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This Week In Real Estate Video #38 – Walk-Through or Cinematic?

December 21st, 2012

I’ve featured a number of property videos by Michael Pelzer. I ran across one of Michael’s recent videos this week.

One of the things I noticed about his style is the fact that he mixes a walk-through style with a cinematic style. I realized I don’t think I’ve seen this before.

Walk-through style is where you basically walk-through a home with the video camera on a stabilizer that removes the undesirable camera shake and movement caused by walking. Learning to use a stabilizer takes a good deal of practice.

A cinematic style is where the camera is fixed to a tripod, slider, dolly or crane and camera is smoothly moved on these devices. This is the style we are all used to seeing at the movie theater mainly because Hollywood style video cameras are all so big you can’t just carry them around by hand like a DSLR.

Most real estate videographers tend to use one style or the other and don’t mix them. Probably because of the investment in time and gear each technique takes. In fact, from what I’ve seen there’s a bit of a techno-religious separation of videographers based on the technique they use. Michael is the only real estate videographer I’ve seen that mixes both in the same property video.

Which techno-religion are you? Walk-through or Cinematic?

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17 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video #38 – Walk-Through or Cinematic?”

  • I think Michael uses both very well. I like how he uses the walk through style outside to give the feel like you are actually walking out to the dock etc.

    One thing though, I see that he is using the Warp Stabilizer filter in premiere cs6 (or something like it).. You really need to watch the settings when using it or it can ruin more than it helps. You really notice the warping (or zooming) on alot of the clips in this video. More practice, with controlled walking, planning your route and make sure you absolutely have the stabilizer balanced right should make the use of that filter unnecessary or if need be at very low settings.

    A stabilizer itself, regardless of brand, provides maybe 30-40% of the smoothness and glide…the other 60-70% is learning how to use it properly, like how to hold your hands (both hands), how to walk and how to turn properly……the setting up and balancing of the unit is the easy part. 90% of people buy these things thinking its a quick mount and away we go to smooth balanced video, and when they realize the time involved they sell it.

    I remember Fred Light pointing out that there is a reason why Steadicam operators are some oft he highest paid videographers in Hollywood.

  • I think the video is just OK….. the music is nice and the house is beautiful. But i think there is just to much going on. At the end of the day the video is ment to show the house and its features. Everything in this is just to quick, its almost like his main goal was to show all his cool techniques. Dont get me wrong, he techniques are great but i think its abit over kill.

  • Nicely done Michael. I think you have got yourself a very nice style which will be very helpful for potential buyers to understand how the property flows without actually visiting the property. In fact after seeing this video , they probably will. This really is an excellent first viewing. Congratulations!

  • you can also use a multicopter instead of a stabilizer. works way better. I don’t like when one style is more prevalent then others. loved the video.

  • Bravo Michael a fabulous blend of all the practises here, great job mate!

  • I create my listing videos using the cinematic tour style. I can’t vouch for the walk-through style because I haven’t tried it yet, although I know there is value in it when done correctly. The only thing that turns me off with the walk-through style is it makes my stomach a little queasy when the warp-stabilizer does that funny mirror thing around the edges. For a slider I use RigWheels attached to a 24 inch by 24 inch board and a couple of closet hanger poles. Very unprofessional looking, but hey I am just getting started. I’d like to get a CineSlider eventually. I also want to start incorporating jib shots to add something besides just sliding and panning. I would also like to try out the walk-through style and can see how it would be cool to mix in with cinematic techniques. Good quality music I think really helps with the viewing experience!

  • I think it’s cool to mix techniques – I think it makes for a far more interesting video. I’ve tried to mix it up periodically (actually just received my Aviator Travel Jib and anxious to start playing with it). But it still comes down to economics for me. How much time does it take to set up all this gear and shoot the house vs. how much can you charge? All of this “stuff” (sliders, jibs, cranes, dollys, etc) take extra time, extra trips to the car, more hauling around, more set up time, more chance of hitting sellers possessions (!), etc. That’s the big balance for me, especially when shooting 6-8 videos every day… I just can’t spend 2 hours shooting only the video portion in one house and I can’t do it for the money I currently charge and my business would drop if I raised my prices too much to cover the extra time and set up. It’s a lot of tradeoffs.

    I have a slider… it’s a pain in the butt to set up and use. Hence, I don’t use it often. Hardly ever in fact. The “effect” is usually not worth the extra time and trouble. I have another jib and it was the same issue. I have a skateboard dolly which I also use periodically, but it still takes extra time.

    Trying this new jib is my quest to find something that gives a great EFFECT (when needed), but is fast to set up and break down. This thing is 2 feet long when folded up and weighs next to nothing. So we’ll see how often it gets used. But in theory, it sounds like a great option for mixing up techniques in this business.

