Facebook feeds are chock full of content, but one thing we never scroll past are the videos from ANYDOKO (which is an English and Japanese mish mash up meaning ‘Anywhere’).
These high-end videographers have a mission to ‘Explore Anywhere’ and have gone from strength to strength since they launched 2 years ago, currently reaching a chill 4 million people a month on Facebook. So what tips, tricks and secrets can these content creators share with the rest of us? We asked…
When did you start making videos?
We started creating videos professionally about 8 years ago (but way before that in high-school and at uni). It started with general corporate work. It inspired us to create our own commercial production company, Radical Orange, to create more high-end commercial work for advertising agencies and direct clients. We started creating television commercials and high-end content for clients like Malaysia Airlines, Fiji Airways and Tourism Australia. All this travel work left us with many original ideas which we wanted to create, so from this we created our own travel channel ANYDOKO. The channel has now been running for about 1-2 years and has sent us all over the world to create videos in our signature style. We’ve been very lucky to travel all over Europe, South America, Asia and Australia to create travel content.
How many fans do you have now?
We currently have about 60,000 followers and reach more than 4 million people every month. What’s more exciting is that people recognise us on the street. It’s really cool when people wait for us to finish a take and then tell us how much they loved one of our videos. We’ve even met people who have booked and planned their trip to Hong Kong because of our videos. It’s really special to see you can make an impact.
What goes into creating an epic video?
Too much! We start quite early with a concept. We always think of a story and angle before we do anything. We then research everything we can and contact our local contacts in the destinations to get their insights. This then goes into a script which transforms into a shotlist. We generally shoot multiple videos together so we end up shooting for at least 7 days straight on location. The footage is then ingested and selected which can take over 2 weeks. Then it goes into edit. We find music and go through many edit revisions to make sure we create something really great. We’re super picky so we put the same amount of effort into the videos as we do in big commercials.
Do you always plan your shoots ahead, or do you wing it?
Everything is always super planned. We want to create something really great so always research, script and shotlist everything we plan to make. We then mix this up on location with a good dose of improvisation and fun stuff. As I mentioned we generally shoot a lot of content at the same time. The most we’ve ever done was 22 videos in a row in China and Hong Kong. This resulted in 3-4 weeks back-to-back shooting. Our schedules are super tight and are optimised for each location. This means that we do not shoot a video chronologically; we shoot what is logistically best. So we can literally shoot the intro for our snack video and then go onto the 4th beer tasting for our beer video because it makes us more efficient that way. It requires our on camera talent to know all their lines and be on the ball 24/7.
What do you think are the 3 things that make a video successful?
A great concept, an organised shoot and a team on the ground that can think quickly and have the ambition to try new crazy stuff.
How many kilos of camera equipment do you carry around for a shoot?
Our camera crew has about 20 kilos of camera gear on them when we are shooting. Then there are the many bags as well. The worst we ever did was carry over 40 Kilos up snowy Mount Chokai in regional Japan. Anything for the shot!
How many countries have been to now?
A lot. All of Western Europe, a large part of Asia and North America. Africa is hopefully next!
Have you ever had any dramas while filming?
We’re yet to have a shoot where something did not go wrong. We’ve had equipment break down in remote locations, and my personal favourite, falling down a massive ice wall in Japan with all the camera gear. Everything always works out though in the end. It’s important to have people on the team who can think quickly and figure something out. We also always carry a back up camera.
Travel is expensive, what advice would you give any budding travel videographers on how to get started?
Watch and study how people make their films. Most importantly go and film! You don’t need to catch a plane to make a cool travel film. Start with your own city. Being paid to create travel films is a dream for a lot of people out there; you just need to make sure you become one of the best so you get noticed.
Who is part of your video team and what role do they each do?
Our style is quite high-end. It’s our goal to take the quality from an Anthony Bourdain show but put this online. This means we have quite a big in-house team to make it all work. The people below work in-house on ANYDOKO daily, we also use contractors from time to time and have a wide support network of friends who jump in all the time to help in-front of the camera or behind the scenes. Our teams are based in Sydney and Hong Kong:
Vikash Autar – Creative Director
Responsible for the ANYDOKO style, scripts and creative executions. Writes and directs all ANYDOKO content.
David den Engelsman – Executive Producer
Contact for clients and deals with anything financial. From estimates to distribution.
Dean Vowles – Content Strategist
The media landscape keeps on changing. Dean makes sure we’re ahead when it comes to the next thing in social. He also features in-front of the camera as one of our hosts.
James Gilligan – Cinematographer / Editor
Michael Thompson – Editor / Cinematographer
James and Michael film the majority of the ANYDOKO videos. They also work crazy hours to make a 4-5 minute video out of days and days worth of footage.
Tara Juan – Junior Editor
Tara organises and tags all ANYDOKO footage. She also edits ANYDOKO videos.
Chelsea Li – Production-Assistant + Social Media Executive
Chelsea does not sleep. Ever. She is on the phone to China at 3 AM or creating tightly knit 4 week shoot schedules.