Most established writers have been invited – at one time or another, sometimes frequently – to participate in a Media Trip (also known as a Press Trip), so many of you already know what it’s like, however, a few aspiring writers in my monthly mentoring group recently asked me about the experience.
I could just tell them — you fly in somewhere, get handed an itinerary or agenda, meet a bunch of people, see a bunch of places and things, taste a lot of different foods, try to absorb a ton of information, squeeze in as many activities as you can, all the while taking copious notes and photographs (and video!), then in a breathtakingly short few days later, you fly home. But somehow that doesn’t sound as fun as it really can be. In fact, it sounds a little whiny. And it doesn’t do justice to some of the wonderful people that you get to meet, some of whom may become lifelong friends. I know very few writers who would ever pass up an opportunity for a media trip, because even if it sounds like whining, we love them.
So in keeping with the time-honored cliche of “show don’t tell” I created a short (three and a half minutes long) video, which I posted on YouTube – take a look:
I created the video by importing a few short clips from my Flip Mino HD camera into iMovie 09 (on my Mac), adding in some still shots that I modified first to add captions, then arranged everything in the order I wanted it, added a few transition effects, and used a piece of music written by a good friend of mine.
iMovie 09 makes it very, very simple for anyone to create a movie from still shots or video, but if you don’t have a Mac, you can try Microsoft MovieMaker for Windows (which I’m told comes with Windows XP or newer), or check out this page of Top 5 Free Video Editing Software Review
Just as Deb (of DaveAndDeb fame, aka “Canada’s Adventure Couple“) mentioned in the article she wrote yesterday on Adding Video to your Blog Posts, having video clips of your trips is a great way to help your readers feel like they are with you on your travels, and also to stimulate greater interest in your website, leading to more site visitors.
If you haven’t already started shooting video of your travels, you should start – there are many decent quality, small sized camcorders (like the Flip) that are very inexpensively priced, so you have no excuse to not pick one up. If you have some old video footage you’ve taken from previous trips, and just haven’t done anything with it yet, now’s the time. If you have questions, ask in the Forum and you’re sure to get help!
Are you adding video to your blog? What tools do you use? How has it helped your site?