A Non-Professional’s Guide To Making Online Real Estate Video (Part 3)October 3, 2006
This third post in this hands-on series will focus on preparing for editing of your real estate video. Part 1 of this series covered planning for real estate video in general and Part 2 of the series covered the actual filming of the property video.
Preparing The Computer
many people feel than processor speed is the most important attribute for computers. However, when it comes to editing video, RAM (or memory) is arguably the more important factor than processor speed. Your computer should have at least 512MB of RAM to do most capturing/editing and I recommend at least 1GB if you can afford it. With lots of RAM, you can easily perform most edits on older hardware such as a Pentium 3 computer. You’ll also need at least 20 GB of available hard drive space (more is better).
Preparing For Digital Video Capture
Unless you have one of those video cameras that automatically saves to DVD, you’ll need a way to get your real estate video shots from the camera to your computer for editing. There are a number of choices here that range in price.
Firewire connection: Most Mini-DV camcorders have a firewire connection ( also called i.Link or IEEE 1394) to transfer video. many computers (macs and PCs) also have a built-in firewire connection built in. If your computer does not have such a connection, you can buy a firewire card to add to your computer – I found some on eBay in the $12-20 range. Since we are making real estate video and not a TV show, we can likely bypass the options for cards in $xxx and $xxxx ranges unless your budget affords these options.
Other types of Connections: Most other types of non-miniDV video cameras still have some sort of “video out” option to capture video – you can try some of the Dazzle products for instance or, with patience, look on ebay or craigslist for used alternatives that fit your budget. If your camera outputs an SVHS signal – use that.
Find A Decent Editing Package
Editing in the camera for real estate video is possible but can be extremely challenging. Basically, when one edits in the camera, each “take” must be perfect in terms of videography and audio. Even with the best plan, how often does that happen? Hint – not often. If you choose to edit in the camera, try each shot multiple times and plan on taking a lot more video than you think that you’ll need.
My recommendation is to find and use a simple video editing application to help you present the best view of the property in your real estate video. you’ll need this regardless of if your video is intended as online real estate video (videocast), downloadable video podcast, or other type of real estate video.
Your video editing package doesn’t have to be expensive or new. Most (if not all) copies of Windows XP come with Windows Movie Maker which works just fine. Other operating system have open source alternatives that are often free. More professional software such as Adobe Premiere often comes packaged with capture cards so keep that in mind as an option. Remember that editing software is beginning to mature so older versions of professional software are available and will often meet your needs – I have certain designers still on older versions of Adobe photoshop and Premiere because these versions still work for the things that they do.
Preparing Your Audio
If you have a editing package that can separate your audio from your video, try downloading the levelator to instantly clean up your audio. NOTE: The levelator is a free audio editing tool but is just a few days old and still in beta as of this writing. You simply drag your audio file to the levelator interface and it will produce a clean version of your audio a few minutes later. Also, search the web for other free audio editing applications.
Many video editing applications have some capability to edit audio as well.
Review The Video That You Have
now is the time to review all of the video that you have and begin to plan how your real estate video is actually going to come together. Make simple notes of your shots and how you want to put the various shots together (use your original plan that you learned about in Part 1 of this series as a guide)
Be Careful With Copyrighted Material
If you will be adding music or outside photos into your video, be sure that you have the proper permissions or a license to do so. The best bet is to find a “royalty-free” collection of music that you like and use that (if you must have music). The internet is a big place – but chances are, someone will recognize the music or photos that you are using if used without permission.
My personal rules for music in real estate video are as follows:
– the intent of real estate video is to sell a property therefore music should not compete with the property or the user’s ability to hear the narration
– Music should be supportive of the sales effort – go for the bulk of tastes….don’t blow a sale simply because someone doesn’t like your choice of music
– always know where the music came from and have a license, written permission, or the original music file (if created by our team) . In short, if we dont know where the music came from, we don’t use it
OK, now we are ready to edit our real estate video which we will cover in part 4 of the series.