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Congratulations To PFRE Videographer for May - Hamish Beeston of Bristol, UK

Published: 31/05/2014

HamishBeestonAnd the winner is Hamish Beeston of  Beeston Media, in Bristol, UK. Patrick Kerwick, one of the two video jurors this month said:

I am absolutely astounded by the quality of work that was submitted this month, it was a pleasure just watching each of the videos for my own education as a fellow videographer. As you all have seen, it’s a tough call to choose just one, especially when there are so many interesting approaches here to consider, but when it came down to it, Hamish’s work is in every way a top notch professionally executed production, following a format that works for marketing almost any luxury good. In fact it reminded me a bit of what I’ve seen from many luxury goods companies lately, and certainly a style that will bring in consistent work on high-end projects. Thank you all for sharing your work with us, and congratulations to Hamish Beeston!

Allan, Patrick and I ranked the top 4 videos as follows:

  1. Hamish Beeston - Bristol, UK : 11 points - Hamish's video.
  2. Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO: 6 points - Charlie's video
  3. Faran Saberi, Perth, AU: 4 points - Faran's video
  4. Barry Fisch, Encinitas, CA: 4 points - Barry's video

I've added all the entrants names to their videos in the Video Contest Flickr forum.

Here are Hamish's comments:

Wow, thanks so much. I'm really chuffed to win this month's contest, especially in such a strong group of films.

It seems to me that real estate videos are a lot less common in the UK than in the USA or Australia - certainly I know of only a few of us specialising in the field - so it's fantastic to take part in a contest like yours, where you get to see a wide range of work from other professionals. There's so much to learn.

Of my fellow competitors this month, I was particularly taken with Charlie Dresen's Steamboat Springs film. Using the young son from the current family to front the piece is genius and Charlie has elicited a particularly charming and natural performance, beautifully illustrated by the property shots. We make lots of regular house tours, just set to music, which are fine in themselves, but I think having a good, authentic narrative can really lift a film.

I also learnt a lot from Barry Fisch's Circa de Tierra film. I have only used a UAV a couple of times for filming and my instinct (similar to using a full size helicopter for shooting say a country house) is always to get it way up high to capture those big landscape shots. But Barry's low level UAV work is amazing - glorious sweeps over the pool and just hovering a few metres above the drive - really lovely stuff.

So, once again huge thanks for voting my film the winner. It was a lovely project to do and that rare thing of an amazing property with a proper length of time to film it (2 full days on location). If anyone is interested, we did a blog piece on our Beeston Media website about how we went about making the film.

Larry Lohrman

15 comments on “Congratulations To PFRE Videographer for May - Hamish Beeston of Bristol, UK”

  1. @Kelvin - Every video is different. Completely different.

    This contest is in it's infancy but it does need to change as another reader commented on after the first contest. It's like the UFC when it was first born. Open fights between random fighters. No weight classes, no rules except no eye gouging or biting. Well that didn't last very long, nor should this style of contest. Video is much more complex than taking photos where each person is on a level playing field with some regard. Video can take hours or days to complete depending on your budget and end goal. Some of these videos were shot over days and probably involved a crew of people.

    @Larry - I know you're probably wishing you never started this ball rolling but it's going to have a snowball effect that can't be stopped as video is here to stay and I along with more of your readers are probably going to want to see categories instead of putting the lightweight against the heavyweights. You might want to come up with a way of categorizing the videos and adding points for elements added such as aerial footage, home owner testimonials, realtor on screen etc and judge based on quality of those elements. Then there's flow, script writing, voice overs and use of transitions, music used, lifestyle footage, time-lapse and endless creative footage and story writing. Then there's one man show versus crew and GoPro vs T3i vs 5D3 vs C300 vs..... I'm not one to know or even get involved with the process of this, but it's something you may want to think about as the contest grows....and it will grow.

  2. @Matt - There are no rules here against eye gouging or biting. I'm willing to listen to suggestions that anyone makes but at the same time. Certainly video is a more complicated situation than stills and if the jurors decide to refine their voting process I'm open to it... and we could add themes or restrictions each month.

