Over the past decade, GoPro has become one of the hottest names in the film-making industry. The small but powerful camera is waterproof, dustproof, weatherproof, and shockproof and can be paired with many accessories. The versatility of this camera is unrivaled, and it can capture angles that other cameras are not capable of. In the world of skiing and snowboarding, especially, GoPro has made a huge name for itself. Regardless of level, riders are constantly seen filming with GoPros at every mountain, whether in the terrain park, on groomers, or in the trees. Although there is no one exact formula for creating the best possible video edit, several ingredients are consistently on display in the best GoPro films.
To create the best possible GoPro edit, it is crucial to go back to the basics. The highest quality GoPro films feature various first-person shots, third-person shots, and even drone and fixed-mount shots. An even mixture of these unique angles can provide the most visually appealing video that the viewer can remain focused on for several minutes. GoPro makes it easy to capture these unique angles as they sell countless accessories that can be easily paired with the camera. For example, point-of-view, first-person shots can be filmed with a helmet mount or chest mount, while third-person angles can be captured with a stick extension or a stabilizing Karma Grip. While mounted to any accessory, the camera can be faced in different directions and pointed higher up or down. By playing with these specific angles and accessories and holding the camera closer or further away from the subject – anywhere from inches away to hundreds of yards away – an assortment of shots will ensure that you are one step closer to creating the best GoPro edit possible.
Camera Modes and Settings
Even the first GoPros were capable of taking videos, photographs, time-lapses, and slow-motion shots. In the same way that having a variety of angles and using several different accessories is key to making a strong GoPro edit, so is including different types of footage. The best GoPro edits tell a story, and stories are best told by creative storytellers. Video footage is typically what hooks an audience into watching a GoPro film. However, incorporating other elements allows for a change of pace and keeps viewers on their toes. Photographs, time-lapses, and slow-motion shots also make for great B-roll when telling a story. B-roll is valuable in any GoPro film because telling too much of the main story can get repetitive and lose the audience. In a ski or snowboard edit, B-roll could be anything from a timelapse of the snow falling to a slow-motion video of the booting-up process, and it can be strategically placed in between video clips throughout the edit.
Furthermore, the new GoPro Hero 9 “shoots stunning 5K video that maintains serious detail even when zooming in and … also records in 4K, 2.7K, 1440p and 1080p.” Generally, recording in the highest quality makes for a better edit, but it is worth noting that this is not always the case. No matter what quality you decide to film in, the GoPro tends to make footage look fluid and beautiful, and the most important thing to remember is to, at a minimum, remain consistent with what quality you film in. Consistency is a large part of filmmaking, and audiences will always appreciate when an edit can keep them hooked all the way through.
The audio in any film has the potential to make or break the piece. For starters, it is important to make sure that every raw clip has the clearest possible audio. The GoPro by itself has a solid microphone, but with the Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter add-on, filmers can connect a professional-level microphone or even a lavalier microphone to their camera. There should be a clean intertwining of music, sound effects, and raw audio from the clips when editing. Again, this variety can help develop a story and keep an audience hooked, and avoiding repetition is key in audio. When recording in the snow, the filmer should always check that the mic and its connections to the camera are dry and clear so that when it comes time to edit, major problems are minimized.
One complaint that GoPro filmers have frequently come up with is the camera’s battery life, but there are several ways to bypass this problem. The first and most simple way is to make sure that the camera is fully charged going into the day. Although this seems obvious, it is a common issue. Next, a more expensive alternative would be to purchase a second battery, make sure it is charged, and bring it out for the day so that when the first battery dies, there is a replacement ready to go. The third option, which has its limits, would be to bring a portable or plug-in charger and recharge the camera on the go. There is no one best way to go when dealing with a dead battery, but making sure that you have enough juice to film for the day is as crucial as any other aspect of filming.
- Do you. Every skier and snowboarder has their own unique style that should not change just because a camera is out.
- Explore. Get out of your comfort zone on the mountain and make sure you are filming more than just the park or just groomers. A balanced video will garner more attention.
- Ride with a bag. Sometimes the camera gets too heavy, a different accessory is desired, or you want to take a run without recording. A backpack easily solves all of these issues.
- If possible, try a drone. Ski resorts have tight restrictions on when drones can be used, but drone shots are worth the time when filming in the backcountry or if the resort allows.
- Use multiple GoPros. Capturing several angles of the same trick, feature, or run can be played side-by-side in the edit.
- Connect to the mobile GoPro application. If you have time at the bottom of a run or on the lift back up, it is worth checking if you like the shot you just took or if you want to re-film it.
- Edit with the GoPro or iMovie software. The GoPro desktop application is specifically optimized to edit GoPro footage, with iMovie also working exceptionally well.
If your video is fire, GoPro might make an example of it!
— GoPro (@GoPro) March 15, 2021