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This Week In Real Estate Video #103 – Four Real Estate Videographers That Would Like Feedback

Published: 22/03/2014
By: larry

SouthWalesThis week I had four different requests from real estate videographers that would like feedback on their work. It's becoming clear that the aspect of This Week In Real Estate Video that readers like is to see what others are doing with video and to be able get feedback from all the great videographers that we have reading this feature. So here are the people that would like some feedback:

Gareth Blunt, South Wales, UK: Here is Gareth's video. I think Gareth has done a wonderful job with this. I especially like the narrator's South Wales accent that can say "Swn y Gloch"... at least it sounds convincing to me.

Eric Crews, Brevard, NC: Here is Eric's video. I think this is beautifully shot and edited. The only feedback I would have is that the narration could be a bit stronger.

Jonathan Davis, Big Island, HI: Here is Jonathan's video. I think Jonathan has done a great job shooting and editing this. My only complaint is with his choice of music. I find the music a bit abrasive and distracting. He want's it fast paced. What do  you think?

Shane, Portland, OR: Here's Shane's video. Great job with this Shane. Well shot and edited. I have a slight complaint about the front aerial shot that moves up the front of the home, down at the roof and then looks out to the distance. I think you should lose the relatively long roof shot. No one likes to look down at roofs. I like the aerial shot at the end much better that shows the back of the house and then pans out to show the neighborhood.

Everyone give these guys some feedback, that's what they are looking for.

20 comments on “This Week In Real Estate Video #103 – Four Real Estate Videographers That Would Like Feedback”

  1. I think it is a very nice video and the quality of the picture is superb.
    I was wondering what equipment did you use to create the movement, which is so shake free and how long did it take you on the site and then in post processing?

  2. Gareth Blunt – Well shot through out, the narration was well done and sounds very professional. The balance of narration, music and foley was very pleasing and well executed. You showed the feature while it was mentioned, something too many miss. Good use of camera movement and creative angles to showcase the rooms without emphasizing their compact nature. I never felt jarred during the video which happens many times when editors cut from one move to another, yours flowed very well.

    Eric Crews – I do think the music’s volume was set too high in the edit as the narration had to compete with it. You did add good foley sounds to the track. Interesting use of frame in frame as you went over the attractions of the area, obviously you have great After Effect (or equivalent) skills. I felt like I wanted to see a little bit more about the home in the end since only about 25% showed the home and 25% was realtor/credits. Your camera work was very good and I liked the colorization used.

    Jonathan Davis – I agree on the music being a bit abrasive. On the whole you used good visuals to tell the story of the home which doesn’t always happen when no narration is used. There were a couple of times the focus was too close to the camera and a bit more depth would have helped like during the crane move along the kitchen cabinets and the smaller inside shower @ 2:04. Sometimes using a hyperfocal setting is well worth while and there are so many good apps for calculating this. Your timelapses were well done as flicker is a real problem many struggle with.

    Shane – I agree on the opening shot not needing the overhead and long shot since you did it so much better at the end. The combination of camera moves seemed to work smoothly and you used a good combination of truck, dolly and crane the use of these help so much in showing perspective allowing a good estimation on size.

  3. Sorry I shouldn't say hyperfocal, I meant depth of field, since I'm sure someone will correct my error in the use of hyperfocal 🙂 Just a bad old habit of the wrong nomenclature.

  4. Gareth – Wonderful. Clean and crisp with great colors. Love the way you sequence the video by showing how the spaces are connect. Nice narration and pace. Brilliant.

    Eric – Really captivating visuals. But I started to want to see the fishing and climbing – not on the small image. I love that technique but it went on too long. I know you're selling the lifestyle but I also wanted to see more of the home. And are there birds inside? Lower the audio when inside. Overall Some super cool techniques and great presentation.

    Jonathan – Amazing visuals. How does one choose? Pull me in sooner. Dirty sand shots and fields of lava and a golfer doesn't do it for me. But that pool, outside living area, and the home are just spectacular. I would start with the best shots that really make one say, "I want to live there." Don't get me wrong it's a great video as is, but I might have left some shots on the editing floor. IMO the buyer might be older/wealthier and thus the music might be a little too fast??? But dang that was shot well.

