Congratulations To Travis Rowan – Winner Of Aug/Sep Property Video Contest

October 3rd, 2014

TravisAug-SeptWinCongratulations to Travis Rowan, of Maui, HI, who has won the August/September property video of the month contest with his video at the right. Click the image to the right to watch the video. Also click the numbers listed below to see each video that the jury awarded points to.

This is the second win in a row for Travis. He won the July video contest as well. Pretty amazing work Travis!

Here is the jury’s voting results:

  1. 17 points, #2Travis Rowan – Maui, HI
  2. 11 points, #6, Charlie Dresen – Steamboat Springs, CO
  3. 9 points, #10, Jason Ikaida – Portland, OR
  4. 3 points, #7, Josh Gold – Tel Aviv, Israel

I’ve put the names of all 10 contestants on their videos in the video contest flickr group. Be sure to checkout the juror comments and feel free to comment on the videos.

Travis’s comments on the video are as follows:

Thanks for the votes and recognition, it means a lot. There are so many great entries again, it’s an honor to be recognized.

About the video: The Realtor, Scott Innes, had the idea of using the words of the current owners to describe their home and lifestyle. Scott always has great ideas and is willing to try something different. He also does a great job as the voice.

For this home, we wanted to really bring an emotional element to it since it is a real home with real people living there as opposed to the glitzy estates that tend to speak for themselves.

I shot both stills and video all in one day at which point the voiceover script wasn’t together yet. I generally prefer to have a voiceover script in hand first to serve as a shot list but everyone’s busy schedule and weather issues did not allow that. So I shot everything as I normally would then Scott presented the script to me a few days later, I refined the script to suit the visuals I had. Then we got together to record it. I pieced it all together in the edit and I feel like we really captured the feel and emotion of the home. Scott also chose the music, which for me is one of the most challenging parts. He nailed it.

Video was shot with: Phantom 2 / Hero 3, Panasonic GH3 and Nikon D800 edited in Final Cut Pro X with audio recorded on Zoom H1 with lav mic.

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17 Responses to “Congratulations To Travis Rowan – Winner Of Aug/Sep Property Video Contest”

  • One day I would like to see the criteria for the scoring system used for the videos. For six years I was the digital competition chair for a very active camera club of 200+ people, from the scores I see here I feel that the scoring is more emotional than based on any criteria. I just cannot see how Josh received only 3 points for his video. The way I see it, if there is not a criteria system one needs to be created so each judge knows what is required of them. Scoring should be on different criteria and some will be very subjective, but things will even out.

    For example:
    1/ Technical – includes exposure, camera movement, audio quality, auxiliary lighting
    2/ Aesthetic – includes composition, camera angles, effective use of movement (you don’t walk away saying wow I want a MoVI because it should really show off the home/lifestyle), quality of edit
    3/ Communication – does it communicate the feel/features of the house, community or the sense of living there.
    4/ Impact – this is the feeling one, would you want to view this home, after all that is what this is all about.

    Maybe the videos should be like the photographer of the month where there is a type of video for example; lifestyle, cinematic etc. I might be the one off base here so please share your ideas.

  • Congratulations again for the serial winner Travis !

    Greg, this was discussed before and we are all agree but the problem is there’s not that much entries to be able to put some criteria or type of video. Photography contest have sometimes 30 to 40 entries/month, this one had 10 in 2 months.

  • Greg, I couldn’t agree more about your comments and how Josh only received 3 points. Not to take away from Travis, but the judging is wonky which is what Greg is touching on and it’s because they have no real direction other than their own personal taste.

    I too have brought up this discussion before. The fact that the photos and videos are all thrown into the same category just doesn’t make sense. The fact that entries go up live to view as they are received is not a great idea either. There should be a deadline to receive images or videos by (which there is), then all images or videos go live for viewing at the same exact time. This would increase the number of entries received as you wouldn’t have people waiting until the 11th hour to make their decision based on comparing their photo or video to all the others entered. As soon as they see one which they perceive as much better, they naturally refrain from entering. This is nothing new and how most contests work.

