Av8Chuck

Property Videos: Past, Present & Future

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Here's another exterior / drone-only vid.  Again, quick money, fairly easy to create (except that damn winding driveway!), and the dollar per hour spent is higher.  Honestly, I'm enjoying doing more of these and fewer full property vids.

 

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this was the rough edit of my first property video.  Someone from an equine website sent this to me asking questions about it.  I had totally forgotten about this version, it’s interesting how these videos make the rounds..

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13 hours ago, Av8Chuck said:

this was the rough edit of my first property video.  Someone from an equine website sent this to me asking questions about it.  I had totally forgotten about this version, it’s interesting how these videos make the rounds..

Damn bro, your 'rough edit' of you first ever property video could win an independent film award!

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There have been several questions in other parts of the forum about property videos so I’m bumping this up so that hopefully people interested in this sort of production will find this thread.

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Hi @MarcJr Nice job,  Is this what you do for a career, part time or a hobby?

The intent of this thread was for people to post and others to critique with the hope of getting better. One thing your video kind of points out is the quality of the tools you use matters.  You use some good techniques like using a wall or foreground object to reveal a point of interest, camera motion, aerial and using people.  But whatever camera your using does not help communicate your creativity effectively.

If your going to shoot in high contrast, from inside to outside, then you need to light the foreground to be within a stop of the background which in video can be very challenging, otherwise your point of interest is dark and backlit or the outside is blown out.  in rooms where you don't have a lot of motion you can also shoot bracketed stills on a tripod and then fuse the exposure so both the interior and exterior are correctly exposed then add motion in post.  A lot of people are against that but the goal of the video is to capture the essence of the property so your much better off using the occasional still then using a poorly exposed video.  Another technique is for all the scenes where there's action in a high contrast room or scene wait until "happy hour" and the exposure between outside and inside are within a stop of each other.  This will give you about an hour and a half so you have to shoot quickly.      

Its a great use of camera movement, however, I'd suggest on many of the shots slow down.  The key to good camera movement is staying on a point of interest while the scene around it moves.  When you go to fast you can see the bounce or "walk" in your motion.  

It's also helpful for all video to tell a story, even if its not a narrative.  All stories have to have a beginning, a middle, and an end so you need to walk your audience through the property in a way that they can tell where they are on the property.  Let the people lead the viewer from one room or scene to another,  Take more shots from different angles and FOV's and cut around the room, this will help quicken the pace of the video and show more detail.

I know this is hard and very subjective, I love your use of people and there's always this debate with realtors to take the shots with the people in them out, they just want some ridiculously wide shot.  But, sorry for the realtors who might read this but they have no idea what the hell their talking about.  People don't buy houses, they buy homes and they want to get a sense what life might be like living there.  Adding people helps home buyers imagine what that's like.  Most of the realtors who don't understand that generally don't want to pay for quality anyway so move on and find the realtors who get it.

This was one of my first property videos where I used people to give the audience a sense of what it was like to live the equestrian lifestyle.  Plus I got to work with my nieces who are now in college and I rarely hear from them.  But that's a whole other thing...  I was hoping elicit the feeling of a nice spring day. 

This was probably 2010 or 2011 and the aerial and color grading are terrible.  This is a property that I always wanted to do over.  Conceptually it was OK but I got in a rush, probably because keeping young girls and a puppy focused is a real challenge, so the photography just wasn't what I'd hoped.  

Anyway I hope some of this helps.

 

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On 9/12/2018 at 8:59 AM, MarcJr said:

Here is one I did back in June.

This is rad! That woodfire pizza oven...YUMMY. Love the variety of shots and storytelling that went into this. Very creative and helps me visualize what it'd be like to actually live there. Appreciate you taking the time to share.

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Av8Chuck

I do this for my career. I started out 6 years ago as a Google Trusted Photographer, then two years ago I added the Matterport technology to my services and then last fall got my drone license. I have also done product photography and also this summer I did two TV commercials with my production partners. 

This was my first real estate video. I work with my production partners for the interior video. We thought it turned our great. I do agree with your comments on the lighting. We definitely saw where the lighting could have been better in some of the interior scenes. And criticized ourselves for not catching that. However, both the agent and homeowner were thrilled with the video. But there is always room for improvement. In fact we are going to one of our houses to work on some techinques for the next project. On the speed of the transition I was told that the quick transition between rooms or scenes is the trend now. However, we did slow it down from the initial first draft. 

