Surely that's just clickbait right?
Well yes it is, but not really! Bear with me and I'll try explain.
I think some context is needed here but before I go further full disclosure dictates that I should tell you I own a number of Action cameras including ones from GoPro and the Chinese take on GoPro . I still use the the first GoPro I got as a gift a few years ago and I love it.
The boom of cheaper and better action camera's means in recent years means that I know more paddlers who own GoPros than a set of usable split paddles, I say that jokingly but I think it probably true.
The thing is who doesn't love having a savage day on the water with your mates and then being able to review the footage when you get home and know that there is some Facebook gold waiting for you. Be it having captured your mate swimming earlier on of even better after you nailed that sweet boof of your local drop. Over the years I've bough my GoPro loads of places and I'm always glad I've had it with me.
Those tiny, near indestructible cameras that you can bring almost anywhere are just savage.
..... then why the hate?
I promise I'm getting to the part where I come close to making a point, well almost. I have more than a decade of kayaking and other adventures where I have only one or two photos to help me remember, so now that I've a HD video camera with me when ever I'm doing something of interest or excitement I am always keen to take a snap or two. From what Facebook tells me I'm not the only one who likes to do the same, and sure there is no harm to it.
GoPro have brought awesome quality to the masses, the Pros and Plebs alike now have access to video quality that surpasses what we used to think unimaginable in cinema a few years ago. I never though to would be possible to take some of the shots we now take for granted yet alone the kit required to do so being so affordable.
However this is where my love affair with GoPro ends, Facebook and online media is saturated with so much 'Stuff' I really couldn't give a shite about most of it. I don't just mean the sub par mediocre video's I've posted over the years but include the big names who have access to serious funds. It's not just a case of production value either, I think lots of us have forgotten why movies (short or otherwise) work.
Last month something popped up that reminded me of a different time in kayaking movies.
I'm really cautious of descending into old man 'back in my day' narrative here, but I do think before we became obsessed about the latest in camera tech, to what software you used to cut your 'Edit' on or copyright music restrictions on Youtube we were less inclined to forget one of the greatest fundamentals of film making.
It's all about the story
It is as simple as that! Even if you are on the greatest whitewater in the world, with a all of the latest and greatest offering from GoPro and a top end MacBook Pro to edit on if you can't tell a story / set a narrative, you're fighting a losing battle. Without that 'story' all you have is a video where people fast forward to the interesting bits and then discard it for something else, a striking similarity to low budget porn and ain't nobody want to watch that.
I'm a bit of a fan boy but check out Casey's 'Guide to Filmmaking video here, he highlights that the gear just doesn't matter! Anyway back to Bren and Adrian's movie above and why I liked it so much. There is a real story about it, those from a certain era will remember such classics as .
- A Kavu Day
- Another Kavu Day
- Wicked Liquid
- Mothership Connection
- Operation Zulu
- Channel Surfing
- Operation Zanskar (Irish movie)
Time hasn't been kind to some of them but they are still watchable as they are well put together films.
Will any of this stop me posting poorly composed, badly light shots from my GoPro, hell no! Though I really must limit the use of my super ghetto DIY elevated camera mount.
I'll also most likely continue with sticking a few self indulgent but purely shot and edited videos to youtube, but I am going to try harder to be better.
There is a HUGE caveat to everything I have just said, life is for living! Kayaking, Mountain Biking or what ever way you spend your free time is meant to be fun and enjoyable. Don't feel bound by any 'rules' of the way you take or share memories.
I just think if we all tried to think why have some classic movies stood the test of time while other multi-million blockbusters have been forgotten about the following years. It's the story that brings people back again and again
So even if its running the Upper Bandon for the 105th time, knock yourself out and enjoy.
I came across this and a host of other late 90, early 00s while stuck in a Youtube hole.