Monthly Archives: December 2014

Twelve Travel Questions with Monique Soltani


Name: Monique Soltani
Home Base: San Francisco, CA
Last Trip: Venice, Italy
Next Trip: Phoenix, AZ
Twitter: @WineOhTV

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

1. Hand sanitizer wipes, 2. Airborne, 3. Eye mask/Ear plugs

I used to get sick when I traveled. I couldn’t figure out why. I went to my doctor and she told me to wipe down the armrest and tray table and a take an airborne when I fly. I do this every time now when I fly and haven’t gotten sick since (knock on wood).

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

I am a non-napper. When I get to wherever I am going I force myself to stay awake until it’s “bed time.” For example, if I am on a 12-hour international flight and I land at 10 a.m. local time, I will keep myself busy and make sure I stay awake until its 9 p.m. no matter how tired I am. Then I get one good night’s sleep and I’m ready to rock the next morning. Some days are better than others but the non-napping approach works for me!

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

The first thing I do after I unpack and shower is hit the streets and grab a drink. Whether it’s a glass of Champagne in Paris or a macchiato in Rome nothing says “Welcome to the neighborhood” like the local beverage of choice.


4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

Food is so subjective. I love bread, cheese and wine so with that in mind my least favorite place to dine is Taiwan. My favorite is Tuscany or anywhere in Italy for that matter! The worst meals in EAT-aly could rival the best meals just about anywhere else on the planet.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?

Italy. Sinking your teeth into the essence of Italy starts by taking the road that’s often more idealized than traveled. It is a journey to the crossroads where culture, cuisine, and community come together. Some have called it La Dolce Vita, but after traveling to Tuscany I realized it’s more than a motto. It’s finding meaning in the mundane, it’s elevating the everyday, it’s having harmony and happiness without needing a reason. It only takes one day of soaking up the sun-kissed scenery to discover La Dolce Vita is more than a Fellini film. In Italy the sweet life is the way of life.

6. What is your favorite travel quote?

Do I get extra credit for two quotes? :) “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu


7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Hide the credit cards when this song comes on! Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

I don’t know how crazy it is but it’s true. My sister and I traveled internationally for the first time when we were in our early twenties. We were headed for Spain and ready to paint the red or on our budget perhaps it was closer to a light shade of pink. We wanted to go to Ibiza but were staying in a remote part of Spain called Calp. Why were we staying in Calp you ask? (See budget comment above.)

I would like to remind you that this was pre- Tripfilms, TripAdvisor, pre- just about everything useful. We had heard about these fun party boats to the island of Ibiza but of course we didn’t have anything planned in advance. So we got all dressed up in our best twentysomething party boat to Ibiza outfits and wondered into the first place that said turístico boat rides to Ibiza we could find.

I was pretty fluent in Los Angeles restaurant Spanish at the time and figured I could crack the party boat code. So I sauntered in my stilettos up to the counter and asked the lady for dos entradas barco de fiesta to Ibiza (pronouncing it (eye-bee-za)). The lady shook her head No comprende. Now I knew she was mistaken because even with no TripAdvisor at my finger tips I knew Ibiza was the place to partaayyy! So I tried again: “Dos entradas barco de fiesta Ibiza” only this time I did a little dance move to really accentuate the PARTAAAY. Then she looked like she was finally starting to pick up what I was putting down and said Si Ibiza! Only she pronounced it the Castilian way (Ee-bee-tha) not my LA way (Eye-bee-za).

She handed us two tickets to Ee-bee-tha and we handed her a small fortune in pesetas (pre-euros). Keep in mind, this party boat ride was at least three hours long and we didn’t arrive at the island until 2 a.m.! No matter to the twentysomething Soltani Sisters who were ready to meet our future boyfriends on the best party boat to the hottest island in the galaxy.

We rushed to the boat as fast as we could only to find it filled with chickens, pigs, and a few sad looking fisherman. Then the ship set sail into the dark abyss in the middle of the night on a three-hour tour, yes, a three-hour tour. As my sister and I sunk down in our seats shivering in our halter tops and capri pants we huddled in a in a corner and reality started to sink in. With no boys, no booze and no party boat, we realized we were taken for a ride all right…

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves? 

I think travel videos are fantastic for people who aren’t filmmakers. Whether you are planning your next vacation or never have any intentions of leaving the comfort of your couch. When you watch a travel video you can explore the world without leaving your living room.

Monique Soltani Helicopter ride with Fearri Winery CEO

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

Every person, place, and thing has a unique story to tell. Whether I’m interviewing a person, highlighting a region or uncorking a beautiful bottle of wine there is an extraordinary story in there somewhere and it’s my job to discover it.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos? 

Baby Steps…

Step One: Shoot everything. My motto is if I didn’t shoot it it didn’t happen. Meaning video is a visual medium (stating the obvious I know) so therefore if you don’t capture it on camera you can’t show it to your viewers. So shoot, shoot, shoot away and figure out what to do with all the footage once you get home.

