June 14, 2024
GoPro Filmmaking Guide

Are you an aspiring filmmaker looking to venture into the world of GoPro filmmaking? The GoPro HERO cameras have opened up exciting possibilities for video production, allowing filmmakers to capture stunning footage from unique perspectives. However, creating cinematic masterpieces with GoPro cameras requires more than just point-and-shoot. To help you elevate your filmmaking skills, we present the GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking, a comprehensive resource filled with valuable insights and cinematic tips to unleash the full potential of your GoPro camera.

In this guide, authors Bradford Schmidt and Brandon Thompson share their expertise on camera settings, capture techniques, and the art of storytelling, providing you with the necessary tools to produce captivating films. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced filmmaker, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to take your GoPro filmmaking to the next level.

Table of Contents

The Importance of Capture Settings

Understanding the different capture settings is crucial to capturing high-quality footage with GoPro cameras. In their book, The GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking, Bradford Schmidt and Brandon Thompson emphasize the significance of selecting the appropriate aspect ratio for different types of shots.

When it comes to wide establishing scenes, the 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal. This format provides a broader view, allowing for a more immersive experience. On the other hand, if you’re shooting body-mounted point of view (POV) shots, the 4:3 aspect ratio is more effective in capturing the desired perspective. It delivers a vertical orientation that enhances the intensity and realism of the footage.

“Selecting the correct aspect ratio sets the stage for an engaging visual experience. It creates the desired impact and draws audiences into the world you’ve captured with your GoPro.”

The advice provided by Schmidt and Thompson applies to all GoPro models, including the HERO4 Black, ensuring that filmmakers can maximize the potential of their equipment regardless of the specific camera version they own.

Aspect Ratio Examples

Aspect Ratio Example

By utilizing the appropriate capture settings and aspect ratios, filmmakers can ensure that their GoPro footage matches their artistic vision and provides an immersive viewing experience for the audience.

Exploring Mounting Options

Mounting options play a significant role in creating unique and captivating shots with GoPro cameras. By exploring different mounting techniques, filmmakers can unlock the full potential of their GoPro and capture visually stunning footage that stands out from the crowd.

The GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking delves into the various mounting options used by the GoPro media department, showcasing the possibilities of attaching cameras in unconventional ways. From helmet mounts to chest straps, the book offers insights into the techniques employed by professionals to capture breathtaking shots.

To further illustrate the versatility of GoPro mounting options, the authors provide real-world examples and case studies, highlighting how the right mount can transform mundane scenes into captivating visual stories. Whether it’s capturing high-speed action shots or filming immersive point-of-view footage, the book offers guidance on selecting the most suitable mount for every situation.

Mounting Techniques

To give aspiring filmmakers a comprehensive understanding of GoPro mounting options, the book provides an in-depth exploration of the following techniques:

  1. Helmet mounts: Securely attach the GoPro to a helmet for a dynamic, first-person perspective.
  2. Chest mounts: Capture hands-free footage from a mid-torso perspective, ideal for adventure activities and sports.
  3. Pole mounts: Extend the reach of the GoPro and capture wide-angled shots with stability.
  4. Suction cup mounts: Attach the GoPro to smooth surfaces, such as vehicles or surfboards, for unique and immersive shots.
  5. Clamp mounts: Secure the GoPro onto various objects, such as bike handlebars or tree branches, to capture dynamic perspectives.

These mounting options are just a glimpse of the possibilities available with GoPro cameras. The book goes into further detail, presenting additional techniques and insider tips to inspire filmmakers to think creatively and experiment with different mounting options.

“Exploring unique mounting options not only expands your creative potential but also enables you to capture shots that are visually captivating and impossible to achieve with traditional cameras.” – GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking

The Filmmaking Process

When it comes to filmmaking, capturing a compelling story is the essence of creating a captivating film. The GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking explores the various aspects of the filmmaking process, ensuring that every step is carefully executed to produce engaging footage.

Preparation is key in the filmmaking process, as it lays the foundation for a successful project. From conceptualizing ideas to scripting and storyboarding, proper preparation enables filmmakers to effectively translate their vision onto the screen. By outlining the desired shots, scenes, and overall narrative structure in advance, filmmakers can streamline the production process and avoid unnecessary delays or confusion.

On-site production is where the magic happens. This stage involves setting up the camera equipment, lighting, and sound, as well as coordinating with actors and crew members. The book provides insights on achieving optimal lighting conditions and capturing high-quality audio, ensuring that the footage is visually appealing and sonically immersive.

