Video Of The Day: ‘Incubation’ And 15 Days In Cuba

“I wanted to see Cuba before it changes,” starts off “Incubation,” a short travel film by French multimedia artist Guillaume Le Berre. “But I’m the one that has been changed.”

Through photos and videos captured over a 15-day trip, Le Berre offers a nostalgic look at life in modern-day Cuba. Some of the images are expected: smiling children playing baseball, grand automobiles from the 1950s, sexy salsa dancers at night. Others are more striking: men scavenging in garbage cans, vultures picking at animal carcasses, concrete walls with the letters “CHE” outlined repetitively. With Cuba’s natural beauty juxtaposed against such contrasts, it’s easy to see why the filmmaker was changed, and to remember what it is about travel that changes us all.

[via EcoSalon]

North Carolina readies for ‘Hunger Games’ opening

Anticipation for the movie version of “The Hunger Games,” which will be released next week, has been building for more than a year – and no more so than in North Carolina, where most of the film was shot.

At the North Carolina Governor’s Conference on Tourism this week, Governor Bev Perdue cheered the first movie of the dystopian saga, which stars Jennifer Lawrence as the rebellious Katniss fighting for her life. While “The Hunger Games” has become North Carolina’s largest film set on site (previous biggies were “The Last of the Mohicans” and “Dirty Dancing”), another 119 films are being shot in the state, Perdue said.

If you’re looking to follow in the stars’ footsteps, you’ll have to rent a car; shooting sites range from Charlotte (a stand-in for The Capital) to DuPont State Recreational Park, site of the Arena, to the tiny town of Shelby, where the Reaping scenes were filmed. During the shoot, the stars were based in Asheville, in the western part of the state.In anticipation of visiting fans, the VisitNC website has put together several “Hunger Games” resource guides, including a four-day itinerary and a Pinterest board. While businesses such as the Nantahala Outdoors Center in Bryson weren’t used during the filming, the state is cleverly tying them in with the movie’s survivalist message (you, too, can train like Katniss!)

So will the movie generate the tourist dollars that the state hopes to receive? The odds are ever in their favor. Just look at the boom in visitation that a certain Washington town named Forks received after the “Twilight” movies came out.

Travel writer Chris Gray Faust covers value luxury vacations on her award-winning blog, Chris Around The World. launches dream travel job contest for budding filmmakers

If you’re a travel buff with a passion for film, you could be in the running to win the gig of a lifetime from online travel agency

Through Viator’s “Win Your Dream Travel Job” contest, four winners will be tasked with traveling through 20 countries in 60 days in both North America and Europe, and documenting their adventures on camera. The winners will be placed in teams of two and provided with professional video equipment, roundtrip travel, and a budget of $15,000 per person to cover lodging and expenses. In addition to providing content for Viator’s library of travel videos, the teams will also produce final wrap-up videos, which will be pitted against each other in an online Facebook competition with $10,000 awarded to the top-voted team.

To enter, submit a one-to-three minute video on Viator’s Facebook page showing off your travel experience, storytelling abilities, and cinematic prowess on one of three subjects: things to do in your city, top travel tips, or memorable travel experiences. Every two weeks starting March 15, Viator will select a new winner. The last call for submissions is April 25.

For more of the nitty gritty, watch the following video, or check out Viator on Facebook.

Budget travel tips from the girls of Sixpenny Globe

Last year, recent college graduates Kelsey Ogden and Kristen Refermat set off on the adventure of their lives — a four-month, 12-country backpacking trip — armed with two packs, four cameras, and a desire to document the ups and downs of traveling on $30 per day.

The result is Sixpenny Globe, a Kickstarter-crowdfunded travel documentary series following Kelsey and Kristen on their budget round-the-world trip. Episode 1 premieres on February 12 on their website and Blip.TV, with a prologue providing the girls’ backstory launching the week before. I caught up with the girls to see what inspired them to create Sixpenny Globe, how they made it happen, and what their tips are for traveling on a tight budget.