Step Two: Get a mic. There is nothing worse than bad audio.

Step Three: Find your voice and have fun!

12. What is your best travel tip?

Pack light! Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown!

Watch travel videos by Monique Soltani here.


New TripVlogger Series: How To Shoot Smartphone Video

“There are a few simple things that one needs in order to make good travel videos. One is good sound, another is a tripod, and a third is an understanding of good composition and lighting,” says Gina DeGirolamo in her recent Twelve Travel Questions profile on the Tripfilms blog. In a new “How To” series for Tripfilms, she gives simple steps to follow in order to achieve these basic elements of quality filmmaking. Check out the videos below and start improving your own smartphone video when you’re out on the town.

Can You Hear Me: Recording Sound on Smartphone Video

In this episode of How to Shoot Video With your Smartphone by cinematographer Gina DeGirolamo, you will learn how to use an external mic to record great sound on a smartphone.

Why Is That So Dark? Setting Exposure on Smartphone Video 

In this episode of How To Shoot Great Video With Your Smartphone, cinematographer Gina DeGirolamo teaches you how to set your exposure.

Vertical Video No Way! Smartphone Video Tips

Filmmaker Gina DeGirolamo explains why you should never shoot video with your smartphone held vertically.

Why Use A Tripod? Smartphone Video Tips

Filmmaker Gina DeGirolamo discusses why and how to use a tripod for your smartphone videos.

For more filmmaking tips and travel tales from Gina DeGirolamo, check out the full Twelve Travel Questions interview here.


Twelve Travel Questions with Gareth Leonard

TripFilmsInterview-T2T-SaltName: Gareth Leonard
Home Base: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Last Trip: World Cup
Next Trip: Northeastern Brazil
Twitter: @tourist2townie

1. What are three things you take on every trip?

I never leave home without my Macbook Pro, Exofficio underwear and positive attitude.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

I strongly believe in exercise over a nap. You need to get the blood flowing with a run, swim or workout of some kind. Also, water is the remedy for everything.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

Find the highest lookout point and the central market.


4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

My favorites include Peruvian ceviche, Colombian Bandaje Paisa, Argentine Bife de Chorizo and Brazilian Açaí. And as for the worst… Bolivia can be tough if you’re eating at a local level.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

Machu Picchu. The hype is real.


6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.” Not exactly a travel quote, but it’s definitely true. The harder you work the luckier you get.

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Any Salt-N-Peppa song.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

It involves two Colombians, mango slices, a bottle of aguadiente and a small, back-alley salsa club in Medellin, Colombia… that’s all I can say in writing.


9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

Travel videos are meant to inspire and educate people about the world around them. As a traveler, it’s great to have some visuals of where you’re going or where you’d like to go.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

I want to entertain viewers and motivate people who wish for a life of travel. That’s the correct answer, right? The real reason is to make all my exes jealous… Hey Lisa who dumped me in 8th grade, how do you like me now!?


11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Go further, do more, be creative. Be original. Too many people follow the same patterns and make the same content. Be yourself and push the envelope.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Meet, interact and listen to locals. This is the simple philosophy that I travel by.

Watch travel videos by Gareth Leonard here.


Videographer Wanted in Dubai


GetYourGuide is a marketplace for tours and activities around the world. About two years ago, the Visual Content department was created to commission photos and videos of the company’s tours. GetYourGuide is looking for a good videographer in Dubai who would be interested in taking the tours for free and filming them. They will pay for the raw footage and handle all the post-production of the videos in-house.

Here are examples of some of the tours that GetYourGuide would like to film:

To apply, leave a comment here to request an introduction or send an email to directly.

Introducing Armchair Traveler

armchair banner

Armchair travel is a real thing. Studies have shown that travel, and even the act of planning a trip or imagining yourself in a new place, can improve creativity and self-awareness. Reading a book set in an exotic destination or watching a film from another country can give you some of the same feelings of discovery you get when traveling. At Tripfilms, we have thousands of travel videos ready to transport you to a faraway place. Learn about a new city, and maybe get some ideas for a real world journey of your own.

We’ll make it easy for you—subscribe to the brand new Armchair Traveler newsletter and you will receive the best handpicked travel videos from all over the world delivered directly to your inbox. It’s like going to an airport, reading the destinations on the departure board, and buying a ticket to anywhere. For a look at our first edition, “Armchair Traveler: Paris,” click here.

Where will you travel next? Don’t miss a journey—subscribe today at

Twelve Travel Questions with Gina DeGirolamo

Gina D. Red Rock

Name: Gina DeGirolamo
Home Base: Paso Robles, CA
Last Trip: Las Vegas, NV
Next Trip: Santa Fe, NM
Twitter: @cinemaevino

1. What are three things you take on every trip?

Camera, microphone, tripod.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?