    Shane – Very nice video. Good speed and showed the home well. I agree with Larry on the opening shot. I don't like all the trees without leave. I know in 2 months it will look so much bettert. Just because you have the shot doesn't mean you have to use it. But overall, it's really nice. How did you get the exposure with the windows? Do they all have some sort of shades? Or are you on to something you need to tell me about?

  5. The only feedback I think applies to most anyone using the aerial-In my humble opinion it should be reserved for large property, large views, water....something. I think overusing these things just because they are cool is going to happen, as it already is. We don't need to see gutters and rooftops. I don't see a place for this for a home tucked back in the woods. Its awful tempting to break out the cool new toy but lets make it special.

  6. Great post Larry!

    Im not sure a lot of feedback is needed here. For the most part these are all top notch.

    Gareth - very nice cinematography throughout! A little bit too much information for my taste, it could be shorter. A little break from the narration here and there would be nice so I can take in some of the visuals.

    Eric- By far the stand out!! I disagree with the comments above. Its so refreshing to see something different. I dont need to see anymore of the inside of an unfurnished home and got more than enough info to give the agent a ring to learn more about the house. So many RE videos are like the one before them. This one will stand out and be remembered. Well done Eric.

    Jonathan - Nice mix of lifestyle and home. Very nice camera work! For me it could be a little bit shorter. Less of the home and just a few of the most powerful lifesyle shots. Im not a fan of the music. I really like the underwater stuff. Well done.

    Shane - Very nice, straight forward Real Estate Video. Good length. Can you share a little about your processing?

  7. Gareth - Sorry I haven't emailed you back yet. Great purchases you made! I just wanted to make sure you are shooting at the right frame rate. I think the UK it's 25fps here it's 30fps which means your shutter speed should never change from 1/50th and for me 1/60 on your 5D III. This is vital to getting the best quality footage. Most of the footage in your video is well done and you're well on your way with good voice over too! Some criticism I would give is to overall slow down your motion all together. Some is good but most is too fast. I was guilty of this too when I first started but actually the more subtle the movement, the more appealing the footage looks. Watch some footage from Platinum HD as they have very subtle movements in most of their work. I still have two 100cm konova sliders for time-lapse but now I'm using a 60cm one for shooting homes because honestly only 20-30 should be used, but our brains want so badly to use the entire length which has probably been engrained in our minds from other aspects of life! haha. Seriously though, try slower movements and if there is motion in the shot, it doesn't always need secondary movements. I'm trying less and less to move so much as fun as it is. Your white balance is out of whack on a few shots inside (too yellow) which is common and you have to grade the footage but start by shooting full manual white balance whenever possible. Sometimes you have to let the camera choose if there are too many light sources but for the most part eyeball it to get it correct and after awhile you'll get really good at it which will save you lots of time grading. In the video from 1:31 - 1:36 the changes are much too fast I felt. At 2:41 the shot is very grainy (see above re: frame rate). The voice over at the end shouldn't be necessary to voice the phone number and website etc. Overall for your first video, you knocked it out of the park Gareth and you are going to attract a lot of attention with that video now and the phone will start ringing believe me. Word of advice, be ready with your pricing. Believe in what you do and don't sacrifice price for fear of not getting work. Be confident and don't stutter and make excuses why you charge what you charge. If you stumble, realtors will eat you alive and make you feel like there are a hundred other videographers waiting to do it cheaper when in reality it's not the case. They're doing what they get paid to do "price gouge" and it's your job not to let them!

    Eric Crews - The total video is 1:56 seconds which is a great length except there is only 32 seconds of the home itself with 58 seconds on the intro and a 26 second outro! This is not a great use of time. I love the intro concept and use it quite often myself, however the template you chose or created does not show off the footage as there is only a tiny little window with washed out footage in it. You could have done the same thing with full screen shots which is much more impressive. Also throughout the video the music is too loud. It's a beautiful piece of music and well suited it's just too loud. The voice over is pretty good but sounds like the recording is a little off I just can't figure it out why though. Was it recorded on an iPhone or hand held recorder or computer mic? If so I would recommend at least getting the Blue Microphone Yeti. It's cheap and really good with garage band. Some of the statements and claims you have to be careful with too like 250 waterfalls right outside your door is probably a bit of an exaggeration so try to be more realistic in the claims. Also the line about mountain bike trails is not grammatically correct. "where 400 miles of bike trails" it looks like you did that to make the text fit in your graphic but the voice over at least should say it properly as it sounds bad. Overall it's a nice video and has potential with a nice intro and good music but try to make it more about the property and get creative with your indoor shots and outdoor too as there is nothing from ground level or of the great veranda.

