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Today’s “Ask the Expert” column features Marcellee Williams, the Producer & Content Manager for WellcomeMat.

Q: As the importance of incorporating video into the real estate mix continues to grow, which shooting styles make the most impact?

A: You don’t need a Film Studies MFA to understand the best styles to use when creating a real estate video. Most real estate videos are shot in one of two styles we like to call Walkthrough and Artistic.

The Walkthrough style mimics exactly what it is like for a potential buyer to quickly walk through a property. Most importantly, this video style provides the viewer with the correct spatial, connect-the-dot representation of a home’s interior and exterior.

Example Video:

With this style, filmmakers generally utilize a wide angle or fisheye lens to capture as much of the space as possible in focus.

It’s okay to expect your filmmaker attempting the Walkthrough style to use a steadicam or glidecam. These are stabilization tools that are precisely balanced and weighted to give the appearance of smoothly flying through a space. Handheld cameras without stabilization are usually doomed to look shaky, no matter how steady the filmmaker claims to be.

Walkthrough-style videos can be filmed quickly with minimal equipment and may require very little editing and post production. Therefore, it is an efficient and comparatively inexpensive video shooting technique, however, some believe this type of tour lacks artistry and is not particularly creative or eye-catching.

Artistic-style shoots, on the other hand, use multiple camera set-ups, a variety of different techniques and a wide range of equipment. This style allows the filmmaker to be creative while showcasing the artistry of a property. In addition, Artistic-style videos utilize camera techniques to highlight what is truly spectacular about a location.

You can highlight the beauty of a granite countertop with a rack focus or showcase the spectacular height of a ceiling with a vertical jib shot. Including a time lapse of the sunset fits right at home in a video with multiple set ups. You can also easily include a personal introduction of the property while the camera slowly glides in with a tracking shot. This style lends itself to creating a sense of storytelling and emotion.

In fact, because of the level of control Artistic-style shoots grant the filmmaker, most television shows and fictional movies are shot using this style.

Example Video:

The Artistic production style requires much more equipment and a highly skilled filmmaker proficient with advanced technology and storytelling. Therefore, it’s very important to know that you and your filmmaker are on the same page regarding the budgetary differences between each style of tour. Artistic-style videos will be more time-consuming to create, and you can, therefore, plan for them to cost more.

Both styles can include scenes where there are people in front of the camera, allowing viewers to imagine themselves in the space— what we often refer to as “human scale.” Additionally, it is possible to include a combination of both styles within your video.

No matter which style you would like to utilize, it is imperative that you effectively communicate with your filmmaker before shooting.

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