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Congratulations Travis Rowan - May PFRE Videographer Of The Month

Published: 01/06/2015

TravisRowanCongratulations to Travis Rowan, of Maui, Hawaii who the video jury voted the May 2015 PFRE  videographer of the month with this stunning video.

As usual with these contests, there's a lot to be learned from looking at the juror comments in the contest flickr group. Thanks to the jurors who had the time to post the comments. Note that I also have direct links to each video on the video numbers below.

Here are the points awarded by the video jurors:

  1. 113 pts, #5, Travis Rowan - Maui, Hawaii
  2. 89 pts, #9, Jacob and Jamie McNeil - Vancouver Island, British Columbia
  3. 85 pts, #7, Anders Carlson - Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  4. 82 pts, #3, David and Tina Barger - Tucson, Arizona
  5. 80 pts, #1, Rob Guillory - Calabasas, California
  6. 75 pts, #6, Owen Fielding - Hobart, Tasmania, AU
  7. 74 pts, #4, Andre Francois Mckenzie - Toronto, Canada
  8. 70 pts, #8, Michael and Laura Sosnowski - Portland, Maine
  9. 54 pts, #2, Matt Parvin -Southport, North Carolina

Thanks for the time spent by the video jurors! They make this contest work. Here is Travis's description:

Wow! Thanks again to Larry and the Judges. I’m really proud to be a part of the PFRE community and be recognized by my peers.

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.

Gear notes:
Panasonic GH4, Phantom 2 with Hero 4 with modified lens, Sennheiser G3 wireless mic system, FCPX.

Production Credits:

Initial Concept development: Travis Rowan, Tom Tezak , Listing Agent: Christina Haywood and Property owners

Shot and edited: Travis Rowan

© Travis Rowan / Living Maui Media

Larry Lohrman

6 comments on “Congratulations Travis Rowan - May PFRE Videographer Of The Month”

  1. Well done indeed Travis - a clear winner for me this month, in an excellent group of films which all show off their respective properties well. The standard is getting better all the time!

  2. The owner on the trapeze shot was the best thing I think I've ever seen in a RE video. Totally unexpected and revealed from that point on in the video that this house was something special--and still is--to the owner and the community. My second favorite point was where the owner says in the last line, "It was our job to build the infrastructure and start the story, and we wonder who will carry on the narrative." When the owner looks to the camera to say "we wonder who will carry on the narrative" and then the following shot is the swinging trapeze, it's the perfect wrap. High five, Travis!

  3. Wonderful Travis, we find your work so inspirational even for our humble little productions.

    What a truly amazing place to live and work.

  4. Thanks everyone for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. I'm glad the video's finer points resonated with you. Both the listing agent and owners were brought to tears when they first saw it. I don't normally try to make my clients cry, but in this case: tears = successful storytelling.

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