“We have a trifecta coming up.” my client said. “We would like you to travel to Victoria and NSW.” As a videographer, one thing I enjoy doing more than filming is traveling somewhere new to film. I wondered for a moment how many days production that might require. This sounds like an awesome video production project.

“We have a prize home in Queensland, one in New South Wales and the other in Victoria.”

So, more like two days for each property. One day to showcase the apartment and the other to showcase the area. Sweet!

One of the things I love most about what I do is being able to do it without a rushed schedule. More often than not, my job as a videographer is extremely limited with time on location, so to be able to take the time to set up the required video equipment to get the shot I really want, is truly a wonderful thing.

Having one full day production time on location in a prize apartment is a luxury in itself! Its so nice to have the time to be creative, change lenses, adjust camera angles and program focus transitions for example.

The second day is all about the location. It’s like being a tourist, with a really big bag of camera equipment. Then there’s the parking – not so fun, particularly when you’re not overly familiar with the area or in Sydney full stop.

Quite often it can take anywhere between 5 to 25 minutes to set up the camera, choose the lens, set focus, program the motion slider and execute the shot. It can be a fair bit of mucking around sometimes but the reward is well worth it when the results are a few seconds of visual gold.

This is why I love shooting videos for the RSL Art Union. Not only do I get to visit and experience the wonderful prize homes, but I’m also able to spend adequate time on location which means I get all the shots I want to produce a great looking video.

An added bonus of course is I’m also working for a great company who raise funds to support current and former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families.

Draw 350 was indeed a trifecta featuring 3 wonderful apartments located in Port Melbourne, Sydney and Noosa. This project had me traveling across 3 states and spending two days at each location.

Noosa

My first location for this project was the beautiful Noosa, and a prize apartment just blocks away from where my Grandmother used to live when I was just a boy. I remember the place with dirt roads and just a few shops, man how things have changed.

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I probably spent about 4 hours in the apartment at Noosa as I collected a variety of shots using video equipment such as the DJI Ronin-M and Zhiyun Crane. But my favourite bit of gear for this type of work is my edelkrone Sliderone with motion control.

When prepping the apartment, I make sure I turn all lights on and anything that moves, turn it on too i.e. ceiling fans, water features etc. Don’t forget the stove light! Even during the day time, lights play an important part when presenting a property on video so light ’em up.

Once all is ready, I usually put on my headphones, tune into DI Radio and get in the zone.

I had the most fun in Noosa when I was walking along Hastings St, shooting location footage. The really great thing about the Zhiyun Crane is its portability and how easily you can walk around shooting street scenes, relatively inconspicuously.

When you think of Noosa you think of the beach. It was a given that I would shoot a bunch of footage on the beach.

Once again, the Zhiyun Crane proved to be very handy getting low shots by the waters edge without attracting too much attention.

Aerial Photography Noosa

Once I’d finished walking around for a couple hours, it was time to pop the DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone up and grab some aerials. The weather was spectacular. After a full 10 hours on location, it was time to head home. No plane trips this time, just a 90 minute drive home.

MELBOURNE

Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia. It doesn’t have to try to be anything, its just Melbourne. It has its own style and sophistication. Its my Dad’s home town too, so it feels like home to me.

My flight landed early morning, I scored a nice hire car and navigated my way to the prize apartment located at Port Melbourne.

The most complicated part of the trip was finding the designated carpark. Eventually, the car was parked and I had carried all my gear up to the apartment. Time to get to work.

I spent the day filming in the apartment, taking my time to shoot from as many angles as possible and getting to know my new edelkrone Sliderone. I also really enjoyed using my new Lumix 42.5mm prime for the feature shots with shallow depth of field.

Probably the most concerning thing for me when I’m traveling is keeping track of all my gear and in particular all the keys! Keys to my car, my home, my hotel, my hire car and most importantly, the keys to these wonderful prize homes! I’m checking my pockets constantly!

Day 2 in Melbourne was all about location. I traveled around the city and shot some time-lapse of the trams and general street scenes but my shot of the day was thanks to my DJI Phantom 4 Pro. I flew it out over the ocean and looked back towards Port Melbourne. The clouds parted nicely and I got a slice of blue sky with the Melbourne CBD in the background, just perfect. I was so stoked.

Sydney

I wasn’t a big fan of Sydney in years gone by. Probably because I found the place too fast paced, stuck up and congested.

But, now that I’m older (and wiser?) I appreciate all that Sydney offers and I can certainly see the appeal of living in this wonderful city. Of course, the majority of us would only be able to reside in the inner city areas if we were to win a prize apartment like the one I was in town to film. It was fun to imagine what that would be like while I was on location.

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It was an absolute pleasure spending the day filming this apartment. Incredible views of Sydney CBD across to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I put on my headphones, setup on my GH5 on my Sliderone and motion control module and totally got in the zone.

Early on Day 2, I traveled to the Opera House in the hope of catching some early morning footage of the harbour. Unfortunately the morning sun was behind the Opera House and so I wasn’t able to get the shot I wanted, but I did get some great scenes along the walkways and across the harbour.

Sydney really is a beautiful city. I don’t forget for a second the fact that I’m being paid to travel to such an iconic city to do what I love to do. It’s for this reason that I can’t think of doing anything else while I’m in Sydney. My eyes are constantly looking through the lens and I’m always thinking about my next shot.

Digital Jigsaw

Once all apartments have been filmed, I bring it all into my editing suite. I use Premiere Pro and I create proxies for all my video footage when setting up the project.

All up I had 260 gigs worth of footage to sort through. I liken the process to assembling a digital jigsaw. I review the rushes and select the ones that look the best. I group them together on my timeline before bringing the voice-over into the mix.

Voice-overs (i.e. scripts) form the back bone of any video. The narrative is like the skeleton and the footage is meat on the bones. I love this part of the editing process. It’s a wonderful feeling to see all the footage I have shot come together in the edit.

Graphics and music soundtracks are placed accordingly and after a fair amount of tweaking, the video is ready to be reviewed by the client. I really enjoy the whole creative process and its a great feeling at the end of the project to see your work published online.

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