Shooting with a UAV allows you to present dramatic new views of properties that have never been seen before.
Aerial videography is becoming as common as a slider shot on high-end real estate property videos. The cost of UAV’s has dropped significantly and the national aviation authorities in most countries have established UAV flight regulations that the video production industry can work with.
The focus in real estate video used to me more on filming the homeowners furniture and decorating preferences rather than capturing the context of the home. With aerial videography the focus is (appropriately) changing to the exterior of the home – the setting and the neighbourhood.
Here are eight different types of shots you should consider for you next real estate video project:
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1. Slide & Pan
One of the most dramatic and difficult shots to make using a drone is a slide and pan shot. The effect is like have your house on a swivel allowing you to slowly circle the house.
The challenge is keeping the camera focussed on the centre of the house at the same time that you fly around it. While this is best done with two operators (one person flying and one controlling the camera) it’s quite achievable for an experienced pilot.
You’re typically looking for about a 120 degree arc to take you from the side of the building to the front.
2. Forward Reveal
AKA ‘The Establishing Shot’ or ‘The Hero Shot’, this is often the first and most dramatic shot you’ll make. If you’re shot is epic then this is the one you start with. You want to set the tone in your video from the first frame.
Some locations (i.e. a beautiful home up on a hill) lend themselves to these shots and others (house in a busy neighbourhood) won’t work as well. You use the foreground movement to add drama to your shot as you approach the house.
Shooting at sunset or sunrise (depending on orientation of the front of the house) can add significantly to the beauty of the shot. Check out some of the shots here for reference.
3. Crane Up
The drone effectively replaces a huge amount of gear that you’d otherwise have to drag along to the shoot with you. A jib shot will allow you up to about 10 feet of height. A crane shot will allow you coverage between 3 and 30 feet… and cost you a bundle in time and equipment costs.
The crane up shot is used to reveal the context of the home. You get to see a perspective that most people never see – that’s why this shot (and the use of a UAV) is so important. The UAV allows for new perspectives on properties that have never been seen before.
The ‘crane up’ shot can be totally vertical or it can combine movement by flying over the building.
4. Track Away
This is typically your big closing shot. This shot provides lot’s of drama to conclude the video as you slowly pull away from your property. It’s important to end your video with a strong finish.
Even though your camera is only a foot or two off the ground this is still an aerial shot. One of the huge advantages of using a drone is that you can dolly in or out of a shot with ease. You don’t need to set up tracks or worry about uneven ground and obstructions.
The purpose of this shot is to show the perspective from the ground – as if you were walking towards (or away from) a building. This shot is also used to focus the viewers attention to specific details of the house and the grounds.
6. Overhead shot
This is one of my favourite shots because it provides you with so much information. You can do some of this work with Google Earth but the quality and context provided with an overhead shot is unparalleled.
There are many different types of overhead shots including static (hover) shots, spiral up and down and tracking overhead shots, to name a few.
This is the shot you really have to know your local or regional flying regulation because your allowed flying ceiling is never as high as you’d like it to be.
This is a very specialized shot used in unique circumstances. The best use of this shot is going from inside a house through a patio door to reveal the exterior of a house.
When done right this shot can add a lot of visual interest and drama to your video.
8. Follow shot
A follow shot (or a ‘Chase Shot’) can be done with objects like cars or can be done with people. The purpose of this shot is to provide a human perspective. Putting a subject in the foreground changes the context of what you are seeing. Instead of just moving towards a house you are now ‘following’ someone who is moving towards that house.
The effect of this shot is to place you in the shot from the perspective of the car or person you are following. I.e. “This could be me arriving home from work…”