On Making Company Retreat Vlogs

by | Apr 20, 2020 | Essays

Elegant Themes does annual company retreat since 2016 and I’m fortunate to attend all the company retreats and making travel vlog out of it:

  • 2016 in Berlin – i shot videos using GoPro Hero 4 then automatically edited it using Quik app (spoiler alert: video production wise, it was terrible 🤣).
  • 2017 in San Francisco – I shot videos using Sony RX100 V, manually edited it using Premiere Pro CC and posted it on my YouTube channel. Around 2017 i was exploring doing YouTube vlog hence this retreat video is being posted publicly (see it here).
  • 2018 in Barcelona – I shot videos using Sony ɑ7 ii + iPhone 6S and manually edited it using Premiere Pro CC. I’m no longer doing YouTube vlog but i simply made vlog for my own documentation (which i also shared with my colleagues’ trip mates) because relieving the memory in video form is much much fun
  • 2019 in Cancun – I use the same gears as last year (Sony ɑ7 ii + iPhone 6S) but this time i edited it using iMovie because I’ve cancelled my Premiere Pro CC subscription.

So I’ve been doing this for couple of times and these are my thoughts on it:

  • The problem with travel photos are you shot tons of them and later you’re being way too lazy to open it up. Well edited vlogs are fun to relive the trip’s experience.
  • It took so much time to organize and edit the vlog but it feels worth it. I found myself periodically looking at my old vlog. I also frequently surprised with how do i look up to four years ago.
  • “Don’t take way too much photograph, just experience it and remember it”. Yeah right, the thing is life happens and we forgot 😅Video is a very good way to anchor that memory.
  • Narrating video is hard. Tried it in 2017 and the result wasn’t really impressive. I think it only works if you’re great narrator.
  • I tried the “record it, edit it, then make yourself a host as you’re doing reaction video” format ala Agung Hapsah on this video in 2018. It also didn’t work well (for me).
  • Bottom line you’ll need to find video format that suits you the best.
  • Sometimes you record thing with what you have in hand because taking your camera takes way too much time. Just record it as is. It is way better than have no footage. Also display it as is. I found myself took so much instagram stories; this is actually can be presented as-is and gives its own aesthetic.
  • Paradoxical to the previous point: if you’re capable to record thing with good camera (electronically stabilized, decent lens to get some bokeh), do it. The result becomes so much joy to watch and your eyes will simply notice it.
  • Places you go to are nice, but people you travel with is even more precious. Take video of sceneries, but records as much interaction as possible. Seeing places you went to on the video was nice, but seeing the people and the colleague feels much much more precious. I’ll make sure to remember this if i shot another retreat vlog. There are couple of ways to do it: by having your camera ready on certain moments OR you can simply ask your colleague a question and let them answer it.