You are so right on the majority of real estate agents that don't understand the value of having a video that really shows off the house and property and gives the prospective buyer a feel for what it would be like to live at that particular house. We hope to get in front of some of the other agents later this month to do a presentation. Granted, this type of video is not for every property but, the ones that are much more than a house definitely should have one of these videos. 

The homeowner brought in the people for the cocktail party scene. One of the guys is her son and his girlfriend along with her daughter. The other people are friends. They all had fun with the whole project. If the grass had been mowed near the pond we were going to have the same two guys who were throwing the football,  fishing in the pond as well. 

I tried to write as much back to you as you did to me. Ha!

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Aloha gang,

Wrapped another luxury Maui penthouse video last night.  It's crazy today that I get to use some of the richest bathrooms around from time to time.  Just sayin'... ?

Best viewed in 4k with good sound. Enjoy! 

Camera lineup:

Sony a7r iii 
DJI Phantom 4
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

 

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Another nice production.

Oddly enough the shots of the kitchen seemed to stand out the most to me.  I don't know if it was that I liked the style of the kitchen or how you shot it..

Was that the A7R on a gimbal?  It looked a bit shaky but not so much that it was distracting, just not up to your standard.

What and where did you get the music?  

I still owe you a PM, I've just been traveling a bit and Alisa is really busy, hopefully I can talk to her tonight.

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

Another nice production.

Oddly enough the shots of the kitchen seemed to stand out the most to me.  I don't know if it was that I liked the style of the kitchen or how you shot it..

Was that the A7R on a gimbal?  It looked a bit shaky but not so much that it was distracting, just not up to your standard.

What and where did you get the music?  

I still owe you a PM, I've just been traveling a bit and Alisa is really busy, hopefully I can talk to her tonight.

 

 

Mahalo Chuck!

I nerded out on the kitchen as well in this one.  Really the rest of the place is just kinda...basic, if I may?  Not that it's not beautiful, just no extra special doo-dads in the bedrooms and whatnot. 

The A7R3 was on a gimbal, but the shakiness was the result of a couple things... 1:  The wind was definitely blowing on the day I shot the interior.  The zoomed in view shots were done on another day, pretty calm, so those are steady.  But the one showing the motorized blinds, the master bedroom, and living room were open to the wind.  2:  I need to recalibrate the gimbal.  Toward the end of the shoot, I was having problems keeping it from drifting / yawing.  Usually a recalibration fixes is right up, and this video experience taught me that it's worth taking time to recalibrate before shooting a $3M condo. 

Music - Premiumbeat.com

No rush intended on the PM, I know it'll happen in the perfect timing, whenever that is.  Busy is a good thing for us all these days!

 

 

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Song title is Emotive Technology.  

 

The gimbal is a Zhiyun Crane Plus.  I love it, it's been solid as a rock, except for the other day. lol.  I have a Crane original, but it's tired and overworked.  The motors no longer hold any kind of load for more than a few seconds before falling limp.  I'm going to send it back for repair, just so I always have a second one on-hand, but it still won't hold the combo I'm shooting nowadays.  (a7r3 + GM 16-35 2.8)

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Here's another, wrapped yesterday.  I've been loving the challenge of a 1 minute property video, especially a luxury property.  It's tough finding the balance between 'enough' and 'too much' content, but so far every client has been delighted with their product, so I think I'm on the right road.

This moves quickly, with a few stalled out shots, and one of my favorite aerial entry shots to date :)  Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Hey guys!  Really enjoying the videos and it's cool to see the skill progress over the course of the three page thread.  @JBR LIFE Photography love how you're already incorporating the Mavic 2 Zoom dolly zoom into your work!  Very nice!  

Here's one of my recent projects:

For the hardware I'm using an Inspire 2 with the X5 and a GH5 on a Ronin-S for the interiors.  This shoot was a bit challenging because the air here in Wyoming was very hazy because of the wildfires to our west.  Also this property is still for sale if anyone has a spare $1.1M laying around.  