    Jonathan - Love some of the sequences in this video especially the golf course sequence. I feel the music does not suit the video or home which is crucial to a great video. Some of the footage is redundant to like the shot of the dried starfish etc. I know it's nice to be artistic and set a mood, but those kinds of vignette shots don't show the house. With that being said, they can act like a nice transition from inside to out or something, but time is of the essence when building these videos and usually the vignette shot should be of something that actually comes with the house, like a close up of a faucet, or counter top or gas stove top etc. I found your pans to be jerky and too fast. The jerkiness is coming from playback on computers which can be corrected. It's an easy fix in Final Cut Pro X and if you PM me I can tell you how if you use FCP that is. Try slower movements as I advised to Gareth too as it's too hard on the eyes especially in full screen as your video automatically plays back in. With that, I wouldn't suggest full screen for video. For photos yes, but video give the viewer the option as full screen is tough to watch. I also found the slides much too fast and long. As I mentioned above in Gareth's video we are all guilty of long quick slides thinking it's needed, but it's not. Slow, subtle smooth slides look MUCH more professional. Same goes for pans. Inside the headboard shot at 1:30 mark I can see you and camera in the shot. It's very subtle, but always be looking for reflections and shadows. I've done the same thing where I didn't see it when shooting and it instantly makes the video look amateur. In this case, it's not a big deal, but something I wanted to mention. The final time lapse has person coming in and out of frame which takes away from the footage. The video has great bones, but needs some work with music selection and less movement and where there is movement of the camera, make it slower. You're well on your way Jonathan.

    Shane - Great opening sequence. I'm not a fan of the DJI footage with go pro though. Gimbal movements are jerky and the front shot is not even level. I'm sorry but I have yet to see good, smooth quality footage from a go pro on a DJI phantom and it cheapens the quality of your video especially the ending shot which is one of the most important shots. Your slides are nice and smooth however a bit too quick and long distance especially indoors. As I've said above we're all guilty of slider abuse at first and I was too, but honestly slower, more subtle movements are all that's required. I bought a smaller slider for this reason. Movement abuse is what I call it and recently have been finding more creative ways of shooting with minimal movement, especially if something is already moving in the shot, there's no need to move the camera all the time. I too like the window shots and I believe you're capturing that using Magic Lantern with dual ISO shooting. My question to you is are you shooting with a Mark III and are you using Komputer Bay cards? If so any issues and is post work time consuming? It looks like HDR windows, but overall great to be able to see out with movement which I heard dual ISO doesn't like too much movement.

    Hope these comments help. They are meant to be constructive comments as that is what you are looking for. I wish someone made similar comments to me when I was first starting out. I am one year old into shooting videos and 100% self taught so take my comments with that in mind. I don't claim to be the best ever but these are some of the things I learned along the way spending countless hours training, shooting, and watching professional video. As Howard Stern says "I say these comments with peace and love people, peace and love".

  8. My money is on Jonathan for a long range bet - he has all the bells and whistles and is doing things no one else has . He used his equipment ( toys) well and will only get better

    music sounds like the song they didn't choose for the tv show Friends - but tht is the hardest thing with the RE videos - finding the right music for the house that you like, the vendor likes, the agent likes, potential buyers like and isn't going to get you into copyright hot water !

  9. Matt if you look closely Shane didn't use a DJI Phantom for the aerial footage. I just think his gimbal needs a bit of tuning. Shane you could possibly add a mix to the pan tilt control to vary the rate, it will depend on your radio and gimbal controller.

  10. I just wanted to say thank you to Matt above for his continued constructive contribution to what is a challenging and very subjective medium to work with.

    Can't really add any feedback to what has already been said above.

  11. What is everyone's opinion on narrated vs non-narrated video. I was going to use narration, but I really liked the simplicity of some of these that didn’t use narration.

  12. Joe - That's a very good question and the answer is usually personal preference. A story can be told with or without narration and it all comes down to a professional presentation. If you have a good voice or want to spend the money on professional voice over great, but if it's not available to you and the voice used isn't good, then it's better to go without and get creative telling the story. Unfortunately to properly tell a story it will take more time, which costs more money. Larry perhaps this is a good idea for a new post...

