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Resources For Getting Started In Real Estate Property Video

Published: 21/01/2016
By: larry

Robert is looking for some resources for getting started in real estate video. He says:

I'm chopping at the bit to learn more on video and how to use it for real estate. I need baby steps and Adobe Elements is too intimidating for me. In addition to performing simple cuts, jump cuts, blends, text overlays, I'd like to get into time-lapse too. I run a Windows machine with plenty of processing power, so my hardware is up to the challenge. I've got some DSLR equipment that should do the trick, but I just need some software for it. Any info you could share would be great! Also, where the best source was to grab royalty free music?

For video editing software Allan Mackenzie in his PFRE post from a number of years ago suggests that Premiere Elements (Win/Mac) or iMovie (comes on Macs) are a good video editing applications to start with and then move up to Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro (Mac) as your skills and needs increase.

So here are some resources for learning to shooting video with a DSLR:

  1. There is a PFRE guest post by Allan MacKenzie on What's Essential For Someone Getting Started in Video. Allan did this way back in 2011 so some references are out of date.
  2. Here's a good book on the basics of shooting HD Video with Your DSLR. There are many others but this is one of my favorites.
  3. Malia Campbell has some posts on her blog about getting started in video. Note that Malia also does one-on-one video mentoring via Skype or in person (contact her via her website):
  4. Here is an article on about royalty free music and sources for royalty free music.

Anyone else have any resources to recommend for people getting started in shooting property video?

9 comments on “Resources For Getting Started In Real Estate Property Video”

  1. Just a couple. Stay simple to begin with. The new iMovie 10.1 has many improvements over the earlier editions including very good color, saturation, contast, shadow and highlight correction, and most of all in my book, "stabilizer" filter that will smoothing out those inevitable shakinesses that happen. Frankly, I don't use sliders and fluid head on tripod shots. I hand hold and gain steadiness with a Steadicam Merlin 2 which folds up flat and can make your video much smoother. Takes a little getting the hang of to be sure and temperamental in a breeze but makes shooting as you move through a room, I up and down steps, across landscaping etc as well as smooth pans a breeze. Then any smaller jiggling can be taken care of in post with iMovie. Apparently, iMove is a good training now for Final Cut Pro as you want more editing control. But iMovie also supports "B" roll as well, which makes agent voice over and interviews a breeze as well as green screen (or blue screen). And iMovie will also let you crop and use Ken Burns effect on video as well as still shots. Very useful for zooming in when you have shot everything in wide angle. Hope this helps some.

  2. Great advice above. Keep it very simple to begin with. The tools you can use for video can get VERY expensive VERY quickly. It's FAR more involved than still photography. If you enjoy shooting video and you find that it's a viable business option for you, THEN you can break the bank! (and it's very easy, trust me! I feel like I funded the west wing of B & H Photo!)

    You need to deal with shooting, editing, lighting, audio, compression, purchasing royalty free music, and a whole lot more - and that's only the beginning. You'll need more powerful computers, much larger storage devices (everything is moving to 4K pretty rapidly and the files are massive) and putting together a video can be very time consuming, so establishing an efficient workflow is very important or you will spend hours and hours editing your project. If you're not charging enough to cover that time, you'll burn out pretty quickly!

    As far as software, you can still get MovieMaker for Windows 10 ( which is free and I would assume fairly easy to use (probably similar to iMovie). Most new cameras you will buy from now on (even the current iPhone is 4K) will probably shoot 4K video, so you need to be sure your software and hardware won't choke on those file sizes.

  3. If Adobe Elements in "too intimidating" one month of with their training tutorial would be money well spent. An extended subscription wouldn't be bad either.

    Like you, I started with baby steps then adding skill levels to where now about to go full video. Studying styles during the interim, but started with simple clips that embedded in regular tours - which Tourbuzz (yesterday's topic) allows. Used natural moving events. A classic was the front door opening (behind if solid, fishing line if transparent door) as a transition in the tour from exterior to interior. Then added clips together - focus pull of flower to front door, door opening, then a slider of entry area detail. Now I am doing walkups to the door, opening, then a quick loop inside.

    It takes practice and gains confidence to then take it to the next level. Since switching to Sony, while I like the camera and video, one problem I am having is their 'focus by wire' has made focus pulls with native lens near impossible.

  4. Would anyone like to provide a gear recommendation? I'd like to offer video and I'm trying to decide between the Nikon d5500, Sony a6000, and Panasonic G7. I know the Panasonic is likely best of the three for video. But since I'm starting out I'd like to combine a good stills and video camera into one unit and don't want to make a major mistake in my initial investment.

  5. Gear does not matter. Captivating story telling trumps all.

    Yes, a great camera, lens, slider, iMac with Premiere helps, but just because you have all that gear doesn't mean you'll make money in the real estate video arena. You have to tell a good story and make a video people want to watch. Then your business will grow.

  6. For those who are serious about learning filmmaking for real estate, I offer one-on-one mentoring, either in person or via Skype. All of the people I've worked with have gone on to make some really killer videos! I don't want to hijack this thread so feel free to email me directly for more information.

  7. Hi Guys and thanks for everyone's reply! Two quick follow-up questions:

    1. Royalty free music....Did someone say that youtube has a ton of it and free? How do I access this library of music?
    2. No one has addressed time-lapse photography. I tried it on my smart phone, works great, but exports lousy. I've got my external timer, so my question is two parts:
    a. Software needed to render time lapse
    b. Can I shoot video, speed it up and still get decent results?

    Thanks everyone!

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