“The filmmaking process is like embarking on an exciting adventure, where each scene brings new challenges and opportunities for creativity. Through experimentation and improvisation, filmmakers can push the boundaries and capture unique and visually striking shots.”

During on-site production, filmmakers have the chance to conduct interviews and capture pivotal moments, giving the audience a glimpse into the story’s key players and their perspectives. Environmental shots and time-lapses help to set the scene and provide context, establishing the film’s visual identity.

The GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking incorporates case studies to showcase different approaches and resources used by experienced filmmakers. By presenting diverse examples, the book inspires aspiring filmmakers to think outside the box, encouraging creativity and innovation in the filmmaking process.

Throughout the entire process, filmmakers are encouraged to experiment and embrace improvisation. This allows for unexpected discoveries and enhances the authenticity of the film. By embracing spontaneity and adapting to unforeseen circumstances, filmmakers can capture truly remarkable and memorable moments.

The filmmaking process is a dynamic and ever-evolving journey. It requires careful planning, effective execution, and the ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. The GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking equips filmmakers with the knowledge and resources to navigate this process successfully and create compelling films that resonate with audiences.

Mastering the Editing Process

Editing is a crucial step in transforming raw footage into a cohesive and engaging story. While the GoPro Filmmaking Guide doesn’t specifically focus on GoPro Studio, it provides an invaluable overview of the editing process and emphasizes the importance of refining footage and shaping the narrative.

The authors outline a five-stage editing approach that includes:

  1. Organizing the footage: Importing the raw footage into the editing software and organizing it into separate folders for easy access and efficient workflow.
  2. Review and selection: Carefully watching each clip and selecting the best moments that contribute to the story and visuals.
  3. Trimming and refining: Cutting out unnecessary footage, tightening the pacing, and refining the visual and audio elements to enhance the overall quality.
  4. Adding transitions and effects: Incorporating transitions, effects, and filters to enhance the visual appeal and create seamless transitions between scenes.
  5. Finalizing the edit: Fine-tuning the edit, adjusting color grading, audio levels, and adding music or sound effects to create a polished and professional final product.

One useful technique mentioned in the book is the use of a “paper cut” outline, which involves creating a rough outline of the story on paper before starting the editing process. This outline serves as a guide for structuring the timeline and making informed decisions about the footage to include.

Through effective editing techniques, filmmakers can refine their footage, highlight the most compelling moments, and shape the story into a captivating narrative. This process plays a pivotal role in capturing the audience’s attention and creating a memorable viewing experience.

GoPro editing process

Expert Insight:

“The editing process is where the magic happens. It’s where the raw footage comes to life and the story starts to take shape. Don’t rush this stage. Take your time to refine the footage, experiment with different cuts and transitions, and make every frame count.” – Filmmaker and Author, Bradford Schmidt

Enhancing Audience Engagement

Effective storytelling is the cornerstone of capturing and maintaining audience interest. In the GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking, the authors explore various storytelling devices that can elevate your films and keep viewers engaged throughout the journey.

The Moment

“The Moment” is a powerful storytelling device that hooks the audience from the beginning. It’s a carefully crafted scene or event that immediately captures their attention and builds anticipation for what’s to come. By starting your film with a compelling and captivating moment, you can establish an emotional connection with your audience right from the start.

Power Intro

A strong introduction sets the tone for the entire film. The “Power Intro” storytelling device is a dynamic and attention-grabbing opening sequence that introduces key themes, characters, or settings. By utilizing fast-paced editing techniques, music, and visually stunning shots, you can create a powerful first impression that captivates your audience and sets the stage for an exciting story.

The Montage

Montages are excellent storytelling devices that condense time, convey emotions, and showcase a character’s journey. By skillfully combining shots, music, and narration, you can create a visually engaging sequence that takes your audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Use montages to highlight key moments, establish character development, or convey the passing of time in your film.

Character Study

Investing in your characters is crucial for audience engagement. The “Character Study” storytelling device focuses on developing and exploring the complexities of your protagonists. By diving into their backgrounds, motivations, and inner struggles, you can create multidimensional characters that resonate with your audience on a deeper level. Whether it’s through interviews, personal anecdotes, or observational footage, a compelling character study can keep viewers emotionally invested in your film.

