10 Easy Steps To Getting VOD

Nov 6, 2014
by Scott Secco  

10 EASY STEPS

THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF BIKE VIDEOS

TO GETTING VOD



As one of the primary video editors here on Pinkbike, it's my job to pick many of the videos you see featured in Movies For Your Monday or as Video of the Day (VOD). Now one of the great parts about Pinkbike is that we make things accessible for users like you to submit your videos to us. That means we watch videos - a lot of videos. Now some of the films we see are fantastic, and a few of those filmmakers go on to turn bike videos into a full time job. But more often than not we see videos that are, shall we say, a little rough around the edges. Here's my handy ''10 Step'' program on how to improve your work. I hope that it's useful.



Views: 359,538    Faves: 5,678    Comments: 209


1.) Use A Tripod: This is without a doubt the most basic and the most essential piece of advice for up-and-coming filmmakers. Using a tripod allows you to frame your shot precisely and gets rid of camera wobble. Your video shouldn't look and feel like the movie Cloverfield (famous for being incredibly shaky).


Views: 227,369    Faves: 4,721    Comments: 477


2.) Kill The FIller: At this point most viewers have seen enough web videos that it's become cliche to start off with shots of breakfast being cooked (and loading the bike into a truck). We get it, we've lived it. Cool. If your video is two minutes long, there's no need to have a thirty second introduction. Most of us will skip this part anyway.


Views: 305,093    Faves: 3,594    Comments: 512


3.) Take Your Time: ''I filmed this in one afternoon'' is the worst possible way to convince me to watch your video. The movie Life Cycles took nearly three years to shoot and it's only forty-seven minutes long. The more time and energy you put into your video, the more likely it is that people will spend some of their leisure time enjoying your work. This concept is consistent with filmmaking in general. The more you get out there and shoot, the better you'll get.


Views: 101,262    Faves: 1,277    Comments: 50


4.) Learn From The Best: Do you like a certain filmmaker's work more than another? Why is that? I can't tell you how many times I've watched and re-watched Life Cycles, and the work of Sherpas Cinema, Camp 4 Collective, and Sweetgrass Productions. I love what they do and I gain inspiration and ideas from watching their films. I'm not saying you should try and copy someone else's work shot for shot, but over time you'll create your own style simply from getting out there and shooting.


Views: 164,484    Faves: 2,679    Comments: 95


5.) Sloooooow Mooootion: Slow motion is a genuinely useful feature - if it's used with intent. Slow mo should be used with restraint to highlight elements of a shot which can't be seen by the naked eye. No one needs to see your friend doing a sketchy bar turn at 240 frames per second.


Views: 155,265    Faves: 2,340    Comments: 105


6.) Helmet Cams: Smart phones and point of view cameras from GoPro, Contour, and Sony, have given anyone the chance to become the next Aaron LaRocque. The option to have a camera on your helmet, recording your entire ride is genuinely incredible. Cameras this small and powerful are a technological miracle. All that being said: if your name isn't Ian Morrison, Chris Kovarik, or Brendan Fairclough, then no one wants to see your POV video from A-Line. Helmet or chest cams are an amazing way to pull the viewer into the video and make them feel like they're riding along at World Cup speed. Use POV footage subtly in your videos. If a POV camera is all you own then get creative with it. These cameras are small and durable so stick them where you wouldn't put a bigger camera.


Views: 178,487    Faves: 3,120    Comments: 91


7.) Music: If you've heard the song before in another video - especially a famous segment from a mountain bike DVD - don't use it. That's called song poaching and it's both disrespectful and lazy.

7.) b: Dubstep: Don't do it, ever.

7.) c: Sail by Awolnation and Radioactive by Imagine Dragons are permanently banned.


Views: 90,659    Faves: 1,251    Comments: 59


8.) Editing Transitions: Fake film burns and cross dissolves as distracting and pointless. They're not ''cinematic,'' they're dumb.


Views: 202,526    Faves: 2,895    Comments: 99


9.) Building: One of the best parts about mountain biking is our ability to shape the ride. If you build original stunts then hopefully people will remember your video; at the very least you'll have something fun to ride after.


