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This Week In Real Estate Video #65 – Los Gatos and Steamboat

July 5th, 2013

This last week I heard from Sabrina Huang, an old friend I met at the workshop we held in April of 2008 in Seattle. Sabrina sent me a link to her latest video of a spacious home on the market in Los Gatos.

Sabrina would like your gentle feedback on her video. I think she did a wonderful job on this property! My only feedback to her is I would have liked the closing shot of the fire by the side of the pool at the very end to be video rather than a still. It’s a great twilight shot but some how the flickering fire and shimmering pool would have been awesome in video.

The workshop where I met Sabrina is the same event where I met Scott Hargis, Thomas Grubba, Aaron LeitzRon Kenny, Dan Achatz, Charlie Dresen and 25 other real estate photographers. I was reflecting on the fact that in 2008 no one was even talking about video, but today in  many of the people that were at the workshop are either shooting video or using video in their business in some way.Video has become much more important in the last five years!

Speaking of Charlie Dresen, he must have known I was talking about him. After I’d written the above, I got a video link from Charlie of a very nice little video for a listing he has in Old Town Steamboat. Nice job Charlie!

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8 Responses to “This Week In Real Estate Video #65 – Los Gatos and Steamboat”

  • Nice video. Most realtors don’t share this opinion but I really like how you included the family in the home, I might have used a little less of the kids around the pool but that’s totally subjective.

    The opening was a bit strange, again I think a great use of showing people and community and I liked the “DVE” quad split, but when you cut to the stills that where pillar bared it almost instantly appeared to be a slideshow. You have plenty of room to crop them to 16×9 and if you would have done a bit of the Ken Burns effect it would have continue the nice pacing that you had established.

    Here are a couple of guidelines, try to always cut on motion, if you have a dolly move or pan cut to it already in progress, if you cut to it and then wait for the move to start it really slows down your pacing and camera moves generally smooth out after the initial start. Depending on your lens try to make pans last at least 8-10 seconds from raster to raster, another thing that effects that rule of thumb is frame rate, but most people will view these videos on a progressive monitor and if the pan is too quick it becomes “stepy or jerky.” Finally the audio was a bit distracting, you had natural sound up in parts and not others and it was noticeable when you brought it in.

    I think you did a great job, you made that house feel like a home. Homes aren’t all about the square footage and number of bedrooms, you captured the personality of the property.

  • Overall it is nicely done, Chuck had some very valid points about the edit.

    One thing I noticed is the natural sounds at a few points were too loud and became more of a noise. I think it was the pumps for the water slide that bothered me the most, it starts at 1:12 in the video and at that point is out of context with the scene. I would have faded that in when the child was running up the stairs in the pov scene and then as he came down the slide. Fade out the sound once he come out of the water. I also suspect these sounds were recorded with a DSLR having a proper audio recorder is very important and these days they are pretty inexpensive like the Tascam DR-40. You will find they record a much richer sound even with their built in mics, but proper mics make it even better. Audio is 50% of a good video, I know I’m still learning 🙂

    BTW the Stillmotion crew has some great courses that they teach and it is all about story. They give you some strange assignments, but they really want to teach you the importance of how everything affects the perception of your story. Look at all the videos Larry shows us and the ones that come off the best are the ones that have a story in them. One thing always you should always ask yourself when planning a shot is ‘why’.

  • I would like to add to the above comments by saying look at Charlie’s video and notice how well his sound works. Also see how well the voice over matches the visual story everything is relevant. I also like his handheld camera work in this case because the house is so natural and organic the subtle camera movement adds to this feel. Here is a video with a story.

  • Greg – Audio is so important. I was taught early on that people will tolerate marginal visuals as long as the audio is crisp. And that’s what I thought of while watching Sabrina’s video. The different levels of the audio was one thing that stood out to me too.

    Sabrina – Your video is nice but the audio level just need to be smoothed out. Be really sensitive to the levels throughout the entire video. One of the last things I do while editing is move the audio meter next to the video window and watch them side by side. You never want the viewer adjusting the levels while they watch. And then when a new audio is introduced, use slow fades so we’re not surprised by the new sounds. Even begin the sound before the picture appears. Those are all simple changes and will add so much to the overall feel of the video.

  • Thank you everyone for those great feedback. This is my 2nd videos so I am still learning. I was using a Rode VideoMic Pro Hotshoe Microphone to record the sound, pay attention when editing to make sure they are not in the red zone, and run smooth. I will make sure to do a better job next time. It’s very fun to do videos even though it’s harder to do a good one. Thanks again. 🙂

  • Great job for your 2nd video Sabrina. I personally would have liked to see a voice over, but everyone has a different opinion on that. In this case I think the use of the family added to the video, but you have to be careful not to over do it. The house and amenities should be the main focus.

  • Lovely work Sabrina – only one complaint though – I’m going to be whistling that tune all day long!

    We too are in the beginning stage of our videos and while I agree with including community stuff and selling a lifestyle, I’m wondering if it’s best left to the end of the video.

    As Fred Light says, often the video is the LAST thing buyers see in the process. They’ve seen the pics, they may know generally where the property is located – do they just want to get into the meat and potatoes of the actual house first? Then we upsell the lifestyle of the home and the area?

    Not a criticism, more of a point of discussion.

    There is one thing I have no doubt about however – video is like a tidal wave that is coming whether real estate agents like it or not – but what a great time to be a part of a massive evolution in marketing – and it’s a lot of fun too.

  • Thank to Dylan and Terry for the feedback. I personally don’t like voice-over because all the details of the house should be on MLS, flyer, agent’s website, and all other website such as Zillow, Redfin, etc already. I think when buyers are spending their time watching a video that they are looking for something else – a vision to see if they can see themselves living there, to feel about the house whether is the surrounding, the layout/floor plan, the window/how bright it is, etc, and the music I pick is playing into the feeling I want them to have. . . something the text or the still images can’t offer.

    Buying a house is a emotional thing and woman usually is the one have strong influence on which house to see. I am female, a real estate agent, and a photographer/videophographer so when I filming a video I have different purpose/view point/target buyers in mind. The things that go into my decision on how I am going to tell a story about this house – what’s listing price, what’s the location represent, who are the buyers, and what they are looking for, etc. It’s a subtle way to trigger buyers to see the house. A set of good still images used to do the job but now I am dealing with a lot of relocation buyers and foreign investors (assuming so as other agents in my area), I need videos to do what still images can’t.

    Although what buyers and other agents are looking for in a video is different than other videographers, I do want to improve my skills and maybe one day you all would giving me a big pat on my shoulder. That would be nice too. It’s different type of recognition. 🙂

    Thanks again for everyone who is taking the time giving me feedback, especially to Larry.

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