Here at GTMA, we’re storytellers – plain and simple. But you already knew that. But did you also know that our media team is made up of filmmakers? That’s right, we don’t just do the pointing and shooting. Shots are planned out, carefully constructed, and flawlessly executed (pat on the back).
That’s not to say we don’t run into obstacles along the way. The biggest challenge we face in filming the same apartment features over and over again is finding new ways to keep the subject matter interesting and “fresh”. Not all apartment communities are the same, so all apartment video tours shouldn’t be either. That’s why we’re determined to give each video its unique “style”.
Let’s dive into swimming pools for our first example.
First Things First
Before we start production, we ask ourselves, “what is unique about this specific swimming pool”?
For some communities, it’s just the fact that they have a pool. Maybe there isn’t anything structurally or aesthetically different about this pool, but it’s important to showcase that living there means that you will be able to go for a swim whenever you like. But how can you make this particular pool interesting? Sure, there is the standard shot standing on the corner of the pool and shooting eye level. That will definitely show people that you have a pool, but we don’t want to just show that there is a pool. We want to show why that pool is the coolest pool you have ever seen.
Create A Connection
Shooting from a low POV angle can oftentimes help your future resident “feel” what it’s like to be enjoying the amenity. It’s a perspective you wouldn’t see unless you were actually in the water.
We also like to add movement to the shot to add energy. Having the camera push in towards the pool or maybe pulling back will help bring some life to the shot. Even taking the camera right over the edge of the pool is more engaging than just a wide, static shot.
See It From Every Side
An obvious choice is to move around the pool and capture it from different angles. Sometimes, there really is only one angle worth seeing, but you can create a totally different mood by reversing the angle. We filmed a community recently where one side of the pool had a fire pit, and lounge chairs, and you could see the hot tub and apartment building behind it. That showed off the “private resort” feel that most people like. When we shot the same pool from the other side, you could see that the community is right next to a marina, so that perspective showed that you could relax while taking in the incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and the beautiful boats that were sailing by.
More and more, we are seeing zero-entry pools being offered, which are pools that contain a gradual slope into the water without steps. That’s a really cool feature that you want to make sure is conveyed in the photos and video. Usually, a low-angle shot that shows the “beach feel” of the pool and water blending together will do the trick. Or putting chairs in the water where it is still shallow will let the viewer see how the amenities can be used.
A New Perspective
Another vantage point that people don’t often get to see is looking straight down on the pool. Getting our cameras above the swimming area can help sell design AND shape that would otherwise be missed. Some areas are so large and spread out that using a drone to fly over it is the best way to get a sense of what is really there. The same can be said for flying over the pool. It’s quite the combination of fresh perspective and camera movement.
One of my favorite ways to communicate swimming pool greatness is having actors or models utilizing it. Whether it’s someone diving in or just relaxing on a lounge chair next to it, seeing a person taking advantage of the amenities showcases it a lot better than just a nice clean image of just the pool.
We know we aren’t making feature films here, but that doesn’t stop us from acting like we are. We’re always on the hunt to discover new ways for photos and videos to tell the same tale.