Views: 147,801    Faves: 2,443    Comments: 227


10.) Creativity: Everyone and their dog has seen the typical three minute music video style 'bike porn' web edit. Why not try something new? I'm not saying you should make the video longer and bloated with filler timelapses and hiking shots. Try telling a story, or doing something new and innovative with lighting, animation, or sound. Riding a bike is supposed to be fun, don't forget that.


Article: Scott Secco


Mentions: @mindspark @Silviafilms @rupertwalker @AbsoluteZero @GoldsteinProductions @larock @LifeCycles @jasperwesselman




149 Comments

  • + 255
 "Sail by Awolnation and Radioactive by Imagine Dragins are permanently banned "
  • + 43
 My little sister is forever hurt.
  • + 39
 Does that mean ncmb.com's "How to make a sick MTB video" is partially incorrect? "when in doubt, use sail"
  • + 62
 I think that may have ever so slightly been sarcasm
  • + 6
 what about sail unlimited gravity remix. red bull can never be wrong
  • + 2
 Awol nation are on the Red bull media house label, that is why a ton of red bull videos feature their songs, they already own them.
  • + 7
 Guess i'm using Rookie by Boysetsfire then......
  • + 3
 Alt J "Left Hand Free" is getting close..
  • + 2
 haven`t heard ``Left hand free`` in any edits i`ve seen yet? But still trying to figure out whats wrong with using the odd Dubstep song now an then??
  • + 12
 because its dubstep. does that really need an explanation
  • + 1
 @andymandura I was gonna, but by the time i upload my video, itll probably be used........
  • + 4
 this video breaks all of this article:

www.pinkbike.com/video/376962
  • + 7
 Darude - Sandstorm???
  • + 1
 @taz46 except that video didnt get vod
  • + 2
 I won't even try making a video cause I don't have buddies nor myself with the crazy skills to video. If I did it would look like a home video of my wife and kid. Hahaha
  • + 1
 you will also need a huge pair of balls to get a VOD VERY IMPORTANT!!!!
  • + 0
 I still love Radioactive!
  • + 105
 How about slow-mo rear brake skid slaps in berms? I know for a fact that will get VOD.
  • + 29
 And giant bar humps for the lady viewers.... that should do it
  • + 36
 Can't forget the pedal flips and the waking up scenes in full riding gear. Slow mo shots of putting on the helmet will guarantee you a vod as well.
  • + 7
 @parisgore only if its a media squid somehow finding his way in front of the lens... or your name is luke strobel
  • + 6
 if all else fails, get a girl wearing bra, tld pants, neckbrace, fullface and goggle.
  • + 16
 with boobs swaying, jiggling, and bouncing as she goes through rock sections and corners while filmed from a unicorn mount.
  • + 3
 Dont forget a mirror shot of the cameraman operating the "rig"! (tripod)
  • + 3
 And dont forget it must be open face with goggles!
  • + 3
 And there must be visible beer and food for 30% of the footage. Period.
  • + 85
 I use the biking videos I make to attract girls on my online dating account. With these helpful tips hopefully I will have girlfriend soon!
  • + 16
 Good luck mate. If anyone can do it, it might as well be you.
  • + 4
 wait, you haven't been successful with that strategy yet either?
  • + 9
 Sorry, I've missed out......what's a girlfriend??
  • + 2
 Dude... Stick to the bikes.
  • + 42
 Pretty rad how 7/8 of these filmmakers/riders live in BC...must be something in our water, I'll keep sippin.
  • + 16
 @reecewallace Hey I'm just across the divide, we drink the same water and have way more freedom
  • + 34
 @jasperwesselman Oh come on Jasper, you're such a wannabe Canadian. Wink
  • + 42
 @lalena I'm sorry I couldn't hear you over all this freedom...
  • + 74
 Maple syrup > freedom
  • + 6
 @kazyamamura your beer is expensive... your argument is therefore invalid
  • + 11
 I was going to retort with something witty... but you're right @jasperwesselman ... our beer IS EXPENSIVE! Cry
  • + 4
 @lalena @kazyamamura I may have won but in reality... The only beer I can legally purchase is in the great white north so now its just sad...
  • + 37
 Let me sit here and laugh at you while I legally sip beer at the tender young age of 19.
  • - 4
flag Reverie2Reality (Nov 5, 2014 at 20:32) (Below Threshold)
 *Rolls eyes* As I sip on my cheap legal craft beer Smile
  • + 4
 @kazyamamura I may love america but I do miss sake margaritas
  • + 10
 But we got stronger beer!
  • + 6
 In Soviet Vermont, freedom has you, (and we have maple syrup).
  • - 31
flag chrisclifford (Nov 5, 2014 at 21:51) (Below Threshold)
 Freedom>>>>>>>>Beer. I'd rather have my guns and be sober
  • + 10
 Freedom isn't free. Remember that. You pay for it, you just don't know it.
  • + 21
 Sorry @jasperwesselman , Canada is better.
  • + 3
 @T-Bot - Freedom hurts
  • + 3
 @waki freedom does hurt. But it's a hurt worth hurting. I have a compressed spine, no cartilage in my right shoulder bad ankles. But I'll live with my pain everyday because we choose to do things that keep us free.
  • + 5
 I'm gutted for you man. I didn't mean to negate anything you say, rather throw in a counter-intuitive statement which I heard in a program with Slavoy Zizek. I got struck by how true that is while in popular understanding freedom is an extremely transcendental term focuses nearly completely on the very moment of experiencing freedom, nearly purposefully negating the effort and bare pain necessary for it to happen. As they say: if I knew how much it would take to get mer where I am, I wouldn't even leave my bed - it was persistence in being naive and deluded that took me here, all in all, I am happy I am here Big Grin

