Don’t use the flipping whirling transition or the slide in and out transition. For 99% of the time, NO transition between clips is the best. The other 1%, a simple fade to black or cross dissolve (where two clips fade into each other) works great. The power of video is the moving picture… don’t junk it up, don’t ruin it.
Keep it real. Leave in some real audio. Share your personality.
Another thing a lot of new video guys will do is completely mute their fishing footage and add music over everything. This can sometimes go counter to rule number one, but if you’re saying some cool stuff or you’re really excited… share that excitement and knowledge and leave that clip in. That excitement is contagious and it shows your personality. Let’s be real, without your personality it’s just another fishing video. Nothing helps show your personality more than the audience hearing your real voice or your real excitement. Hearing the fish splash while you net it or the thumping as it thrashes around on your boat or kayak deck is pretty damn mesmerizing. I know it makes me want get my ass away from the screen and out on the water ASAP!
And isn’t that whole point? At least for me, it should be.