    For me, I think it’s far more interesting when you use an EFFECT as an EFFECT, not a style. Shooting an entire tour with a slider (or tripod) seems redundant to me. It offers almost nothing to the buyer in terms of additional information (such as layout). Houses don’t move – so to move a camera 2 feet across a room on EVERY single scene just doesn’t seem to present any additional value over good stills to the buyer OR the Realtor (the actual customer). And showing running water out of a $150 Home Depot faucet or showing 3 gas burners turned on, or a door opening just seems like a way to grasp at “something” that is moving to prove it’s real “video”. But the overall effect is virtually the same as good still photos.

    Why people refer to this as “cinematic” is beyond me. No movie ever made was shot entirely with a slider. Not one.

  • Very nice video, quality is excellent. However, I agree with PaulyG in the fact that it was hard to take in the beautiful rooms and views because the walk through portion was like the videographer was on a motorized scooter and the slider cuts were too short for me. I like the combined video styles, however I felt like it was a race through the home.
    Michael, thank you for sharing!
    Happy Holidays to All
    Ron

  • I think the beginning transisitions are too abrupt. It is a large house and those high end buyers, if interested would seriously spend more time to watch a longer video (add longer clips, still or motion shot durations). also the timing is erratic as it is laid out so it is not easy to watch, too erratic go back and be carefull of the pace. Some shots are nice like the waterfalls, but the walk thru clips of some of the rooms are too fast, having no ability to take in the whole room. It may keep the seller happy but it needs more polish, especially at the price level this home is at. Good material it just need to be recut. Slow down and add longer smoother transisitions. You don’t have to show everything just the important parts, enough to get a new buyer in to view it in person. That is the point of what we do not necessarily art, but sales. Don’t get me wrong as it is the end result that counts. A sale, and in this case a huge one.

  • Maybe Tom G and Pauly G could show their websites under their names so we can see some of their work?

    I find alot of people who comment on what should and shouldnt be in a video, what the length should be etc, have barely shot any video themselves and in all honesty wouldnt have the slightest idea of what works and doesnt work in terms of video for real estate and what agents might want.

    The point of Larry’s blog was to see (ask) what style people are using.

  • -Really Nice Video
    -I love the mix of Walk-through & Cinematic
    -The video was not boring at all!
    -I like the fact that it doesn’t have a voiceover… I can’t stand voiceovers, labels with music are much better in my opinion…

    In 2012, I’ve created over 30 HD Video Walk-through. My clients seem to love them because it makes them standout in a crowd of over 50,000 agents in my local area… The homeowners love the videos even more [I’ve received many thank you emails from them] My clients who started using my video services are getting more listings because of this… I know this fact because they’re happy to pay the higher prices and they want the videos created for all their listings (Money Talks). Next year I’m look forward to creating many more videos… It amazes me how many people watch the videos completely to the end… I’m always looking to improve the videos I create and I’m going to look into cinematic…
    Larry thank you for bring this topic up!

  • @Fred- You make good points, as usual.

    I was sloppy with the terminology I used. Use of sliders and or cranes are effects or as wikipedia says, “techniques” and wikipedia actually includes a steadicam as a cinematic technique. Ken Burns panning is probably a cinematic technique too.

  • Great work but you need to learn how to fly the camera correctly instead of relying on all that software stabilization. It was pretty bad with the image distorting all over the place.
    There is no way you should be using it for inside and watch out for those mirrors :-).
    May I ask what camera and lens you where using?

    I’m with Fred, people want the nuts and bolts of a house and not sensitive artistic time consuming shots unless they are prepared to pay for it.

  • I like the mixture. A complete walk through is for buyer and informational purposes. If thats you goal then do a walk through. The cinematic is way more sexy. As a Realtor for me videos are so I can get more listings so I prefer the sexy but this video mixes it up even more and is sexy. I bought a black bird and tried it once and wow…its gonna take some practice for sure! A video without a voice over or an agent intro is lacking one thing…..in my opinion the most important thing and that is SELLING! And that is why we do this. Wether its selling a house (my reason is selling the agent, in disguise…and it works!) Great work on this video for sure and I think the stabilizer work is great from a guy that tried it once….someone say they wanted to buy a stabilizer? 🙂

  • Great video. As with anything, the more tricks you have in your bag the better. Adding interest to the viewer is what it’s all about. I agree with Fred that all slider shots gets repetitive and can be a little boring. I’ve been mixing steadicam and slider shots for a while with mixed results (there are a few on my site). The goal this year is to get a little jib and hopefully take things to another level. The more I learn about video, even after about 40 or so, the more I realize I have a long way to go.

  • @Fred you seem to have hit everything regarding the concept of cinematography right on the head of the nail.
    That being said – when looking at a sum total of the work available to see by Michael is very nice. He is out there and putting more work out there. That helps all of us by making it easier to say – this is what you need to do.

  • beautiful. dream-like quality. love it.

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