Ehh... I can produce tons of such high-fly crap... never made me happy...
  • + 7
 Hey Jasper, Canada beats 'murica by 8 places on this list of freedom: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_economic_freedom
  • + 5
 Canada=cheap health care!sighn my American ass up please!
  • + 6
 At least we beat Rwanda on that list...
  • + 4
 I have been in the us, the first thing i have recognized, fences everywhere.
  • + 2
 We have lower economic freedom, yes, mainly due to politicians most Americans disagree with...
  • + 3
 pissing myself> easily one of the best comment threads I've read on PB in a while. nice work Secco, and Jasper if you ever get sick of video, you should consider writing comedy as a career. Big Grin
  • + 2
 A government most of the people disagree with, a sure sign of freedom...
  • + 1
 At least we can disagree with our government unlike China (and North Korea). And while we are at it, lets compare some other massive countries. Perhaps... India? That'd be fun.
  • + 31
 What about including Your name and adding "productions" or "media" to the end
  • + 27
 Bryce Piwek Sick Edits™
  • + 9
 You mean Bryce Piwek Sick Edits™ Media Productions
  • + 16
 Hey guys stop stealing my obviously original idea....
  • + 25
 I think all of this was already covered in that "How to Get a Roost Shot" video the other day Secco...
  • + 15
 oh jeez another article with a buncha rules like the one about proper mountain bike fashion. let people be free! a good video will always stand out whether they follow these "rules" or not.
  • + 16
 11. Film in BC
  • + 16
 Step 1: Use a camera
  • + 4
 #deep
  • + 1
 i would have forgot man...thanks, by the way i am a HUGE fan of your stuff
  • + 9
 Looks like I break more than half the rules!
Im a bad bad boy!

hahahahhahhahahha

Im sorry but there is tons I don't agree with but then again this is for the sole purpose of having a VOD.
I make films to tell a story of what Im doing or event we are having. So, VOD is not my purpose of course. Nor is my riding, ahahhahah

Some of the rules contradict each other.

Originality comes from in idea built off of something you saw or were taught which leads to new ideas.
However, following many of the rules throws out any creativity.
Our videos are limited to camera quality, riding quality, computer quality, natural elements and intuitive thought.
Using the tools to make a story can be very easy but following all these rules makes a simple process seem boring and pointless!

I personally love the filters and transitions. It helps create something that was not there, its like painting a picture with your creativity and the tools at hand.
So, saying its dumb sounds very ignorant! The editing software is a tool and can be used to make some cool effects if need be.

Great article though, I like the read and there were a couple of cool videos I have yet to see.
It was a perspective I have not thought about. I liked knowing that this is something people think about and have realized choosing videos for VOD and Monday Joy is a very tough job.
I have always thought 90% of the VOD were sponsor or company related.

