Finally getting serious about selling something and I need to get a video done. I haven't ever done a real sale video before and I need to make sure it's good. I just bought a new camcorder just for the occassion
I have a good pony jock that will ride him for me. I am going to try to do it in a nice ring at a friend's farm.
Exactly what would you want to see? How much hacking? Up close shots? How long? Music or no? Should I braid him? Any other advice or ideas of things I can do to make my video appealing? What aggravates you in a sale video?
Please rest your hand against a fence or something so it's not shakey! Its always good to have nice quality footage- I.e not shakey, good lighting, no grain, etc. Also, if you put the video on YouTube I suggest doing it a day before you wish to show the video as the quality improves over time. Make sure the horse is nicely turned out (show turnout except braids, I would say) Also make sure the rider looks neat and crisp, preferably in a well-fitted polo and clean tall boots. As far as the video goes, I'd say w/t/c once or twice around the ring both ways, then get right into jumping. The horse should do a course at the height you advertise him at unless you have a good reason as to why not. Course should be uninterrupted, as should all footage. (most buyers suspect something if you cut out certain parts, them go back) As far as pictures go I wouldn't put them in the video. If they haven't seen pictures already I like to see a conformation one, horse should be square, nicely turned out, oiled/polished feet, clean an sparkling coat, etc. Then I also like to see one or two over fences pictures, and a few flat work ones.
I do videos for marketing, nothing "fancy" but I show what I would want to see. Forget music! I do try and remember however, to "mute" the video as it can be distracting to have someone talking or wind blowing (but have to admit sometimes I forget!). First remeber you HAVE A ZOOM! I hate videos that are SO far away you cannot see anything. Practice some before the actual video so you know what you need to work on. Show walk/trot and canter both directions, a lead change each way if horse has one. DON'T make it 5 minutes of flat work! I usually take a LOT more video than I need and then edit it to reasonable lengths of each gait. I'm not trying to "hide" anything, just making sure its not too long. THen I usually will try and show horse/pony trotting a couple fences and then jump a short course. I will sometimes include some video of the horse just standing, i.e. conformation. Just don't make it too long, I find a video over 3 minutes long is really longer than most buyers want to see, i certainly don't want to have to wade thru 6 minutes of trotting to get to some jumping! Oh yes, and one other thing DON'T do the SLOW MOTION stuff, that shows a person absolutely nothing
Ditto everything that Shawnee said...but a note of caution with the zoom. Be sure to practice with your camera first to see how it zooms (Speed, how much pressure it takes on the button to not make it bolt right in close). This will help prevent your video from looking like a bad music video with super-quick sudden close-ups or zoom outs. I too have done several professional sales videos and what I have found to work best is to try to keep the horse the same size no matter how close or far away they are. It may not always be possible (such as the approach to a fence) but that is the goal. Definitely use a tripod. Even the steadiest hands look super shaky when zoomed in.
The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.
This may be just me, but I like it when there is an entirely separate video of pretty much just jumping. Reason being, I first and foremost care about the jumping. I want to see it jump around a course or two at advertised height without having to wade through 5 minutes of trotting and walking in circles with a few random jumps mixed in. Much easier to have separate videos of flatwork and jumping.
I personally usually put in a conformation shot, head shot and some information about the name, sex, height, age, breeding into the video's title, so that they have all the information in one place. I have begun offering my amateur videography/photography skills to local horse owners/breeders and I usually try to include these things in the video.
On of my pet peeves is when you see the whole session- i.e the horse starting with a cross rail and building to a 3'6" jump. Show me the meat of the session, not the progress.
Here are a few of the videos that I have done for some of our horses. I know that many people hate music, but I'm a sucker for it!
Thank you all! Good food for thought. One thing I have to figure out is how to "merge" videos into one video. My new camera (I am a complete technology idiot ) starts a new file every time I stop filming. I definitely don't want it to look like I'm hiding something, but having her step into the ring, w/t/c both directions and go right into the course or 2 without stopping might be a little more than we're capable of... I guess I could tell directions and then edit my voice out...
There is more to it than that. Learn to do it right the first time, then you won't have to learn again. I think i am in your neighborhood. This is something Iknow plenty about and amwilling to share. You know how to find me.
Remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression
Consider using a professional! Depending on the rates, it may be the biggest return on investment you'll get with horses. A pro quality video speaks volumes about your horse and you. Even if you're the best trainer in the world, a poor video will reflect badly on your horse.
If not a pro videographer, then definitely a tripod. It won't bring technical and artistic experience to the table but it is the easiest way to improve your final outcome ;-)
Shawnee, what are your rates for your services? Feel free to PM me.
I have a friend who sells horses for a living. She sold a mare for me several years ago and I was very impressed by her videos. You can look through what she's got now at www.toplinesporthorses.com. She uses music, but she does a phenomenal job of it and I think it enhances the video they way she does it (though as a general rule I agree that in the hands of a video amateur, no music is better!)
(I don't think she keeps videos of sold horses up, but my mare is the little chestnut one "Finale" on the sold page)