Anyway in the spirit of this thread, I'll throw a technique out there:  I always choose the music first, lay down that track in FCPX, and use that to help shape the video.  I get my music from AudioJungle; my clients have been very happy so far.

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Very well done.  That’s a big house.  Which GH5?  I’m using the GH4 and was set to buy a GH5 but then they released the GH5S which is better in low light, records 10bit internal at something like 400mb/s but doesn’t have the five axis in body stabilization. 

One direction I was hoping this thread would take would be that we discussed how long it took to produce, how many productions people do in a week, month or year, how much did it cost to produce and how much did the customer pay to produce it?  

There was a time when no one wanted to have this type of discussion in fear of giving away trade secrets or educating the 15 year down the street who just got a MAVIC. But I hope most of the 15 year olds and starving college students have gone back to school and left the work and conversation to us “professionals...”

actually it’s all a ruse, I just want @JBR LIFE Photography to divulge all that info so I can move to Hawaii and charge all of his customer $1 less and take all of his business.. 

its nice to see others focused on the whole production and not just one aspect, Aerial or photography.  

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Thanks Chuck!  Regarding your final comment, I moved to this "total production" model late last spring and that has helped the business immensely.  Realtors around here didn't seem to be interested in exterior aerial video only (photos are a different story), so this year really marked my transition from drone videographer to just plain old videographer who can also fly drones.  

Anyway, I'm using the standard GH5.  Since I also use it for stills I wanted to retain the in-body stabilization.  Both GH5 versions will record in 10 bit 400MB/s, but I generally shoot in variable frame rate 60p/23.94p.  That keeps me from having to slow down the video in post.  If there's a lot of contrast in the shot I will switch to the full 10 bit mode to give me more leeway in post, but that is a rarity.

For the rest of your questions:

  1. I average one of these videos every 10 days.
  2. I do not charge nearly enough - this video cost the client $300. Unfortunately Cheyenne is a very immature market in terms of understanding the value of anything beyond traditional photos for RE marketing.  Since the realtors pay for my services out of pocket, I have to keep prices low for now.  
  3. In terms of cost to produce, that is difficult to say.  I've been using FCPX for almost six years so I'm fairly quick at editing; I think this video took me about 2.5 hours in post to complete.  On scene shooting time was about two hours for the interiors and multiple return trips for the exteriors due to the extreme haze at the time.

So in terms of cost for me, much of the expense of this business is up front costs:  drones, cameras, lenses, computer, etc.  The only recurring expenses are insurance, the monthly Adobe fees, annual dropbox and website hosting fees.  Once you have everything in place the per job cost is minimal since there are no consumables.

I'm fortunate that photo/video production is just a side job for the moment.  Every dollar I make goes back into the business until I retire from the Air Force here in six months (cannot wait).  

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You do great work, and your explanation about the business is fairly typical. That’s the challenge, how to get realtors to value the media more.  

I don’t do property videos for a living, which is why I enjoy doing them, it’s more of an outlet to try and be creative.  Having said that it doesn’t mean I want to be taken advantage of by a realtor who couldn’t market there way out of a wet paper bag.  

Since I do these so infrequently I can be kind of a jerk about it.  One thing I do is insist that the property owner pays for my services not the realtor.  Realtors hate that but it gives everyone the opportunity to discuss what we’re really trying to accomplish.  The realtor usually comes around to my way of thinking because I make the point to the owner that they should pay for it becuase they own it.  If they switch realtors they can still use it and if it sells it’s a great momento of their property.  It gives the owner the opportunity to influence the video, what things are really a benifit of the property, not just the number of rooms and square footage.  For me it’s good because usually we’re not so far off on price that worst case they split the cost.  

I’ve always believed that if I could get two or three realtors to work this way, that would probably keep me as busy as I’d like to be.  They need to be experienced realtors but still the up-n-comers who are ambitious and looking for a way to win the listings.  

I generally charge $1k a day.  Most properties can be shot in a day, this is a very different value proposition for the owner than the realtor.  As long as you have a great demo reel spending  $1K to have quality content market a $1.1M property is almost a no brainer. 

The problem is that the realtor thinks they are the value so they don’t think video or photography makes a diffence so its perfunctory, they spend as little as possible.  So they want to make about $30k for driving the car to the open house...

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