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Old January 5th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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Custom home shoot with EX1, looking for suggestions

I'm about to do a shoot of an architect's large custom home. He wants to use the video as a promotional item as well as a way to show clients some of his designs.

I've not done any custom home/real estate shoots before, and I'm looking for any suggestions any of you might have regarding methods of shooting (dollies, steadicam, tripod), picture profile suggestions, when to shoot (time of day), lighting, etc.

Here are the things I've come up with thus far:
- I need wide angle adapter for EX1
- steadicam fly- through of whole house, clips to be used here and there
- slow dolly shots of rooms where key design features are, used as a sort of establishing shot
- I thought I'd try to shoot mostly at dusk/just after sundown so windows won't be blown out

Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old January 5th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by David W Williamson View Post
I thought I'd try to shoot mostly at dusk/just after sundown so windows won't be blown out
I am no expert, but an architect's house is likely to have very well planned lighting and he/she will want to show that off for sure. I guess that means dusk, and no assistance fro your own lights. But, as I repeat, I am no expert and I can't help you on the rest.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 03:03 PM   #3
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I did several of these ten years ago . I shot twice, once in daylight and a second time in the dark. shooting from the same point at both times I was able to feature the building and how the building works in regard to its surroundings.
I shot a fair amount of moving footage from a wheelchair and a dolly but ended up not using most of it. Found it distracting. Architectural elements may suggest motion but in the end they sit there. Making them move didn't seem to help. I did use a number of of slow zooms in and out to show architectural relationships.
Beyond the architecture I found the score to be most important. Nothing like a crescendo to punch up an important architectural feature. I ended up editing more like a music video, cutting the house to the music.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 03:24 PM   #4
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Great thoughts, guys, thanks!
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Old January 5th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #5
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One other thing-- I admit to not having used any of the wide angle adapters for the EX-1. I would advise very carefully examine shots at widest for barrel distortion. Back in DVCAM days, I had a Century adapter for my PD-150 and at widest setting there was a fair amount of distortion. That's exactly what you don't want when shooting an architectural piece.

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Old January 5th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by David W Williamson View Post
any suggestions any of you might have regarding methods of shooting (dollies, steadicam, tripod), picture profile suggestions, when to shoot (time of day), lighting, etc.
A couple of thoughts:

A moving camera gives so much to a production, but having been there and done that, would not recommend getting a steadicam or merlin for this particular job without a few months practice. Pretty easy to get hold of a simple wheelchair and any sort of 'enhanced' support (figrig, spider, whatever). I've been impressed by the simple tripod mounted sliders which can live with a tripod in a bag and give you 1-2 meters of travel. Sure it would be nice to have a dolly grip and a steadicam, but I don't tend to do those kind of shoots.

Wide angles without distortion are necessarily very expensive. So, a bit like jazz, if you're going to get distortion anyhoo, may as well work with it. The EX1 lens droops anyway, so I guess any wide adaptor has to work with that. So I went with the Century 0.6 - and keeping the camera moving to proudly exploit its distortion as a statement.

OTOH, if one were to get serious about architectural videography, I'd be tempted to go the 5dmk2 route with a Tilt Shift lens or two.

Also nobody's mentioned timelapse yet - showing the passage of light in interiors over time. EX1 great for that, but if you have a DSLR with an intervalometer...
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Old January 5th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #7
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This is one type of shoot where the Canon 5DmkII really excels.

There are really wide lenses available. The low light performance, natural light is fantastic way better than EX cams.

And it is really easy on the codec. Lots of large areas of the same color.

And it is really nice to use narrow DOF in this type of shoot, not every shot but some for sure.

I would use the EX for a lot of the shoot but do a few key shots with a 5DmkII with a 16 or 17mm lens. And some with a 70-200 f2.8 for detail shots, and a 100mm macro for tiny details, closeups of candles with rack focus etc.

I love the EXcams I have both EX3 and EX1R, and a 5DmkII they make a great team. 90% of my video is with the EXcams but the low light, very wide and shallow DOF the Canon gets the job done way better.

And the 5D is awesome and very easy to use with a slider/glider for those dog/cat/god eye views.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 05:54 PM   #8
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I wish I had a 5DM2! I have a set of Canon lenses already from my past life as a pro photographer. Maybe one day I'll have an extra couple of grand lying around...

Matt, do you have any suggestions for the "tripod mounted sliders"? And regarding the time lapse, I've not used the EX1 for that yet; does it have a built-in function?
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Old January 5th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #9
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David,

I make custom versions of the sliders. They are made from readily available industrial food industry parts. Very inexpensive for the quality of motion and small size/weight.

I make them from 2' to 10' long with hand cranks and servo motors for stop motion work or time lapse projects.

The EXcams will do timelapse, check the menus.

The 5DmkII will do really high quality timelapse 22 Mpix imager (5616 3744 pixels). All it takes is a remote controller (start at about $120.00 or less). You can use AE to move around those sequences really cool effect.

I also make track dollies that use an Aluminum ladder for track very affordable and smooth.

If you are interested contact me:

olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283

Last edited by Olof Ekbergh; January 5th, 2010 at 06:43 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #10
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I agree with the dolly things stated above, roll through and What, bore us to death :-)

you can fix the moving through type shots, IF your following the person through. beings they will have thier own version of a "script", you could always Follow him while he discusses and points out the features.

wide angle ADD-ON lens AND dolly moves both? this is the bendable architexture , notice how flexable i am for the clients :-) Mabey with a wide angle whole lens, but probably not with a add-on.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #11
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It is all storytelling. That is why it is really cool to use extreme closeups, jib, dolly, steadicam and rack focus to show a different POW's to help tell the story. And the Narrative/ Music/Foley drives the story too.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #12
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Marty, I hadn't thought about the whole wide angle/plus moving shot thing. I guess that would result in a lot of bulbous shape-shifting walls and such...

Olof, I went ahead and sent you an email, I've very interesting in putting a slider together if it can be done with things I can find locally.

Has anyone seen any great footage examples out there of a similar project? If anyone has any links, I'd love to see them.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #13
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If you do end up with barrel distortion, After Effects has a filter that can compensate fairly nicely. You lose a bit of coverage but not enough to negate the additional coverage.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #14
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Let the home sell itself

As a licensed Realtor and videographer, I have shot several of these. I have the Ex-1 and used a Century 6x lens. Little distortion. Homes have flows to them and it is important to visually capture this flow for the viewer. I used a lot of pans and tilts that helped take me transition to the different shots. One of the others in the forum made an excellent point that you are telling a story. Point out through VO the special features of the home and let the music and warmth of the VO bring it all together.

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