Several months back after we filmed Episode 4, I published a post on Overland Route Planning; however, building your route is just one piece to assembling successful overland trip. Each trip we plan includes film goals, story boards, meal plans and time away from work and our families leaving a pile of items to manage. So whats the magic recipe?
1. Planning the route. The vision is important but the route gets you there; here's the link to our Overland Route Planning post to get things started.
2. Filming goals and camera equipment. At Mountain State Overland we're aiming to document our adventures and to encourage others to get off the couch, get outside and live a more responsible lifestyle. So once the route is planned we set our goals for the trip; this makes it easier when we've got the cameras in hand.
For example, Episode 5 takes you to the highest point in West Virginia; however, we wanted to go there because the fishing is awesome, the air is fresh and The Mountain Institute is close to our hearts. That's it; simple goals - fish, fresh air and The Mountain Institute.
On the equipment end of things - we bring everything we have. From DSLRs to iPhones and everything in between. We plan to capture audio, stills and video every chance we get but the shots we storyboard are reserved for our upper-end equipment.
3. Storyboards. No - none of this is scripted, but we like to sketch out a plan for the final cut. A storyboard helps us stay on track when there are 3-4 cameras rolling and only one guy editing the film in post production. If the camera team has a general idea of what the final cut may look like, they know what images to capture; much more efficient.
The storyboard for Episode 5 reflected images of vendors, laughter, cooking, classes, interviews, trail rides and some good scenery. Beer was definitely on the storyboard, but I'm not sure if it made it to post production.
4. Meal planning. Jamie covered Overland Meal Planning in his post following our trip for Episode 4 so I won't attempt to reinvent the wheel. What I will stress - pay attention to your budget, be creative, make fantastic meals and know your crowd.
If you've got "Mr. Meat and Potatoes" and "Ms. Vegan" jumping on board for the weekend you might be limited with your options; stick with it, you'll come up with something for everyone.
5. Work and family time. For most of the trips we've made thus far, either the kids stayed home or the wives opted out. Bringing the family is our main goal but the filming and setting up for shots can get a little boring if that's not your gig. When we roll out, we typically plan for an extended, yet comfortable weekend so we can get back to our families in a reasonable period of time.
And then there's work - unfortunately MSO hasn't landed a TV spot and sticker sales aren't putting bread on the table; we have day jobs just like you do. Jamie, Jeremy and I work for different employers so when we plan a trip, we need to coordinate schedules and mark our calendars in advance.
We plan our trips around extended weekends because we know the typical adventurer can pull it off. Setting aside a couple months to spend overlanding is far too much time away from family in my honest opinion.
If you've got questions regarding trip logistics, meal planning or route building please give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.