Sleep. There’s just no fighting it. Also, lots of water on the flight and movement. I often get up and stretch including touching my toes and reaching for the ceiling.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place?

Eat. It’s the best way to dive into the culture and awaken the senses to a new place.

4. What place has the best food?

Italy. It does not matter what restaurant you walk in to or what region you are in. You just cannot get a bad meal. A simple dish of pasta can be so elegant and the love for food just oozes everywhere.

The worst food?

Germany. I only say that because I went there after Italy and it was a complete letdown after weeks of orgasmic eating experiences. It’s as if food is utilitarian.

Gina D. field-1

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?

Portofino, Italy. It’s so incredibly beautiful. Even the clothes hanging on the balconies are works of art. The feeling of a love for life and just the peacefulness that I felt while I was there is an experience I can call upon at anytime and it brings joy to my heart. I really do embrace the European/Latin way of life. I love to start my day slowly and work for a few hours then take a nice lunch break and possibly a siesta. I feel refreshed to get up on the afternoon and work. My creativity often flows best late in the day and early evening.

6. What is your favorite travel quote?

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Anything Santana.

8. What is your craziest true travel story?

Hmmmmm…….not sure I have one. Other than the time I was approached by gypsies  in Florence. Three young people came up to me. One had a newspaper and held it up to me, another touched my hair and tried to tell me I was beautiful and the third was reaching in my pocket. They didn’t think I would feel it because of the others distracting me, but I did and I grabbed her hand and she had some of my money. She immediately let go of it and they ran off.

me on st

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

I think creating travel videos is an awesome way to capture the true experience of your trip and it can be an awesome way to share your experience with others. While photos are awesome and I do shoot tons myself, videos help you to convey the emotion you felt about your trip, especially when you choose music that means something to you and you put that in the video. It’s an incredible memoir to have. I also love the feeling of creativity I have when making them. The video has to be done well though  and it’s not that hard once you learn some principles of filmmaking. There are a few simple things that one needs in order to make good travel videos. One is good sound, another is a tripod, and a third is an understanding of good composition and lighting.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos?

My goal is to share my passion of the place I am visiting and to teach people how to make better videos. Travel and filmmaking are two of my passions so I just want to do them both and have others be inspired to follow their passions as well.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Spend some time learning some basic filmmaking skills which can easily be done by watching how to videos. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a lot of gear. You can easily use your smartphone as your full production studio to create some amazing videos. Practice shooting and editing and watch other people’s videos and see what it is you like about them. The video really comes together in the editing process so shoot lots of footage of different places, people you encountered and things that captured your attention.

If you love photography and filmmaking like I do, the act of shooting becomes part of your travel experience and allows you to see things in new ways. It allows you to focus in on the things that capture your attention. These shots are the ones that will put your fingerprint on your videos. If you are traveling to a place that is very popular, like Paris for example, when you shoot the Eiffel Tower don’t just shoot a wide shot and be done with it. Show some details of what caught your eye. Look for unique angles that the rest of us have not seen before an express your feeling and emotion of your experience.

12. What is your best travel tip?

Embrace every moment whether you think it’s good or bad. Ultimately it’s all about the experience of life and opening our minds. Live it! Love it! Capture it!

Watch travel videos by Gina DeGirolamo here.


New TripVlogger Series: Venice, Italy

Our newest TripVlogger series takes us abroad to one of the most famously beautiful and romantic cities in the world: Venice, Italy. Let Wine Oh TV Host Monique Soltani show you around the top sights to see, the dining you won’t want to miss, her top picks for places to stay, and, of course, where to go wine tasting. You’ll also find out the best time to go cruising the canals in a gondola. Watch the videos to pay your own virtual visit to the Floating City.

Venice, Italy’s Treasure

Wine Oh TV Host Monique Soltani travels to Venice, Italy. She shows you how to wade your way through Venice, Italy, one of the most romantic and exciting cities in the world.

Venice, Italy: Top Sights to See

Wine Oh TV Host Monique Soltani travels to Venice, Italy and shows tourists the top sights to see.

Venice, Italy: Where to Eat

Wine Oh TV Host Monique Soltani travels to Venice, Italy. She takes us on an epicurean adventure and shows travelers where to wine and dine on the romantic island of Venice.

Venice, Italy: Where to Stay

Wine Oh TV Host Monique Soltani travels to Venice, Italy. From budget buys to the best of the best, Monique shows travelers the best place to stay in Venice, Italy.

Venice, Italy: Wine Tasting in Trentino

Wine Oh TV Host Monique Soltani travels to Venice, Italy. She leaves the canals of Venice and explores wine-making in the mountains. Learn about Northern Italy’s premiere sparkling wines: Trentodoc.

[All video descriptions by filmmaker.]