What inspired Sixpenny Globe?

We both had always wanted to do a huge trip. We’d both traveled quite a bit and lived abroad, but we’d never traveled for a truly extended period of time. So six months after we graduated from college, the time felt ripe for the Big Trip, but we were both pretty broke. Voila, the $30-a-day budget was born. As far as the web series aspect goes, there just seemed to be this gaping hole in travel documentation. There’s that romantic, idealized open road you read about in Kerouac, where all you need is 2 bucks in your pocket. Then there are the travel shows you see on TV where the perfectly manicured host is cracking canned one-liners about bratwurst from the comfort of her chic boutique hotel room. You can either read about bohemian broke people having adventures or you can watch Hollywood’s fake versions of adventures. But there seemed to be very little video documentation of real people traveling cheaply. Tons of people do it, but very few have endeavored to tell the story for the screen. So we figured we’d give it a go!

Once you decided to take the plunge, what were your first steps?
Our first step was buying the ticket! We had just casually emailed a round-the-word ticket broker to get a quote. It wasn’t as expensive as we’d expected, so we spent a couple days tweaking the itinerary and then just impulsively bought the ticket on credit, bandaid-removal style. Then once we decided to do the web series, we raised some money on Kickstarter for the cameras and equipment, got our visas sorted out for the countries that necessitated them, and got our shots and vaccines! That’s pretty much it. We really had absolutely no plan, aside from the set dates of our flights.

Where did your travels take you?
We left Los Angeles on February 28, 2011. We landed in Paris and spent almost a month going overland through France, Austria, Germany, and Denmark. We left out of Frankfurt but ended up with a detour through Cairo on our way to Amman, Jordan. Next came India, then Thailand. We went overland from Bangkok, through Cambodia, and into Vietnam. Left out of Ho Chi Minh City, landed in Sydney. Flew out of Melbourne back to LA after four months away. Compared to everyone else we met traveling, we went extremely quickly!

How did you survive on just $30 a day?
It wasn’t always sunshine and daisies, especially in Europe and Australia, where everything is so expensive. We Couchsurfed, hitchhiked, tap danced in the street with a hat out, slept in hallways of hotels we weren’t staying at, accepted a lot of hospitality from friends and strangers, and probably broke a few laws. We couldn’t do a lot of the museums or the other attractions with hefty price tags, but I think that actually made the whole trip better. We spent a lot of time walking the streets and a lot of time bonding over cheap wine. Since we couldn’t afford to have a rigid schedule of activities to stick to every day, we ended up actually enjoying time instead of worrying there wouldn’t be enough of it.

What budget tips can you give other wannabe globetrotters?
1. STAY AWAY FROM PACKAGE TOURS. No matter how much they tell you they’ll give you a good price, you can always arrange the same thing on your own for a fraction of the cost.
2. Stay at hostels with free breakfasts and LOAD UP. If you stuff yourself properly, you might not be hungry until dinner.
3. Don’t take taxis. There’s always a bus.
4. Learn to trust people, but follow your gut. If someone offers you help, take it, but if you start to feel like something’s fishy, bail out of that car and roll.
5. Just roll with the punches. When you’re on a budget, something will always go wrong and you won’t necessarily have the cash to fix it. It’s a lot more fun to laugh at it than cry about it.

Video of the Day: A tour of 1955 San Francisco

Today’s featured video offers a rare glimpse at the city of San Francisco as it looked in 1955. Filmed by amateur filmmaker Tullio Pellegrini, the video provides a narrated tour of the city and its surroundings, complete with a gloriously vintage soundtrack. Pellegrini was also an inventor and tinkerer, and the video’s quality is due to his merging of a 16mm Bell & Howell Cinemascope lens with Kodachrome film. This gem was recently discovered in the Prelinger Archives‘ collection of more than 60,000 advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films. Watch and wait as the nostalgia hits you.

[via StreetsBlog]