RideOn!
  • + 1
 I break a lot of the rules too - but I do it intentionally - and that makes a big difference. I can't overstate the importance of understanding the rules before you break them. For instance, the rules are almost always broken in movies about murderers from the South (horrors). Most horror flicks begin primarily with smooth steady-cam footage and wide shots to establish the setting, story, and main characters. The director wants you to know who the main characters are and will introduce them in a pleasant way. They won't do the same for the villain, though. The murderer is often introduced with the use of POV (shaky shot from behind a tree branch) or as a mere shadow, or even a musical note (like in Jaws). As the murderer or villain becomes a bigger part of the story, and the main characters are in greater danger, the filmmaker will use more close-up shots and increasingly shaky camera work. This is done to create tension, pace, and a perceived sense of losing control as the story reaches a climax. All of the stylistic choices (and broken rules) that you see in a horror flick are done for the sole purpose of telling the story properly. The director doesn't simply walk on set with a camera and choose not to use a tripod because he/she doesn't feel like setting it up that day.

It would be wise to understand the rules of filmmaking before breaking them. If you choose to deviate from the rules, which can be a good thing, ask yourself why you are doing it first.

Cheers.
  • + 1
 Thank you Munro3.
Very good response to mine!

That makes good sense and now that I have read these rules it will be in my conscience.
I too break lots of these rules but not with the intention of what the article is about.

*I like to have a story to my videos so, an intro and an ending is important for me.
*I also like to use transitions or filters.
*Songs can be hard to know what is already been used or what is not original. (99.9% of the videos are not intended for professional use so I think you can use what you like)
*Im a builder and here in Japan we have created some very extensive trials. I would not want another person to come build on our trails just to make an original line unless it was with our permission or correlation.
*Then creativity is an open field meaning, you can film and make a story of what ever you like. However if you follow the other 9 rules that leave little room for filming other things in life. Just biking! Which in many of the VOD in my opinion can get a little repetitive at times, even if totally awesome!

I like your perspective using horror films, that was easy to understand!
I also thought the article was very well made just very bias and kind of puts us little riders down.
Makes us feel as if what we are doing is not respected, which I think is not true!
hahahahhahah

Also, filming and editing is a learning process that takes time and practice.
I think if I had these rules to follow from the beginning when I started filming it would have confused me and left my originality out of my films.

Thank you buddy!

RideOn!
  • + 1
 Hey Nikoniko, I'm glad you found my response useful! I think you make some very good points as well - and I enjoyed reading your original post and second response. I think you got it right when you said that the filming and editing process takes time and practice. It's a steep learning curve that benefits from freedom! I like where your head's at! Cheers Nikoniko!
  • + 1
 Thank you very much Munro3! I will continue to push what Im able to with my videos. All in good fun brother! RideOn buddy!
  • + 1
 Get a room guys. Bahaaa. I agree great points. You two make way better vids then I could ever do. Plus all my buddies I ride with aren't worth videoing. Hahaha
  • + 8
 WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!!! You've got to be a muppet to write a list of rules about how to create something original. F*ck the rules- go and make something you want to watch.

And if you were the God of mountain bike videos you might be able to come up with something TRULY original yourself Scott. Even this 'list' has been done a million times before.
  • + 0
 Everything is in the title "10 EASY STEPS THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF BIKE VIDEOS TO GETTING VOD" and not "10 EASY STEPS THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF BIKE VIDEOS TO SOMETHING YOU WANT TO WATCH"
WHY AM I SCREAMING AGAIN ???
  • + 1
 Well said
  • + 8
 Step 1. Advertise with Pinkbike. Step 2. Make video. Step 3. Email your ad sales guy and ask politely. Step 4. Drink beer.
  • + 1
 point 4 or drink whisky like that guy from bc... i dreamed point 10 tonite i rebuild a lip and was proud that i did and people now sended my stuff. first i tought i completly did it then i knew it was only the lip. now i know it was only a dream. lol. yesterday i tought about the drop of woburn that i sended to make that one bigger, result dreaming
  • + 9
 Wink's video FTW, still watch this to get fired up to ride.
  • + 4
 Same. Rediculously good.
  • + 6
 you forgot one important point that all the videos you feature have in common: they all feature ridiculously sick riders. What if we don't have that kind of talent in our friend pool?
  • + 6
 Didn't Matt Dennison make a video about this in the spring?
  • + 11
 yea matt did, forget all of the above and just follow the steps in his video: vimeo.com/91496760
  • + 3
 Thanks for the inspiration Larock and Howey, I've ridden "Torpedo Run" in vid #2 over 200 times and I still can't even imagine riding it like that!
  • + 3
 Concur. Ridden those hits and berms many, many times and still nothing like Howey. Oh well, feels awesome anyways. Thanks for the sweet dreams you folks build.
  • + 1
 Anyone know if the final 30s of that vid was shot at Hartland? I definitely recognize all the Torpedo stuff, but I didn't think we had anything like the big drop at 1:55 there.
  • + 1
 Nope, not Hartland. Ferndrop and last 30 sec was on the mainland, I think speculation was that it was somewhere near White Rock.
  • + 4
 Rule number 11 - Don't rely on lists of what to do and what not to do. Apart from rule 7c. Always rule 7c.
  • + 5
 That last drop in the Dylan Sheffer Freeride Lives vid is just unreal.
  • + 5
 I'd like to see some examples of what not to do.
  • + 5
 Chris ricci gets vods and he doesn't use a tripod...
  • + 4
 Doing video to get VOD is sad.
  • + 3
 1. Use a tripod.

