Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Down to Business!

4 hours of sleep and out the door for a video shoot! Time to mainline caffeine! ... actually, grabbed a can of Monster on my way out. This one is a video tour of a house in Walnut. Actually, I shot the interior last week, but the exterior front wasn't ready yet, so i had to go back today. Was really hoping to got out there a little earlier to catch the better morning light, but it wasn't in the cards.

So, i thought i'd share a little of the equipment i'm running right now. pretty low end, but hey, we all gotta start somewhere right?

When i go on a residential video tour shoot, on of the first things i do is what i call the role up. I slap my go pro to the windshield of my car and get some footage of what the neighborhood looks like right around the house. When i shoot something for a yacht, i don't bother with this step because... we, who cares what the area around the marina looks like. instead, i slap the go pro to the hull of the yacht at various places and get footage with the vessel underway (when it's possible to have the vessel underway that is). Anyway, here's my little buddy Mike (yes, i named my go pro):

So Mike is Gopro Hero3 Silver. In the above shot, he's mounted on a suction cup mount. These things are awesome! rated at being stable and secure at speeds up to 150mph! Check out the specs: GoPro suction mount. I usually have Mike in the fully enclosed waterproof protective body. This body sucks for audio recording, but i normally don't need to do any sound recording what i do stuff like this, so it doesn't matter. If the video requires voice, then i record that later of site with different audio equipment.

My main workhorse right now is my trusty Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Now, in the world of DSLR cameras that are video capable, the T3i is basically on the low end as far as price and in bells & whistles. What i needed was a DSLR camera that could shoot 1080p at 60 FPS (Frames Per Second) and this camera does it the price point i had at the time of purchase. I'm getting ready to upgrade soon now that business is taking off, but my T3i will always be in my standard tool bag.

The Lens i use the most with Video Tour shoots is a Sigma wide angle. Great lens! Rugged metal construction and smooth controls. I've also got a standard polarized ND (neutral density) filter on the lens for outdoor video shooting, good for 2 f-stop reduction.

The Mic is an Azden Shotgun mic. This puppy works GREAT! excellent sound capture, just remember to adjust your cameras' input to almost all the way down or you'll get over sampled recordings.

The tripod is a discontinued Manfroto fluid head model.  The fluid head is important for smooth and stable panning shots. These types of tripods can be  considerably more expensive then photo tripods.

Last, but not least in my standard Video Tour tool bag is my GlideCam rig.

So, i'm running the Glidecam XR-1000. But i'm starting to push the limits of the weight of camera and gear that this Glidecam model can take, so i'm pretty sure i'm going to have to upgrade soon. A friend turned me on to a full steady cam rig (vest and all) that is actually a good quality rig (despite the fact it's made in china) that's suppose to be around $800... as apposed to $10-15k. Seems a lot of industry pros have been selling their expensive rigs and getting this cheaper model.

There you have it. Those are the basic tools i use on most video tour shoots. I now have access to some good lighting equipment, but it's proving out that using them complicates matters a little since i use Glidecam walk thru shots and lighting any particular part of a house on the fly is too time consuming and impractical for the amount of time i have to do a shoot and the mount of money i charge per video. I also have access to a much nicer Nikon camera, but i haven't had the chance to really get used to using it yet and the last thing i need is to not know what i'm doing with a camera when i'm on sight, or not know what kind of results i'm going to get because i'm unfamiliar with my equipment.

Now its off to editing and that's something for another post.

I need food.

I leave you now with a Video Tour i did not to long ago:

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