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Old April 24th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #1
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Shooting a Victorian Mansion

Might not be the appropriate place to post this, but since I primarily shoot weddings, I thought I would ask you wedding folks.

I've been asked to shoot a sprawling Victorian mansion this afternoon. Quick background: Couple lived in this perfectly preserved car-stopper of a mansion, husband died last year, widow has to sell home, and she just wants a keepsake video of the home to preserve her memories of the place. So this isn't your typical real estate video that you shoot for a realtor to sell a house.

So...any suggestions on how to shoot? Creative ideas? I've never shot a house before. How do I make it interesting when there will be no people in the shoot? I could shoot it like I shoot elegant church settings for weddings, but those shots only comprise a small part of a finished wedding video. How do I keep it interesting when the entire video is the house?

I'm shooting this afternoon, so not a lot of time to get feedback, but any ideas you have would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old April 24th, 2007, 08:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dave M. Smith View Post
Might not be the appropriate place to post this, but since I primarily shoot weddings, I thought I would ask you wedding folks.

I've been asked to shoot a sprawling Victorian mansion this afternoon. Quick background: Couple lived in this perfectly preserved car-stopper of a mansion, husband died last year, widow has to sell home, and she just wants a keepsake video of the home to preserve her memories of the place. So this isn't your typical real estate video that you shoot for a realtor to sell a house.

So...any suggestions on how to shoot? Creative ideas? I've never shot a house before. How do I make it interesting when there will be no people in the shoot? I could shoot it like I shoot elegant church settings for weddings, but those shots only comprise a small part of a finished wedding video. How do I keep it interesting when the entire video is the house?

I'm shooting this afternoon, so not a lot of time to get feedback, but any ideas you have would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave
Couple of ideas;

Try shooting out the car window while driving by or around the property.


Find some type of skate/dolly system and shoot while on the move.


Plenty of pans, shoot the ceiling in a circle, if you can get distance/height shots, do that. Maybe shoot from the top of another building. (yes, I'd do it in a heartbeat)

shoot closeups of the mailbox, house letters, door, if there is a family dog, get that in the shot.

shoot from outside the window

put a peice of fishing line on the front door and shoot the door opening by itself to introduce the inside footage.

Off my head, these are some things I would try.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #3
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consider the notion of moving photography....
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #4
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Thanks, Steven and Peter.

It should be fun!
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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you might want to spend 5-10 minutes talking about the owner and get an idea of where her best memories in the house are located.
Were dinners in the DR with family the best times? Did everyone always hang out in the living room? Was a little room converted to a nursery when they had their first child, that kind of stuff.

Def go for good exteriors, but most people who want to remember their homes, remember them for what happened on the inside, or on the lawn etc...

To liven it up you can add sound effects ala all those ghost story shows. They show the contemporary living room, fade to sepia tone, and then foley in sounds of people laughing, silver ware on plates, glasses klinking, the roaring fire in the b.g. Might be too hokey though...
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Old April 24th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #6
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Another idea, get pictures from the place, blend them into the video.
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Old April 25th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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The Personal Touch

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Originally Posted by Reid Bailey View Post
you might want to spend 5-10 minutes talking about the owner and get an idea of where her best memories in the house are located. Were dinners in the DR with family the best times? Did everyone always hang out in the living room? Was a little room converted to a nursery when they had their first child, that kind of stuff.
Also remember that the video may be boring to you, but the people watching it will be talking about what happened at each location as it is showing so just 8 seconds of one room will not be enough.

it will seem boring to you, but the viewers will be providing that missing commentary. unless you can actually get interviews on tape and then mix that audio in.

I like the idea of subtly background noises of dishes, doors opening closing, birds singing, etc mixed in with audio of the widow describing the house or retelling stories from the house.

jason
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