The Race

Races or competitions add excitement, suspense, and a sense of urgency to your story. This storytelling device builds anticipation and keeps your audience on the edge of their seats, rooting for their favorite characters. Whether it’s a race against time, a sports event, or a thrilling pursuit, incorporating “The Race” into your film can create a thrilling narrative that holds your viewers’ attention until the very end.

By utilizing these storytelling devices and following their logical structures, you can enhance audience engagement and make your GoPro films truly unforgettable experiences.

Promoting Your Film

Once the film is complete, the next step is to promote it and reach a wider audience. Social media promotion and video sharing sites play a crucial role in spreading awareness and generating buzz around your film. The GoPro Filmmaking Guide provides valuable insights and strategies from social media and video sharing experts, helping you navigate the digital landscape and maximize exposure for your film.

Optimizing Social Media Promotion

Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook are powerful tools for promoting your film to a global audience. Here are some tips to effectively leverage social media:

  • Create a dedicated page or channel for your film to consolidate all promotional efforts.
  • Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos to engage your audience and build anticipation.
  • Use relevant hashtags to increase discoverability and reach a wider audience.
  • Collaborate with influencers or relevant communities that align with your film’s genre or theme.
  • Engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and inquiries.

Harnessing the Power of Video Sharing Sites

Video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo are popular platforms for sharing and discovering films. To effectively promote your film on these sites:

  • Create an attention-grabbing thumbnail and compelling title to encourage clicks and views.
  • Include relevant keywords in your video description and tags to improve search visibility.
  • Utilize annotations and cards within your video to direct viewers to additional content or to subscribe to your channel.
  • Embed your film on relevant websites or blogs to expand its reach beyond the video sharing platform.

Crafting Viral Video Strategies

A viral video can skyrocket your film’s exposure and attract a massive audience. Consider these strategies to increase your chances of creating a viral video:

  • Create compelling, shareable content that resonates with viewers emotionally or intellectually.
  • Elicit strong emotional reactions, such as laughter, awe, surprise, or inspiration.
  • Keep your videos concise and engaging, capturing viewers’ attention from the very beginning.
  • Utilize storytelling techniques, hooks, and cliffhangers to keep viewers eager for more.
  • Encourage social sharing by adding social media sharing buttons and asking viewers to share the video with their networks.

Remember, the key to successful promotion is to strategize and tailor your approach to each platform. The GoPro Filmmaking Guide offers in-depth advice and expert insights to help you promote your film effectively and reach a wider audience.

The Creative Potential of GoPros

The GoPro Filmmaking Guide highlights the incredible creative potential that GoPros offer to filmmakers. These compact and versatile cameras have the power to revolutionize traditional filmmaking by capturing footage from unique angles and perspectives.

By thinking outside the box and pushing the boundaries, filmmakers can create innovative and captivating films that stand out from the crowd. GoPros open up a world of possibilities, allowing filmmakers to experiment with shots that were previously impossible.

With GoPros, filmmakers can capture unconventional perspectives, providing viewers with a fresh and immersive experience. Whether it’s capturing thrilling action sequences, breathtaking scenery, or intimate personal moments, GoPros allow filmmakers to tell stories in ways that were once unimaginable.

capturing unconventional perspectives

These cameras encourage filmmakers to break free from traditional filmmaking techniques and explore new horizons. By embracing the unique capabilities of GoPros, filmmakers can unleash their creativity and create films that captivate and inspire audiences.

Tips for Shooting Like a Pro

The GoPro Filmmaking Guide not only covers the technical aspects of using GoPro cameras but also provides valuable insights on shooting like a professional. Here are some practical tips and techniques to help you capture scenes effectively and elevate your filmmaking skills.

1. Shoot Multiple Variations: When shooting a scene, don’t settle for just one take. Explore different angles, perspectives, and camera movements to give yourself more options during the editing process. This allows you to create a smooth and engaging flow in the final film.

“By shooting multiple variations of each scene, you can experiment with different compositions and camera movements. This approach ensures that you have enough footage to choose from during the editing process, resulting in a more dynamic and visually captivating film.”

2. Plan Shots in Advance: Before you start shooting, carefully plan your shots. Visualize the desired outcome and consider how different elements in the scene can contribute to the storytelling. This preparation will help you capture scenes more effectively and enhance the overall quality of your film.

3. Master the Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds is a fundamental composition technique in photography and filmmaking. Aligning the key elements of your shot along the imaginary gridlines produces more balanced and visually appealing compositions. Experiment with different placements and perspectives to create stunning visuals.