  3. Agree with all that's been said! All are very creative.

    @Larry - Would also like to have the monthly winner post - as Hamish did - set up info about the techniques used to create the various shots/ help us budding amateurs learn.

    @Hamish - Congrats! Fantastic video! Something to which the rest of us can aspire to create. Thanks for the link to the case study, too.

  4. Great Job!

    I like the fact that this was all done with a tripod and a slider. No steadicams, drones etc.... Sometimes we are so preoccupied with what gear to use, we lose focus on producing a great video.

    I learned a lot from this one. Thanx!

  5. Well done Hamish! Very nice production.

    Larry, Thank you once again for the venue. Thank you Allen and Patrick for your feedback.

    @Matt Regarding the contest format, I would actually argue that video is not really more complex than still photography. I spend far more time setting up a still shot in a home than a video shot. It also takes me quite a bit longer to shoot stills of an entire house than video.

    I would also argue that budget differences in the still contest and the video contest are very similar. The still contest has everything from the handheld point and shoot to the interior design photographer with multiple studio strobes, hot lights, wired laptop, a stager or two, an assistant etc. I actually find that adding motion simplifies things for me a little.

    The main difference I can see between the photo contest and the video contest is that the photo contest is all about one space where the video contest features a whole property or even multiple properties. As the video contest grows, I can see categories naturally forming, but I'm really enjoying this first incarnation of it. its really nice to see all levels competing in the same forum and the feedback benefits all of us. However, I wouldn't mind a little harsher criticism of my work and the others when needed. Kind of like the photo contest. I can hear Scotts comments on my photos before I even take them. It helps me set up my shot.

  6. Inspirational! Brilliant! What more can be said? Anything that makes you think differently is marvelous, opens the mind, expands the boundaries. I did a video over a year ago where the seller was an actor, well known, and she did a lovely impromptu introduction all in one take. Then she thought about it and decided she would rather not have it know where she lived so we could not use the footage, or pixelage (what do we say today without film?). Shame. I think it makes that personal, human connection between a property and the viewer.

  7. No doubt Matt has a good point. But given the low amount of videos entered in the contest, it might be hard to make categories.

    More importantly, we need to keep in mind why these videos are being made - To Sell Real Estate.

    When I see these videos shot in Hawaii with amazing visuals, I feel I don't I have a chance. But it's not really about the budget, the gear, or the price of the property. It's about the effectiveness of the story telling. If the video is engaging and make people want to go there or buy that, then we have made an effective video. You can't put a price on story telling - but you can sure see its value.

  8. "More importantly, we need to keep in mind why these videos are being made – To Sell Real Estate."

    Agree Charlie, that point does seem to get forgotten from time to time.

    Whatever the format, it's great to have so much quality in one place to learn from.

  9. Thanks for all the nice comments.

    @Kelvin, we had a 2 day shoot and 3 days budgeted for post-production. So c30 hours editing but spread over a couple of weeks to allow for client feedback / amends.

  10. @Anders - I think you misunderstood my point. A still image competition has a single image to judge whereas a video has many other variables to consider, multiple property visits, voice overs, music selection, shooting styles, cranes, sliders, lighting, wireless mic set ups, aerial footage and on and on, making it much more complex to "judge". By the way I find that interesting that you spend more time taking photos than you do video of a home. How long does it take you to photograph and video a home in a single visit?

  11. @Matt - By the way, I agree with you that the video contest could use categories some day. I guess I disagree on how complex it is to judge and also to shoot the different mediums.

    Yes, an in depth critique of a property video will probably be more time consuming than that of single still image. But as far as complexity is concerned, all of the things you mentioned above, if used properly, actually simplify the process of telling the story of a space in video. With a still photo, you can also bring every accessory in the book, but in the end, nobody talks, nothing moves, there is no music. Picking apart the subtleties that separate the best still images can be very difficult.

    I don't typically shoot homes in a single visit. In the homes I have been shooting lately, I take 2 days to shoot photos and 1 day to shoot video, and about half a day of post for each. The main reason for the time difference is that I don't shoot every single space for the video and I don't use lights for the video. It takes me a lot longer to set up the lighting for each space/room in a still shot than it does to set up my video of the same space.

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