  13. I agree, its all about preference. I personally don't use narration. In my opinion, if you are going to do it, it needs to be done by a professional or a top notch speaker. Otherwise it can be very distracting. Kind of like a bad song choice. I've seen a few homeowners who can tell and good story about their home and sometimes the agents, but this can be a little tricky and again, if its not done well, it will be a distraction.

  14. All of these videos are probably in the top 10-20% of what I've seen posted here, Very good work.

    Gareth Blunt, although this video is relatively short it felt long. A couple of reasons I think this might be the case. As a rule-of-thumb dissolves denote a transition of time and/or place, it's used to condense time. If you don't use them that way, they just take time to get from one shot to the next, if for example your using one second dissolves and you add up the amount of time spent on all the dissolves, that's time added to the video that doesn't show or communicate any new or additional information. Dissolving from on location, from the outside to the in, or from room to room works but using dissolves to move around within the room once you've established the location slows down the pace of the video. Once inside the room its better to cut your way around the room.

    For example, in the sequence starting about 40 seconds you dissolve from the outside view of the window to what I assume is the inside view, it doesn't really matter if its the same window, that's an effective use of a dissolve, but once you've established the location you continued using the dissolve. Also the first three shots are almost the same, if you would have cut them together they would have appeared to be jump cuts, maybe a better way to go would be once your established in the room cut to a "detail" shot and then to the jib shot and omit the two similar shots altogether, thereby shortening that scene or keep it the same length but replace the second shot with a couple of close up or medium close up shots. That would provide the viewer with more information and improve the pacing. Also if you only use dissolve for transitions from one place to another you train the viewer so they know there in a different location. Consistency is the key here. An example of that is that you had some very effective transitions where you could see the room that you are leaving in the shot and you used the camera movement and a door jamb or object as a natural wipe to the next location.

    The other thing that slows the pacing is the narrative. The tempo is fine, her voice sounds great but she's just reading a list of "stuff." Stuff the potential home buyer can get from the listing itself, here in the US, the MLS. Again, just a rule of thumb, but if the narrative doesn't add something that I can't get from the shot then its redundant. I don't really need to be told what kind of appliances I'm looking at, whether thats real granite or if the appliances are "integrated (?). There are times that realtors want to "say" the name of the appliances because of name recognition or perceived added value, that's fine but try to do it in context of the benefits of owning a particular appliance or how the kitchen is laid out for a particular kind of chef or entertaining while cooking, I don't know, but make it more about the people, the lifestyle, not the things. We can see the things..

    All that I've mentioned so far are techniques you can use to improve your pacing that has little effect on your actual production.

    Its difficult to tell what color the house actually is. There are several reasons for this, the obvious is color balance. Clearly this is a challenging house to get a consistent color balance but there are quite a few shots where you go from a dark foreground into a brighter lit background. That has the benefit of making your shots look deeper but I think you need to balance that out a bit, either add more light behind you or reduce the light in front of you. There's also quite a few shots where one lamp has a daylight balanced bulb and the other has an incandescent bulb. You might have to move bulbs from room to room but make them the same. Adding some lights to your production would improve it a lot. Also you might want to evaluate Apple's Color or Davinci [now Black Magic] Resolve color correctors. Depending on the ISO you shot this you might be able to get some of the detail back in the darks and both of these collor correctors are far superior to what available in PremierPro or FCP.

    Your camera moves are great, some might be a little fast but I didn't find any objectionably fast. The speed of your moves really depends on the pacing your going for in the final video. You have a shot where you dolly right to left at the top of a staircase and then the same move at the bottom. Reverse the direction of the bottom shot so that it gives the appearance of going in at the top and coming out at the bottom.

    Anyway, I hope this makes sense and helps.

  15. Maybe I'm in a bad mood or something, but one thing that kind of annoys me is that part of the title of this thread is "Four Real Estate Videographers That Would Like Feedback" and yet it doesn't appear that any of the people asking for feedback participated in this thread. Am I missing something.

    A lot of people spent time sharing their experiences and giving advice, which is helpful to all, but it might be nice if the people asking at least acknowledged the effort.

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