December 30th, 2015
Congratulations to Travis Rowan, of Maui, Hawaii who the video jury has just chosen as the 2015 PFRE videographer of the year. The stunning video to the right is Travis’s video that won video of the month for May 2015 that got him included as a contestant for videographer of the year.
The jurors struggled with this vote. Charlie Dresen, of Steamboat Springs, CO who was videographer of the month for January and June/July, 2015 was a very close second.
The following are Travis’s comments on his video:
What a great honor to be recognized. This is huge! I’ve learned so much from Larry’s blog and everyone else’s work and critiques. I’m truly grateful for the nod and feel a little shocked considering all of the stellar work from this year’s winners. It means a lot. Thanks very much again to Larry for all of his hard work and Happy New Year!
Tom Tezak originally called me on behalf of one of his agent’s and asked, “ Are you up for a challenge? “
I visited the property and met with the owner’s and listing agent to see if we could come up with some ideas. Tom had suggested utilizing the owner’s story in some way as they were interesting, articulate and would work well on camera. Not everyone will work on camera and I used the property visit to assess what/whom I could work with. This property is very unusual and could easily be skipped over because one may not understand it from some listing photos and standard verbiage. The video had to be emotional and give the strange architecture a context that everyone could relate to.
In my experience, videos like this are almost impossible to script and keep it feeling natural and honest. So, I create a list of talking points that will lead us where we want/have to go. Sensations, anecdotes and emotions are the driver of the story but its just as important to cover the real estate practicals ( Beds, bath, acreage, infrastructure etc. ) which are sprinkled throughout the story. The final story is created in the edit and can be directed to go any number of ways.
The narrative process: with my list of talking points, I prompt the conversation with questions and at times tell them what I want them to say or how to start and certainly some keywords to use. Working like this allows them to meander and tell stories that may come to mind. Those are the moments that I’m really trying to get because they have the greatest impact. In reality, this results in way too much footage and a serious challenge to edit. I’m not sure of any other way to achieve the honest feel. While shooting of the interview piece, I make notes of some of the less obvious things that get mentioned. These notes serve as an additional shot list that I can capture following the interview.
Aside from the initial property visit, I shot everything in one day. The edit took several hours more than usual and much was left on the cutting room floor!
I chose the B/W for the owner sequences for a few reasons: 1. Color grading was problematic. All of the light in the space was yellow/green due to the wood floors, panels and foliage outside. I added some LED panels for separation but had trouble getting his skin tones right. Additionally, he was wearing a khaki shirt. The whole scene felt monochromatic so it made sense to just take it all the way to B/W and build some pleasing contrast. 2. With the unusual nature of the property, it seemed like an opportunity to try something a little different and take a risk.
Panasonic GH4, Phantom 2 with Hero 4 with modified lens, Sennheiser G3 wireless mic system, FCPX.
Initial Concept development: Travis Rowan, Tom Tezak , Listing Agent: Christina Haywood and Property owners
Shot and edited: Travis Rowan
© Travis Rowan / Living Maui Media