Feature Stories

On the Road to Paradise – A journey through New Zealand

The winner of the Best Sound Editing category for the 2016 I Love Travel video contest goes to Michael Austin and his adventurous New Zealand road-trip based music video On the Road to Paradise!

This award winning and quite catchy music video was captured during Michael’s second motorbike trip to New Zealand, with his girlfriend Lisa. Interestingly enough, however, the inspiration for On the Road to Paradise came during the trip itself, from a chance conversation at a local eatery. Given the end result, we are all glad that Michael found this spontaneous creative spark and hope that he has many more in the future.


A Chance Encounter

Michael was in Christchurch sitting down for lunch when he overheard the restaurant’s owner and musician Oliver Hepri discussing that evening’s musical performance (being a popular venue in the evenings) and the steep price tag on filming music videos. Having for years been passionate about filmmaking Michael decided to offer his impromptu services. After chatting with Oliver for some time, Michael told us it felt like catching up with old friends: “Ollie’s enthusiasm for his music was infectious, and I suppose my passion for filmmaking was as well. Our collaboration would be sustained by our mutual artistic passions and willingness to work from the heart. Magic indeed!” Later that very evening Michael shot a venue based video, the first of three music videos for Oliver.

Shooting On the Road to Paradise

Further into our conversation with Michael, it became apparent that he had to come up with creative solutions on-the-fly: “Some of the scenes are not quite what you may think…with the bike coasting downhill, with the motor off and at low speeds, I was able to reduce vibration issues.” Even from the seat of his motorbike Michael was thinking ahead to the editing process “Throughout the entire trip, Ollie’s song “Paradise” was going through my head and I started collecting ideas for editing the video…when I later began editing I let the cadence of the music dictate the rapid edits and cuts…I also wanted to bring in the elements in Ollie’s song such as the sea, mountains, forests and of course the road (figuratively and literally).”

The Making of On the Road to Paradise

When it came to the technology behind the scenes, Michael had an arsenal of cameras and shooting equipment with him at all times, and PowerDirector ready for him when he returned home to Texas. Michael in his words “on this second trip I felt compelled to bring a lot more video gear than was probably necessary for filming from motorbikes though I wasn’t quite sure why. My gear consisted of a GoPro Hero 3+Black, a pair of Ion Air Pro 3’s, a Canon Vixia G30 and 70D DSLR along with several tripods, my Benro Travel Angel in particular proving to be highly effective and the right tripod for my circumstances.”

The editing of On the Road to Paradise

As for editing his video, Michael told us it was a much easier affair than filming from the seat of a motorcycle: “I’ve been using [PowerDirector] for several years and for me it was easy how to use and it allows for a the use of a wide range of media. Many other programs would require converting which would be a pain just in itself.” We asked Michael if had used other video editing programs and he said he had in fact tried some others: “There are some other programs out there, but using them can be like trying to make a sand drawing with a backhoe! With PowerDirector you can do most tasks much more easily and I’d much rather use something I have confidence in.” Michael concluded by telling us that “in the end, it’s about brining creativity to life, about recognizing creative passion, and being able to share the finished work in a meaningful way that’s what PowerDirector has allowed me to do.”

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