How to Make the Ultimate POV Film

With helmet cams ubiquitous at ski resorts and on trails, everyone is a filmmaker nowadays. But making a good movie takes some practice, planning, and just a pinch of luck.

    Photo: Aaron Mulkey/Vimeo

POV films fall into four categories; bad, lucky, good, and impossible to screw up.

You just purchased your first GoPro, and you’re ready to go out and create a jaw-dropping masterpiece of a video of you doing your favorite extreme sport. You strap on your camera, jump on your mountain bike, and you’re off. Couldn’t be easier, right?

Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, the first video you create will not live up to expectations. While actually skiing an icy trail or bombing down some sweet singletrack may get your blood pumping, your audience won’t be able to share in that thrill if you can’t communicate the experience to them.

Popular POV films fall into four categories; bad, lucky, good, and impossible to screw up.

Bad videos are easy to recognize, usually by the low number of views. They’re poorly thought-out and leave the viewer confused and wondering what just happened. The lucky videos depend on chance (e.g. you run your camera and get lucky when a moose chases a skier around the chairlift or you fall off a mountain). The “impossible to screw up” category is similar: If you’re skiing off a cliff with a parachute, you’ll probably get some compelling footage.

But you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to make an interesting, watchable POV video. You just need to be able to apply some basic filmmaking and editing skills to your raw footage. Here, we explain how, with tips from some of the top adventure filmmakers in the game.

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