@scottsecco I'm hurt
  • + 2
 There are certain exceptions to the rules @CreativeConcept.
  • + 3
 Nothing like rules to encourage creativity! wait, wot
  • + 1
 hahahahahhahahha Very clever!
  • + 3
 Higher Calling, VODecade.
  • + 1
 Looking ahead...how long before filming with a drone is played? This is an important question, as I will need to buy one once it reaches that point. Wink
  • + 2
 its played
  • + 1
 If everybody followed these guidelines then every video would look similar. Unless your paying someone to make videos for you...STFU!
  • + 2
 I wouldn't mind watch Remy Metailler do A-line a couple times.....okay maybe a thousand times.
  • + 4
 Good job Secco ...
  • + 2
 7.) d: Raining blood only for badass edits Big Grin
  • + 1
 7.) b: Dubstep: Don't do it, ever. This is the best one! Awesome, glad you included it!!!
  • + 2
 Someday it shall be mine!!!!
  • + 1
 thanks pinkbike for all those cool videos, its almost like movies for your monday...
  • + 2
 Velominati have Rule 5. We have Rule 7c.
  • + 1
 I think I did ok, what you think? www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JC9xHYq0cQ
  • + 2
 You did great dude! Awesome fun!
  • + 1
 I hope you guys enjoy this. It´s in Pachacamac, Lima, Peru. www.pinkbike.com/video/457030
  • + 2
 be the coastal crew and u will get VOD everytime
  • + 1
 Hah, most of the points convey exactly how I feel about making videos. Nice one.
  • + 2
 cross dissolves have their place
  • + 1
 Thanks for the tips. And more thanks for reminding me of Life Cycles, the best film ever made.
  • + 1
 I will definitely be using these tips for the next project I do! Thanks Scott Secco!
  • + 2
 hint hint more classic rock songs in bike videos hint hint
  • + 1
 right!?
  • + 1
 what about derezzed by daft punk? is that ok?
  • + 1
 opinions are like as*holes everyones got one.
  • + 1
 what pinkbike has showed lately... to get vod film it in Whistler
  • + 0
 Ian Morrison is a hack anyway, would not wanna watch his POV footage anyways.
  • + 1
 They make it sound so easy...
  • + 1
 Step 11: Have someone land on their face.
  • + 1
 #1 - go buy or rent a RED
  • + 1
 Only two of those examples were shot on RED
  • + 6
 Made VOD twice this year and I use a Canon 550D I bought second-hand for 250€.... Smile
  • + 2
 Ahah Bart, you're the chip pest VOD maker I know.
  • + 2
 bartcautaerts: That would be because having a shredder of Nico Vink's caliber star in your video overrides all these rules.
  • + 1
 Pretty sick definitely using these tips from now on thanks!
  • + 1
 11. Be on Scott seccos good side Wink
  • + 0
 the last video breaks rule #2. i dont like zombie videos on pinkbike
  • + 1
 7C is the best advice
  • + 1
 This is excellent!
  • + 0
 Step 11. Buy a $10,000 Camera.
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