I've been talking to Malia Campbell about her experiences expanding her real estate photography business into video.
Here is one of her recent videos. What attracted my attention about Malia's video is the smooth left and right camera moves. It doesn't take long to realize that the rock-solid smooth left and right moves like this means that Malia is using a camera dolly just like the Hollywood guys do. Malia has built her own Chase Jarvis DIY camera dolly. I think this little 1:53 minute video works very well. It comes across smooth and elegant. Just like you want to show off a small condo.
Malia is in the process of working out all the issues you have to deal with when you expand into video:
- How to move the camera around an keep the motion smooth and steady? There are two typical solutions, a stabilizer that lets you walk around with the camera and a dolly and Malia is using. I think Malia's DYI dolly solution works well.
- Were do you host the video? Malia started out at Vimeo but realized that Vimeo doesn't allow commercial video. I suggested that instead of trying dealing with the complexity of hosting her own video that she use at least YouTube.com and WelcomeMat.com and as many other other sites that allow real estate video as possible.
- How do you price a video shoot compared to stills? Of course a lot depends on the details of the product you provide but in general, for the level of video in this example, I think it makes sense to charge in the area of twice as much as you do for a still shoot. You have a bigger investment in equipment, hosting and a much bigger investment in developing your skills to shoot video.
- Do you do just music background or narration? I encouraged Malia to find a professional voice person to work with. That way professional narration could be an option that could raise the level of her product when the agents she is shooting for are not up to their own narration.
Thanks Malia for the detail explanation of how you built your dolly. Malia's music is from friendlymusic.com. Her editing was done mostly with iMovie 11. She is in the process of moving up to Final Cut Express. I'm sure she would like to have your advice on 1-4 above.