Property Video For $12.8M Vail Listing

December 26th, 2010

John Nilsson sent me this example of a cozy little $12.8 M ski cabin listing he shot recently in Vail, Colorado.

While I know this technique of mixing Ken Burns stills with video in a property video is controversial with some readers, I think John has managed to do it quite well with this technique. He has used video with the water feature and fire place and used stills in other situations where most viewers can’t even tell the difference between still shots an video. I think he’s done a good job of capturing the dramatic stairway in this property without using a jib to make the camera move perfect. You have to watch very closely to notice that he’s shooting this handheld as he pans up the stairway. Again, most viewers are not going to notice this slight flaw.

My suggestion to John was that he write a script and have a professional voice over person voice a 3 minute track for the video. Professional narration would take this video to the next level for less than $100 and communicate a lot more information in 3 minutes. I think the video quality is quite good at 720p. It looks very respectable on my 27″ iMac screen.

I’m sure you’ll have even more advice for John. Thanks John for sharing your work with us and letting us pick it apart!

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9 Responses to “Property Video For $12.8M Vail Listing”

  • Very well done. For this video he might include some “ski activity” to really drive home the advantages of video over a slideshow such as some ski slope footage, booting-up and walking out the door or relaxing with hot buttered rum by the fire.
    Just my 2 cents.

  • I wonder why the video isn’t on the listing site…

  • As demonstrated in one of Larry’s previous emails, where the agent included a lot of the local amenities, and to elaborate on ted’s suggestion, it might help to have a few frames of the “Vail Village” mentioned in the listing, and any other nearby attractions/conveniences. The house is awesome, but it feels isolated in the woods and might benefit from a sense of it’s relationship to the rest of the community.

  • This is cool. Great Photos. Saw something very similar at I think this is the new way to do video. Pictures always turn out nicer than video does, so pictures should always be included in a video like this, and video adds that extra sizzle and is not terribly difficult. What’s the beef with adding Ken Burns affects to video? Can you point to a thread regarding the controversy? Thanks. John

  • Thanks for the comments guys. Larry did feature my first endeavor at this marriage of stills and video last summer (I think this is the post dbtappp commented on above). It got so many negative comments on the inclusion of the area and amenity stills and video that I stopped putting them in. I think I’ll start adding area/amenity frames back in thanks to the comments above. I agree they ad flavor and strength to the real estate product.

    I personally have never heard of controversy on the Ken Burns effect. I definitely think it can be very easily over-done and only used sparingly with little movement.

  • John,

    When including Vail amenities I would probably only do them at the beginning and end unless there are some you can see from the deck of the home. If you see them from the home I would take the view out the door to the deck and then show the video footage from the deck.

  • You have to be careful about including community/ town amenities in these videos if they’re NOT narrated. If you want to use them on the MLS (which I do), they may have issues with showing nearby amenities out of context (if there’s only background music), as the assumption “could be” that these amenities are right next door to the property, when, in fact, they could be 10 miles away! (My MLS does have issues with this). By narrating the video (in addition to making it a bit more interesting), you can put all of that into context and make it all make sense and the MLS is totally fine with that!

    I actually agree anyway – people will make a LOT of assumptions if there is no explanation about the nearby community that you are portraying. From a pure business perspective, it also bumps up the pricing (for me anyway), as I charge an additional $100 for narration, so it oftentimes pushes people to a higher price point because they want those community shots (Which is easy, as I have amassed about 3 terabytes of community footage for dozens of towns I work in, which I take all the time when I’m out shooting houses).

  • Hi cool video. I like this style. I have been using similar style for a while now with pretty good results. I agree about having narration if you can. this is the last video I did back in November using video and photos with some narration.
    thanks, MIKE

  • Great video and mix of pix and video elements. I disagree with using scripted narration which can be hard to pull off. Maybe a seller’s comments that can be edited for emotional effect: unscripted. I like great pictures and music to set an emotional reason to consider the property. There is enough information that can be conveyed by the MLS or the web page that the video is embedded on. I also think that shorter is better.

    Great work to all!

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