4. Use Different Shooting Modes: GoPro cameras offer various shooting modes like Photo, Video, Time Lapse, and Burst. Make sure to utilize these modes to capture scenes in the most suitable way. For action-packed sequences, burst mode can help you capture fast-moving subjects effectively.

Shooting Mode Best Use
Photo Capturing still images with high resolution
Video Recording continuous action or events
Time Lapse Creating smooth time-lapse videos
Burst Capturing fast-moving subjects with bursts of photos

5. Experiment with Camera Settings: Don’t be afraid to explore different settings on your GoPro camera. Adjusting parameters such as white balance, ISO, and exposure compensation can help you achieve the desired look and feel for your footage. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these settings and their impact on the final image.

“Understanding the various camera settings and how they affect your footage is key to capturing scenes effectively. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the settings that best suit your storytelling style.”

By following these tips and techniques, you can enhance your shooting skills and capture scenes like a professional filmmaker. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep exploring and pushing the boundaries of your creativity with GoPro cameras.

Leveraging Different Angles and Perspectives

Filmmakers can greatly enhance the visual impact of their GoPro films by exploring and leveraging different angles and perspectives. By breaking away from conventional shooting techniques, they can create unique and captivating footage that stands out from the rest.

One effective way to achieve this is by changing field views. Instead of always shooting from eye level, filmmakers should experiment with high and low angles to create dynamic compositions and add depth to their shots. This simple adjustment can make a significant difference in the overall visual storytelling.

Another composition technique that can be leveraged is the rule of thirds. By dividing the frame into a grid of nine equally sized rectangles and placing key elements of the scene along these lines or at their intersections, filmmakers can achieve a more balanced and visually pleasing composition. This technique helps to draw the viewer’s attention to the important elements of the shot and adds a sense of symmetry to the overall image.

Furthermore, exploring different angles is essential when capturing footage with a GoPro camera. Experimenting with various perspectives, such as a low-angle shot from ground level or a high-angle shot from above, can provide a fresh and unique viewpoint that adds interest and intrigue to the footage.

Table: Composition Techniques

Technique Description
Rule of Thirds Divide the frame into a grid of nine equally sized rectangles and place key elements along these lines or intersections.
Leading Lines Use natural or man-made lines to guide the viewer’s eye towards the main subject of the shot.
Framing Frame the main subject of the shot using elements in the foreground, such as doors, windows, or branches, to add depth and context.
Symmetry Create a sense of balance by framing the shot in a symmetrical manner, with key elements evenly distributed across the frame.

By combining these composition techniques with the versatility of GoPro cameras, filmmakers can capture footage that is visually captivating and engaging. Exploring different angles and perspectives not only adds variety to the film but also allows filmmakers to tell their story in a more creative and compelling way.

“Composition is the key to capturing stunning footage. By experimenting with different angles and composition techniques, you can transform ordinary shots into visually captivating masterpieces.” – Bradford Schmidt, GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking

Tips and Tricks for GoPro Filmmaking

Enhance your GoPro filmmaking skills with these valuable tips and tricks. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned filmmaker, these techniques will help you capture key moments and ensure the highest quality footage.

1. Utilize Burst Mode

When shooting fast-moving scenes, make use of the GoPro’s burst mode. This feature captures a rapid sequence of photos, giving you multiple options to choose from. Simply set your camera to burst mode, and hold down the shutter button to capture a burst of action shots.

2. Master the Pre-Shooting Technique

Before hitting the record button, utilize the pre-shooting technique to ensure you capture the perfect moment. Keep your GoPro running in standby mode, so you’re always ready to start recording at a moment’s notice. This allows you to capture spontaneous moments without missing any action.

3. Take Advantage of the GoPro App

Make use of the GoPro app to enhance your filmmaking experience. The app allows you to remotely control your GoPro camera, adjust settings, and even frame your shots from your smartphone or tablet. This gives you greater flexibility and control over your footage, resulting in more professional-looking films.

4. Start and Stop Shooting at the Right Moments

Timing is everything when it comes to capturing compelling footage. Start recording slightly before the action begins and stop recording slightly after the action concludes. This ensures you capture the entire sequence without any missed moments. Additionally, this technique makes editing easier by providing extra room to trim and adjust the footage.

