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Luxury real estate video uses time-lapse photography for flair

Quality real estate video

On our quest to highlight quality real estate video, we noted that the “Shaken Not Stirred” property tour of in California used a unique method that we would love to see more of in real estate video – time lapse photography.

Mixed in with video of lifestyle perks in the area and depictions of the home during the day and night, this is a great example of luxury real estate video done well.

Seattle Realtor Marlow Harris said, “Cool time-lapse photography make this video of a home in the Bay area stand head and shoulders above other home marketing videos I’ve seen.” produced the above video for Sotheby’s International Realty East Bay.

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  1. Roland Estrada

    August 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Now that, is slick!! The Whole time I was watching, I was thinking – "okay, how can do that in iMovie or Final Cut Pro". Very nice.

  2. Tom

    August 28, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Beautiful. But 99.9999% of agents can't afford this type of marketing. $4000? More? How much?

    • Roland Estrada

      August 28, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      Tom, not at all. With some practice you can do it yourself on a Mac. I can do it all minus the time-lapse. We have a company at Windermere SoCal that would do it for a few hundred. There is enough software and hardware available to do it yourself if you choose.

      • Greg Lyles

        August 29, 2011 at 11:59 am


        You can do that too! To do a time lapse, set your camera to do Interval Timer Shooting. Set the start time, how many images to take and how often to take them. Once all of the photos have been taken, create a new project in iMovie. Select the button that looks like a camera in the viewer panel. Select your photos and drag them to the project library. You may have to adjust the transition duration in Project Properties to get the timing where you want it. When finished, export as a movie.

        Greg Lyles

      • CJ

        September 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

        I'd really like to know the name of the company in SoCal that can do something similar for a few hundred dollars. They must know something that the rest of us dont or they just do it for fun. Seriously I'd like to talk shop with them.


  3. Ted Mackel

    August 31, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Beautiful video, yes it is way out of the skill level of an RE agent. Even with the most inexpensive pocket dollies, doing a dolly move with time lapse requires a motor, yes it gets expensive. There is a lot of other equipment used in this video that is not in the arsenal of the typical agent nor film school grad. Definitely not equipment wedding videographers would have. My brother bought a Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly with the K-Pod and Hercules Head and that right there is $1500.00 Add the motor for Timelapse and your in another $200. YEs I have access to that kind of equipment but that is rare.

    Looking through the video there were several boom shots, lots of dolly moves, a few underwater shots, Two car mounted shots, plus they had people in some of the shots. I doubt this was a "few hundred dollar production". There were approximately 75 shots all at various times of the day with live motion and timelapse, it was a multi day shoot most likely. 75 shots made it to final how much never made it?

    Hire out for this? I am not sure what the cost is, but even for a multi-millon dollar property it would be an investment without a contract guarantee.

    My main concern with this video is it really has two things that will get many agents in trouble and one could be a very costly on issue. You need a Pro account to upload commercial video on Vimeo, otherwise that violates the TOS and no matter what excuse anyone wants to make, Vimeo is for artists and should be kept that way. I watch at least 1 to 2 dozen Vimeo uploads a week on the HD and Staff Pick Channels. Commercials do not fit in that space. Viddler or Wellcomemat is a better fit.

    Last the music is not licensed and is not Royalty Free and Sotheby's is not going to be happy when BMI or ASCAP come knocking on this. RE Agents need to understand using commercial music is not cool under any circumstance, the legal fees of getting out of that mess is going to be huge, there is too much quality music on places like Pond5 for cheap that will keep you legal. Think about it this way, when BMI or ASCAP decide to make an issue who are they going to go after? The Agent, the brokerage, the Franchisor and the creators of the video, They will see the name Sotheby's and that property and see deep pockets.

    I cant argue with the production, it is stunning, but some common sense needs to come into play, this is not going to happen on the average house and when you have a listing to do any video either high-end like this or more average stuff, be careful were you load it and don't use music without the proper permission.

  4. Quentin Bacon

    September 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Hi everyone. Just for clarity, I produced and directed the video for Sotheby's. The guys at The Seventh Movement are part of my commercial team. We co-produced the various time lapse sequences together. You can read the full story here:
    Great points all around. I appreciate the interest. Everyone should play with time lapse, it’s incredibly fun.
    The music is licensed through Their library is amazing.
    Vimeo now offers commercial accounts which we are transitioning too. They’ve been very generous with our videos. We choose them primarily due to the ability to include a still image as a placeholder. Something YouTube does not. I also like the ability to hot swap updated videos without losing the url and stats, something critical for long term exposure.
    I can’t disclose the details of compensation, but it’s on the higher end of what is typical. The full service is much more involved than it appears in creative and production. I personally don’t feel video is that great of an investment when made in the typical broadcast format. Homes are so much more than the sum or their parts.

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