Advice on editing travel video

Hi! I am very new to video editing. I did my first few edits using shot cut, and I am absolutely in love with it.
This question is not a technical “how to”, just more of advice to a newcomer on editing a project with large number of video files.
I did a 3 week trip to with my family, I recorded everything using GoPro, uploaded to their could while on the way, and now I got it down on my computer.
I am overwhelmed, to say the least. :slight_smile: There are 50+ video clips, from 30sec ones to 15 minutes. Some can be used as is, some I need to cut. I made all sure all videos are of the same settings, 4k, 30fps.
Right now my computer is churning and turning everything into Proxy files, once done, what should I do? Is there a workflow or approach that is commonly used in in these situations?
For example, so far I used only 1 video track, I feel like using multiple video tracks might be beneficial, but don’t know how to leverage that.
I only intend to cut, speed up and slow down videos, and add an audio track no other processing at all.
Any advice/considerations are welcome.
Thank you all!

Hey, @bentacular and @stgtravels. Got any tips for a project like this for our new member here? :slightly_smiling_face:


What story do you want to tell ?

I know on a holiday that drama is not your friend. But when making a video for other people to see it often is.

Where did you plan to go? What was fun? what wasn’t?

What did you learn ?

One way to start is by telling the story by voice first - record the voiceover first.

Break the trip into the stages that go together best and treat them seperately. You might like to create a seperate .mlt file for each ‘chapter’ or ‘stage’ then you will have typically about 8 files that you can work on individually rather than one big long film which can be quite hard.

Then add the vision onto the voice. Whilst that might sound counter-intuitive, it’s a technique that has some following.

Sound and Narrative is more important than visuals unless you have footage that you can easily hook together.

Then add Titles and transitions if you want.

Finish with music and sound effects,

FYI, Shotcut can directly use GoPro made & stored .LRV files as a proxy if you want. Just copy them along with the MP4 into the same folder, and they are detected and used when switching into proxy.

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There are so many ways to achieve what you want - so its hard to make a general suggestion.
First of all you have to decide for which publicum you want to make this and how long the final video should be at maximum.
Then i would go for a rough selection which clips to use and which to omit. Cut out the unnessecary scenes and maybe plan an intro / introduction / title / story.
Look for good transitions of the clips - there are many, many ways - generally less is more - don’t make it too complicated the first time.
Then look for the right music fitting to the scenes or leave original natural sound - i like that in most scenes. Then concider a nice outro to close the video.
You can easily spend 30 or 50 or hundreds of hours for 30 min. or 1 h final video :wink:

Ah…the usual travel video dilemma. When I first started doing travel videos, I was compelled to use every epic clip I could find. It ended up being unwatchable to anyone else other than myself and lasted 45 minutes.

If the intention is just for a private family slideshow, then it’s ok to just lay out your videos in chronological order. But…if you want other people to watch it, take another week to really pare down your clips. Pick one or two representative clip for each event.

Think about what story you’re trying to emphasize and make that the focal point. The hardest part is condensing your entire trip into a 5 or less minute video. Music helps. Take the time to find a really good soundtrack that captivates the tone of your trip. This can take a while, but the music can pretty much set the theme of your entire video.

This is not an exact science. I myself came back from a month’s trip and still struggle with how I’m going to tell the story. This will be your dilemma after every trip.

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I had another thought, don’t under-estimate the power of a “defining shot” or a few of them even if they are stills pulled from either the camera or feed.

Consider reviewing all your footage to find the best framed images then extract them and use them in some sort of photo montage at the front. That will spruke the interest of the viewer to start watching.

This way your best framed shots become the centre of the travel video.

Sometimes one photo can stick in a persons mind way more than 3-hours of carefully edited video :joy: so it’s worth using that little trick if you have nothing else.

Summarise your video down to one defining image - if people remember that image, then your video has done it’s job.

As an example, I went on a trip, went to a place and my whole trip was about what’s in this image. Does your imagination and own memories tell you where I went and why ?

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Wow, thank you everyone! This advice has definitely helped solidify a plan in my head. Since all is gopro footage without a mic, I’ll just overlay some music (my thick eastern european accent doesn’t go well with commentary :)).

@david.lyon I am intrigued by your multiple .mlt projects workflow. How does that work? Do you finish a “subproject” in each of those, export, and then create a new .mlt where you combine it all? If so, doesn’t multiple exporting affect quality in the end, or is it negligible?

@shotcut re .LRV, well NOW I know. :slight_smile: Thanks for the tip, it will speed up work in the future for sure!

Last question. Once I make my cuts, should I arrange them in a single video track, or is there a better workflow?

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I was doing a Short Film and I was just given a lot of camera files that made sense. A big mess.

To organise that, I just created under a dozen ‘chapter’ mlts which in this case were just Scene #s. I could look those up if I wanted. Then I dragged the raw footage into those files as I needed.

Then each chapter was layed out in the Timeline. If I wanted to edit within a chapter, then I just edited the individual chapter. I could ‘Export’ a chapter out to .mp4 without having to process the whole file.

This was because I found out that Shotcut could do nested .mlt’s with drag and drop. Saved me a ton of headaches.

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