Tips and Tricks for GoPro Filmmaking
Utilize Burst Mode
Master the Pre-Shooting Technique
Take Advantage of the GoPro App
Start and Stop Shooting at the Right Moments


The GoPro Filmmaking Guide provides aspiring filmmakers and GoPro enthusiasts with a comprehensive resource to enhance their filmmaking skills. From camera settings and capture techniques to editing and storytelling, this guide covers all the essential aspects of GoPro filmmaking. By following the insights and tips outlined in the book, filmmakers can produce captivating films that engage and entertain audiences.

With the help of the GoPro Filmmaking Guide, filmmakers can unlock the full potential of their GoPro cameras and push the boundaries of their creativity. This guide serves as a valuable tool for those looking to improve their filmmaking skills and create visually stunning films.

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced filmmaker, the GoPro Filmmaking Guide offers practical advice and techniques to take your films to the next level. By implementing the tips and tricks shared in this guide, you can capture scenes effectively, experiment with different angles and perspectives, and refine your editing process to shape compelling narratives.

Immerse yourself in the world of GoPro filmmaking and discover the endless possibilities it offers. The GoPro Filmmaking Guide is your key to becoming a skilled filmmaker and producing films that leave a lasting impact on your audience.


What does the GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking cover?

The GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking covers camera settings, capture techniques, storytelling, editing, promotion, and creative tips specifically for GoPro filmmaking.

Why are capture settings important in GoPro filmmaking?

Capture settings are crucial for capturing high-quality footage. The book highlights the importance of selecting the appropriate aspect ratio for different types of shots, such as 16:9 for wide establishing scenes and 4:3 for body-mounted POV shots.

What does the book explain about mounting options for GoPro cameras?

The book explores various mounting techniques used by the GoPro media department, showcasing the possibilities of attaching cameras in unconventional ways. It highlights the potential to create unique and captivating shots by exploring different mounting options.

What aspects of the filmmaking process does the book cover?

The book covers various aspects of the filmmaking process including preparation, on-site production, lighting, interviews, environmental shots, time-lapse, experimentation, and improvisation. It provides case studies and resources for capturing engaging footage.

Does the book focus on any specific editing software for GoPro filmmaking?

While the book doesn’t focus on GoPro Studio specifically, it provides an overview of the editing process and emphasizes the importance of refining footage and shaping the narrative. It outlines a five-stage editing approach.

How does the book explore effective storytelling in GoPro filmmaking?

The book explores various storytelling devices such as “The Moment,” “Power Intro,” “The Montage,” “Character Study,” and “The Race.” It provides formulaic suggestions that can be applied to different situations to build anticipation, enjoyment, and maintain audience attention.

Does the book offer any insights on promoting GoPro films?

Yes, the book includes insights from social media and video sharing experts, offering advice on promoting films on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. It also provides tips for creating viral videos and maximizing exposure through social media.

How does the book encourage creative filmmaking with GoPros?

The book emphasizes the creative potential of GoPros and encourages filmmakers to think outside the box. It suggests exploring unconventional perspectives and experimenting with shots to create truly innovative and captivating films.

What are some tips for shooting like a pro with GoPro cameras?

The book provides practical tips and techniques for shooting like a professional with GoPro cameras. It emphasizes the importance of capturing scenes effectively by shooting multiple variations, providing more options during the editing process and ensuring a smooth and engaging flow in the final film.

How can different angles and perspectives enhance GoPro films?

The book suggests changing field views, experimenting with composition techniques like the rule of thirds and framing, and trying out different angles to add depth and visual interest to the footage. These techniques can elevate the overall quality of the film and make it visually captivating.

What additional tips and tricks does the book provide for GoPro filmmaking?

The book provides additional tips and tricks such as using burst mode to capture fast-moving scenes, starting and stopping shooting at the right moments, and utilizing the GoPro app for remote control and framing. These techniques help filmmakers capture key moments and ensure the highest quality footage.

Who is the GoPro Filmmaking Guide suitable for?

The GoPro Filmmaking Guide is suitable for aspiring filmmakers and GoPro enthusiasts who want to enhance their skills and produce captivating films. It serves as a valuable resource for unlocking the full potential of GoPro cameras and pushing creative boundaries in filmmaking.

Does the book offer a conclusion or final thoughts?

The book offers practical insights and tips throughout its chapters, but does not have a specific conclusion section. However, readers will find valuable information on improving their filmmaking skills and unleashing the creative potential of GoPro cameras.

Source Links

About The Author

Don't miss the next GoPro updates!

Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to receive our articles, reviews and special offers!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *