Up, Up But Not Too Far Away (Connecting with your Audience Using Aerial Videography)
Video shot from the sky is just plain cool.
And while its easy to get caught up in the novelty of a camera soaring over your community and seeing it from a whole new perspective, at the end of the day — remember that your aerial video must be more than ‘cool’, it must tell a compelling story.
Take an image of your community from birds eye view, it has the possibility to allow future renters to see all that you have to offer, or it can easily miss the mark and give the viewer too broad a picture.
Keep in mind that your audience is now exposed to a fair amount of aerial video, it’s nothing new. So how do you get your aerial video to stand out, and more importantly let your viewers picture themselves living there?
Aerial footage needs to serve the story, not vice versa. Each shot has to have a purpose.
The challenge is to hone in on the element that sets your community apart. Perhaps it’s your building’s architecture, maybe the size/layout, or even what’s around the property, and sometimes even — a community that is not even built yet! Outlandish as that may sound, hear us out. You want to start telling your community’s story from the start, and while you may have only dirt piles and frames to show, aerial video easily showcases incredible views the finished property will have, along with the ability to boast neighborhood attractions. It’s a smart way to start building anticipation and excitement for the neighborhood’s hottest new addition.
We recently did two videos back-to-back, one community in Downtown LA, and the other just a few miles away near LA’s Marina. Both in Los Angeles, yet these communities had entirely different stories to tell — the downtown location needed to showcase an alluring urban city scape and all of the hip spots around it, while the Marina one boasted sweeping water views and a luxurious beach-side lifestyle. They ended up quite different, and rightly so!
Certainly one of the biggest challenges we face is a community with few outdoor amenities and an unattractive surrounding location. We adapt our shooting style to the property, and focus on tighter shots of the building and available amenities. There is always, always a story to tell — sometimes we just dig a little deeper to find it.
Ready for your close up?
While the shots from the sky are an intriguing way to showcase your property, you still want the audience to connect with you community as much as possible, and the bird’s eye view can create a certain distance between you and your audience.
We avoid this by bringing the camera close to the ground, and moving through the community as well as over it. Starting or ending the shot on a closeup bridges the feeling between super high wide shots, and the perspective of standing in the community. The wide tends to cover the magnificence, while the beauty is still often in the details.
Here are some of our favorite examples of storytelling with aerial videography:
1. Waves Pull Back
This video is just one shot that lasts 15 seconds. It starts on a closeup of of a girl relaxing at the pool, and then pulls back to reveal that the community is located on the ocean, major wow factor! The fun upbeat music fades as we pull back, and then you are left with the sounds of the ocean. The one shot tells the story of life at that community — luxury and amenities , plus that soothing ocean breeze!
2. The Millennium Plunge
As mentioned before, you want the video to be more then just shots flying over the property. The shots should allow the viewer to experience the community. For one of our films, we started the shot high above the community pool, and then dropped it straight down and into the water. The music stops, and it sounds as if you’re under water until we emerge once more to show the amenities and community personality. With a couple visual effects and some smart audio editing, we brought aerial shots and closer shots together to paint the full picture for future residents.
3. Tower Reveal
One of our earlier aerial shoots is still a favorite. We show a couple walking out onto their balcony to enjoy a glass of wine, and then the camera pulls back, and keeps going until we see that they are about 40 floors off the ground in a high-rise tower overlooking the Vegas Strip.
4. Automatically Awesome
Some of our favorite videos to-date are the ones that successfully mix aerial with other styles. This helps punctuate your vide with shots that breakup the usual perspective and give you a complete view of the lifestyle, not just the building. Automatic Lofts is a shining example, blending aerial into the rest of the video. Not to mention the results were fantastic, we took home an AIM award for the piece!
Aerial Video: A Bird’s Eye View
Aerial videography can be a wonderful tool to help you tell that story, but remember that your community is more then just the walls around it. To see the “big picture” sometimes you need to get closer. Want to tell your community’s story with aerial video? Let’s talk.