    Favourites, Comments and constructive criticism should not be visible until AFTER the judging has been completed. This way favourites and comments by impressionable people won’t sway voting decisions.

  • OK I will put my money where my mouth is, may also be the location of my foot. If people think it is a good idea I will be willing to facilitate judging. That is I will not be a judge, but arrange the judges, release the videos to the judges on the week of judging. Gather the scores and release the results to Larry. I think the criteria I outlined would work fine if each category is worth 5 points for an accumulated score of 20 from each judge. It will require 5 judges, you do not have to be shooting video to judge. We all can see good and bad, sometimes the non-videographer will actually provide the better feedback because they aren’t wowed by a technique as much as the result. A judge will have to commit to reviewing the entries over a one week period, all scores and comments will go directly to the facilitator, only the total score and the comments are released. When I ran the photo competitions we took the highest and lowest scores and threw them out, as strange as that sounds it makes the judging very fair. If there were ties a tie breaking vote was launched for all judges. This is about the fairest judging system I have worked with.

    I will let Larry decide if this is a good idea or if he would like to have someone else facilitate the competitions. Maybe there should be a poll to see how many would be willing to judge at some time, and if you think this is a good idea. Without some volunteer judges this won’t work so we have to see if it is possible.

    BTW I’d like to say that the videos entered are all very good and I congratulate the winner for his excellent entry. I was only concerned by the point spread on a series of videos that all are of high quality.

  • Congratulations to all of the competitors this month! It was a really solid batch and very hard to choose, but Travis was the stand out and absolutely deserved the win and recognition. Congratulations Travis! Well done once again. Love your work.

    I also want to congratulate Charlie, Jason and Josh for three very different and very good videos. I wont be surprised to see any of you win this thing at some point.

    Charlie, your work is refreshing, out of the box of the standard real estate video and a pleasure to watch. Well done this month!

  • Regarding the format of the contest, I think most people agree that it would be nice to have categories. I feel the contest needs to grow before we can get to the point, and I believe it will. I think Greg mentions some good criteria to consider. I do consider a lot of factors when judging a video but in my opinion “impact” is more important than most.

    by the way, is it wrong to want a MoVI?

  • Anders a MoVI is an excellent tool. Look at Charlie’s video from yesterday an excellent example of using it to help tell the story. You feel the excitement of the kids running into the rooms. Toys and tools are the same thing it just depends on who is using it.

  • @Matt & @Greg – I appreciate your input on the format and logistics of the video contest. I’m not completely happy with the way it works either.

    Adding some structure is certainly a possibility. At the same time I don’t want it to be too complicated. Judges have a limited amount of time to spend on this.

    I’d like to get some input from the current jurors on this. Perhaps we could try out Greg’s system.

  • Thanks everyone for the votes! We’re honored to have made the top four!!

    I’d love some more feedback on what people didn’t like / where we fell short. We’re always looking to improve.

    This was our first house video so we’re still learning the ropes but here is a little more info about our process: We had a day of scouting around the city and in the home itself. Took pictures and used them to build a shot list and write a script. On the day of shooting we had a three person crew to help move gear around the home and keep us on schedule. We shot with on a 5dmkiii, a kessler crane, slider and glidecam.

    In terms of results, we made two versions of the video (French and English) and posted the video in a few different places. It got about 20k views in its first week, landed the agent a few hundred phone calls, and tens of people booked flights from the States and Europe to comes see the house.

    If anyone has any more questions or comments, I’d be happy to answer.

  • I’m up for trying Greg’s system – I think his categories are a sensible way to judge a film – and it would certainly be good to score every entry individually.

    To clarify the current method (re Greg’s ‘I just cannot see how Josh received only 3 points for his video’) it’s not that Josh only got a 3 / 10, clearly his film is way better than a 30% ‘score’, but rather he got 3 of the points available to give. The judges each have 10 points to distribute between ‘worthy’ films as we see fit. As an example, I used my points on 3x films, divided up into 5, 3 and 2 points. There were 3x standout films for me in this batch and I wanted them all to have some recognition, although one I thought edged it (nice work Travis!). In the past, where in my view there was a much clearer winner, I have divided it 8 points for the one I liked best and 2 points for another that I thought really really good, but not quite the winner.

    So, great, let’s try to the out-of-20 system and that way all films can have a more focussed critique to clearly defined standards. I suspect the overall results (in terms of winner, second, third etc) will be the same but it could certainly help the constructive criticism element of the competition.

  • More than anything, I enjoy the critique comments on the videos and could care less about the points. I know that takes more time of the judges, but I feel that’s the helpful part of these contests to help us all improve what we do. Thank you for organizing everything, Larry.

  • Some great feedback on the judging system, we could bias the score by giving the impact a higher value. One of the most important parts of any judging is the constructive criticism. Without a good critique there is no point, we are all here to learn. Everyone has points they can improve on and things that they excel at. I really like where this is going and I think it will be a tool that everyone will be able to use to improve their work.

  • @Travis congrats great job as always, loved the concept, the owners really do know what they like best about their home.
    @Charlie, great approach, you video had me smiling the whole way through.
    @Josh, first of all 20,000 views and several flights booked make your video a winner no matter what anyone says, as a Realtor, that kind of exposure is what property videos are all about, but since you asked for comments, on the positive great job showing the whole property and getting the exposure for the seller that you did, as for the constructive comments I think your transitions were a bit fast as well as some of your fly through shots on some of the rooms, and the voice over “voice” was a bit to ridged. also typically 3.5 minutes is a bit long but I was attentive the whole way through so, that worked but that length can loose some viewers.
    @Larry & @Greg & @Matt if you change the judging I think you should include a Realtor or two, the technical stuff is all good but if it doesn’t promote the property and make the phone ring for the Realtor, it is all for naught. As one of the Realtors in the market that pays for professional photos and video’s I find it to sometimes be a struggle between creativity and effective marketing. Because ultimately at the end of the day if the photos and videos do not help me to get the house sold the value of the video and photos are limited.

  • Firstly congratulations to all the entries, you are all winners to me! Taking on the craft of motion and telling the story relating to your subject matter is no easy task. Cinematography not only is the science of camera and glass but also lighting or using available light which are just two of many elements that make up the cinematic technique. Congrats to Tavis, he always does a fabulous job and Charlie consistently comes up with refreshing creative treatments to the his work which I always look forward to what he does next.

    For me as a judge I always want to feel the story presented no matter the subject matter. For me filmmaking is about feeling, provoking an emotional response specific to the subject matter whether that’s a feeling of happy, sad, scared, angry, funny or in the case of real estate “I want to buy that place or pack up and move there” When Larry and I first discussed the judging process for the contest we always knew it was going to be dynamic and would evolve over time. I’m also open to suggestions and recommendations for changes to the judging criteria.

  • I *really* like this – much more than I thought I would. It feels like a very sweet, compelling mini-documentary. Very easy to watch. In fact, I’ve watched it twice. The producer used many top techniques for pulling in the viewer, and then KEEPING the viewer interested. I’m not even in the market for such a property and was still fascinated. Thank you very much for sharing this quality of content that shows what some of the leading-edge real estate photographers/videographers are producing.

  • Loved all of the video’s!

    Jason with #10 you have some serious skills with the drone. Love the intro shot into the foyer and the shot coming down into the trees. That takes some serious cojones.

  • The fact that commercial use of aerial photography is still unlawful taints the winnings of anyone using such. Perhaps any entrepreneur using unlawful means in production should be reviewed for rule compliance, unless, of course, the contest rules indeed allow for unlawful activity for inclusion into the event. Unless one is specifically exempted by the FAA (and at this time, 16 exemptions are on file at the FAA, the last “don’t” rule seems to apply:
    ** Don’t fly model aircraft for payment or commercial purposes ** It seems that fairness is s simple concept to apply here. The quality of work presented is exemplary, but does not overrule common sense and should not be rewarded when achieved through unlawful means. FAA.com is the source relied upon herein.

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