Video postcards, the under-appreciated art form in travel inspiration
Gamin Montaz / Flickr.com
The best ones have the ability to inspire us to travel, even if the videos themselves aren’t slotted as such. That also explains the paradox of building any organized effort around travel inspiration, such as startups in the space.
Travel inspiration is a complex and strange beast: it rears its hydra-head anywhere and everywhere, and that’s the best and worst thing about it, depending on which part of travel spectrum you fall in. Usually organized efforts around it tend to fail, and the litany of failed travel inspiration startups are proof enough.
A somewhat under-appreciated and inadvertent form of travel inspiration that has emerged over the last few years is the travel video postcard: the 2-5 minute likely over-exposed and cross-processed video montage of a trip, laid over a sometimes minimalist, sometimes lush musical track that serves to set the perfect mood for the video.
The driver of the rise of this type of video expression has been Vimeo, which has over the years done a great job sifting through thousands of such videos and highlighting the best, thus serving as a great curator of the creative mass.
Some of these videos end up being lame — how many times can us Westerners discover ourselves in the smile of a poor Indian?? — while some end up being like campy-but-modern honeymoon videos. In the last few years, even the tourism boards have latched on to them, serving as extended cuts of video commercials, or in some cases, videos that are then spliced into various short 30-second ads.
Among the best purveyors of this video genre have been the extreme and adventure sports community, whether skateboarders or surfers making videos of their own exploits in exotic places, or adventure seekers like mountain climbers and others doing films underwritten by sponsors.
All of which is a long winded way of highlighting one of the best such producers, Sébastien Montaz-Rosset, a French professional mountaineer and a very talented film maker. Some of his long form films, focused on mountain adventure sports like highlining have caught the attention of brands like RedBull, while his short films uploaded on Vimeo serve as a window into his life, family and travels.
His latest postcard uploaded about a month ago, the first one below, is a visual poem to travel, and has been selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. The others one, more personal, are the best examples of family travel short-form videos. Here is our pick of nine of them, enough to get you through a lazy Sunday afternoon and scratch your wanderlust.
I grew up in the French Alps, and have spent most of my life playing and working in the mountains. Taking photos and filming clients developed my interest in film, and turned my passion for images into a full time obsession. I haven’t had any formal training in film at all, but am always keen to learn in everything I do. There are lots of ways to create and film effects, without needing lots of complicated equipment. I think making a good film is much more about the story you tell, and the connection you make between your subjects and your audience. Watch. Be inspired.