Amazing Time lapse videos of Austin, TX

Here are my favorite five time lapse videos of Austin, TX.  If you have one that you love, please let me know about it in the comment section below.

Everybody seems to either be on the move TO Austin or on the move IN Austin.  We all  knows that Austin has some incredibly creative and talented residents, and these are some videos that come from that creativity.

So many Austin landmarks are represented in these short films:  The Capitol, The UT Tower, Downtown Hi-rises, ABIA, the Pennybacker bridge on 360, Frost Tower, the Long Center, Ladybird Lake (more…)

When a house finds an owner

Up until I saw this, I didn’t like to hear people talking during a real estate video.

This changes my mind.

Take a look, and let me know what you think:


Brendan McDermott, and his wife Christina are developers in Hollywood, California, and they did a great job telling the story of this beautiful updated Spanish style house.

Relaxed StorytellingI love how they describe the house, as well as talking about all the updates they did.  I feel like I really get to know the place, even though I’ve never been inside it.  They are relaxed, as they tell us the story of the home.  Like we were talking to them during a cocktail party, or other casual event.  As they tell us about the house, the video cuts away from them speaking, to actually show us the different rooms, style, and characteristics of the place, using a simple voice over technique that keeps me engaged.

Their decorating style is incredible

As they describe the beautiful home, they first talk about the basics of the remodeling and renovation of the house.  They discuss their philosophies, describe their credentials, and all of this is done in a low-key conversational tone.  Very professional.

Then they talk about the way the house is situated on the lot, and how the light, air and views are all a part of their design process.

Casual bedroomThey talk about the things they did to the home, the updates, the way they modernized it, but stayed true to the original style of the home.

“The elements of this home needed to be extremely profound”  They selected materials, paint, and fixtures that compliment the original architecture.

Continuing through the house they discuss the kitchen, the backyard, with pool and grassy area.

And then they talk about the street and expand it to the neighborhood – all the cool features about living in old Hollywood.

Three things I love about this video.

One of my favorite cuts on this video is at the 1:24 mark, when they do a quick time lapse shot off one of the porches.  There is a beautiful view through the trees of downtown LA, and the shot shows the view you would get over time as the sun sets, and all the lights of the city come up.  Very nice.

Vintage glass door knobAnother cool trick they use is to jump from two different perspectives of a room.  First they talk about the overall feel and flow of a room, and show you a great overview shot of the space.  Then, as they get into more detail about the specifics of the different materials, the camera shows shots of the different tiles, light fixtures, and fabrics used.  The effect is very subtle, but not unnoticed.  For instance, as Christina talks about the different architectural details, the camera pans across a beautiful vintage door handle, and we get to see the patina on the old metal, and even a few scratches showing this item had a previous life, but was saved for this home.

Finally, they use one other clever trick in during the 4 minute long video that I didn’t notice until I had watched in almost a dozen times (that’s how much I like it).  At the beginning of the video, it’s morning, and we get to see the beautiful light in the home.  As the video progresses, by the end it is completely dark outside, and we get to experience the way the lighting fixtures illuminate the spaces.  Nice touch.

I know I’ll be using a lot of these techniques in my 2014 real estate videos.  Will you?

This is how a real estate video should be done

Over the next few days, I’m going to showcase some of my favorite Real Estate Videos from 2013.

Here’s the first, take a look and let me know what you think:

I love this video – it’s like a little movie.  There is even a plot twist.  Nicely done, by Sage Real Estate, and Property Films CA.


We have all seen them, they are all over the internet, and I just cringe whenever I see them. I know in the first few seconds if the video is going to be any good or not. I’m specifically talking about real estate videos.

We all have video cameras on us all the time. This is a relatively new concept. Most of us over 40 aren’t used to walking around with a camera on us all the time, but the younger generation is all about documenting their lives through photos and video.

As a real estate agent having a video camera on us can be a powerful tool to help us market a home by creating a listing video, or to establish that we are neighborhood experts.


But, just because you have the ability to make a video doesn’t mean you should.

But the listing video above is a fantastic example of real estate video done the right way.  The marketing is superb, and if you are like me, you can see yourself moving right into that home, and picking up the relaxed lifestyle of the current owner.

What makes this property video so different?

There are a lot  of elements to this video that separate it from one of the usual real estate videos.

The video starts with a car coming up the street.

The subject is nicely dressed, and drives a nice car.  He is successful.  Not cocky or pushy.  He is a nice guy, smart, and has worked hard to get ahead in life, but also knows how to enjoy his life, and appreciates some of the finer things in it.

As he walks up to the front door he gets a text, asking him to come meet some friends nearby.  That sets the stage for showing the house.

Water in kitchenHe will use the different parts of the house to get himself ready to go out.  As he enters, he is greeted by his dog, and then heads over to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water from the fridge.  This showcases the kitchen, quickly, but effectively.  He then heads up the stairs, followed by his little dog, and into the master bedroom, and enters the bath.  As the camera follows him through the house, we get to see how clean the place is, how the furniture is arranged, and how light and airy the place feels.
Bath getting readyAfter spending some time in the bath, he goes to the closet, and hangs up his jacket, showing there is plenty of storage in the home.  He’s now ready to head out, and  goes downstairs, still followed by his puppy, and just before he exits the house, he does a quick check to see if the place is ready in case he brings guests over later in the evening.

The camera shows the living room, the dining area, the kitchen, all from the subject’s perspective, and not using any special effects.   You get a great overview of the house at this point.

Then, the plot takes a small twist.  The dog is lonely, and doesn’t want his owner to go out.  The sad puppy dog eyes, convince him to stay home.  The next shot is of the owner sitting on this back porch, playing with the dog, and enjoying his backyard.

The last shots are of the agent’s contact info, as well as the company that made the video.  The whole thing took less than 2 minutes.  And it conveyed everything you need to know in a minute and 54 seconds.

Sad dog


What this video doesn’t have

There is no voice over, except at the very end – nobody is telling you about the house.  Nobody is spoon feeding you information. You get to discover it on your own.

There aren’t any text overlays or fancy special effects to distract you from the property.

There isn’t any overt marketing of the real estate brokerage or video company, except at the very end, when you are ready to get more information, and take action.


How did they make the video?

As I look at this video, and try to reverse engineer how they made it, it is really very simple.  It was shot mid-day, in full sunlight.  There isn’t excessive depth of field shots, and that tells me that the lenses used may have been expensive, but most likely they weren’t all that fancy.

There is a little bit of motion to the camera in most shots.  I don’t they used a lot of tripods, or slider / rail systems.  Probably just a small handheld steady cam rig that can be bought for less than $100.

The angles shift back and forth between the dog’s view, and ankle level, the owner’s view, and regular property views.

Throughout the story, there is soft gentle, guitar music with a female singer, that enhances the story, and doesn’t detract from it.


I wish more agents would spend just a little more time and creativity to come up with ideas like this.  Don’t you?