Spotlight on Business: 10 Tips for Shooting Video for Virtual Tours

Megan O'Neill


Whether you’re in retail or real estate, a virtual tour can be a great way to give customers an inside look at what you have to offer. We spoke with Scott Tushman, co-founder of MIM Marketing in Motion Inc., for some advice on shooting videos for virtual tours created with Animoto.

Scott has been involved in sales and marketing for over thirty years and has helped clients around the globe to develop interactive tour videos. He shoots many of the videos himself, like the one below.

Note: This video was created with Animoto Memories, an Animoto legacy slideshow-making tool. As of October 2018, all Animoto customers have access to our new easy-to-use, drag-and-drop video maker. **Click here to learn more about what you can do with Animoto for real estate today. Have a question about Animoto Memories? Reach out to our Customer Success team.

Scott shared the following 10 tips for shooting virtual tours with us, which he uses when he shoots his own showroom video tours:

  1. Walk through the site with your client (or on your own) first. Identify key areas that are important to highlight.
  2. Be sure your camera’s settings are set correctly, especially the white balance. Remember: As you travel from area to area, your lighting will change and your white balance may need to be adjusted.
  3. Start at the beginning of the showroom or property and shoot in the same order you’ll be using for your video tour. This will save you a lot of time editing, as everything will already be in order.
  4. Erase clips that are clearly unfit to use — this saves time when it comes to figuring out which clips will work for the actual video once you start editing. Just be careful to not erase the good ones.
  5. Try to use three or four different movements with your camera. Shoot from floor to ceiling, ceiling to floor, left to right, and right to left, as well as some slow zooms and zoom outs.
  6. Use a tripod! There’s nothing that screams amateur more than shaky and jerky clips.
  7. Shoot 5-10 second clips. What you’re looking for is the very smooth 3-4 second areas in the middle of these shots to use. It should be rare to use clips longer than 3-4 seconds in your final showroom tour.
  8. Always include shots of  the outside of your storefront or property and the entrance. You may want to include a shot of the door opening too, or a walk in from outside to inside. If you’re walking from outside to inside, make sure to check your camera’s settings, as the exposure may need to be adjusted to look good while walking in. Keep the clip short and hold it steady.
  9. If you’re creating a video for a client, find out from them what bullet points or messages they’d like you to highlight – call to actions, areas of service, and so forth. You only want 3-5. On top of that, you need to include the address, phone, logo, and website.
  10. Choose an Animoto video style and music that fits the client’s image, or the overall look and feel you’re going for with your video.

With Scott’s tips in mind, you’re ready to start shooting your own virtual tour. Once you do, we’d love to see what come up with. Feel free to share your links with us on our Facebook page, or in the comments below.

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