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Hi to all, I am a new member and new to creating walkaround videos. Would anyone be willing to share their advice and direction on the best camera to use for shooting walkaround videos. How about video editing software?

Thanks for your help,

Carolyn Steffen

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Hi Carolyn-

Questions I would consider before shooting video:

1. What are we planning to do with the video? Are we sending it to YouTube? How about our website, and other 3rd party sites like cars.com, autotrader, and carsoup?

2. What type of smart phone do we use, or have access to? iPhone, or Droid?

3. Who at our dealership is going to be designated to shoot the video?

Based on your answers, I think I can provide some solid solutions to simplify your video process.

Respectfully,

James Plankey

Hi James,

Thank you for your response. 

  1. We'll be using the videos on as many channels as possible . . . YouTube, website, etc.
  2. We can use a smart phone but are thinking a camera would give us better quality video and audio.
  3. I'll be shooting the videos. My background is in creating training videos so I'm not totally in the dark about framing, shooting and producing videos . . . the subject is just a bit different . . . and in some cases more exciting. 

Thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions. 

Best,

Carolyn

Hi Carolyn-

OK - Let's start with basic low cost things you can do right now with a smart phone. Not to get our Droid friends in an uproar, I do prefer using an iPhone. So if you will allow me a little latitude, I will treat this with iOS examples, and our readers can mirror these ideas to Droid use.

Personally, I don't know if I would invest in a video camera. Most recent smartphones have excellent 8 megapixel cameras. More than adequate to shoot good video. Newer smartphones also have plenty of storage -8, 16, 32 and 64 GB. iPhone also offers excellent movie editor apps that allows you to do quality looking videos that stand out. I will incorporate some YouTube links you can review at the end of this posting. I also like the fact that all the video, editing, and uploading can be done on one device. This basic feature allows you to automatically post your videos right to your dealership's YouTube video account. You do need to add your title, and tags for optimum VSEO.

If you want a robust but affordable automatic distribution to your website, cars.com, autotrader, carsoup, etc; you will probable need to work with a company that can distribute these for you. If you will allow me to place a plug: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/autos-on-video/id437739412?mt=8 - There are other companies out there as well that will allow you to download your inventory, and distribute your videos to practically any place that will except video with a simple, easy to use app. Many companies distribute their videos in a flash - flv format which will negate video viewing from iPads and iPhones. Make sure these companies make your videos smartphone, and iOS friendly. There usually is an inexpensive initial setup to make this all happen, and a small monthly maintenance, and upload fee.

There are also nice stabilizer devices for the iPhone that enhances the video experience. I'm not aware of any standard Droid stabilizers, because there as so many different type of Droid phones available.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG0FVKCaopE&feature

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0VUIKCaOnE&feature

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xVQXydhMno&feature

Because of posting space, I'm addressing high points. Please feel free to contact me if you need more specifics or clarification. Please also excuse any misspells, etc.

Respectfully,

James Plankey 847.910.0536

Hi James,

First, let me thank you again for taking your time to share your valuable information and insight. This is most helpful. Before responding I will look at these videos and the itunes distribution channel. There's so much to learn about this, how exciting!

Again, my thanks, I'll let you know what I think.

Carolyn 

Hey Carolyn,

 

Welcome to ADM!~

 

Very cool Thread.........

 

We like Videos in my neck of the woods too;





Myself personally I like to use my Canon XH-A1S 3CCD HDV Camera & one of my fave editing tools is Avid Media Composer 6............. very cool combo~

Ken-

Hi Ken,

Thank you for sending along the videos. I watched the videos James sent and now yours . . . I'm on car-video overload at the moment, but am getting excited about getting behind a camera myself.

Looks like both camera and phone produce workable videos, but I must say - this could be just lighting but I dont' think so - the camera (Canon) captures paint colors better than the iphone - the beautiful red on the Ferrari faded to orange in the bright sun. Ken, are you using a wireless mic? What kind?

Ken, I like the vast amount of detail you give on each car . . . prospective buyers like an education and you really hit the mark there. You've been doing this awhile I would guess.

Thanks again, 

Carolyn

lol - Yes Carolyn........ you might say I`ve made a video or two...............lol

I started doing this 6 years ago........... and developed a lot of cool things i.e. sequences, settings, lighting ideas along the way~

As for a wireless mic............. absolutely not! It is absolutely NOT necessary to use an external mic(You just have to learn how to face when speaking(or jumping off a car!~lol)

I try to keep it entertaining and informative at the same time............... I want to keep the viewer thinking "Wow! I`m interested in THAT car!"...... and time in and time out it works.

Here`s a few places on the `Net where you can see me;

http://www.youtube.com/user/DouglasInfiniti?feature=mhee

http://www.youtube.com/user/DouglasVW?feature=mhee

http://www.youtube.com/user/JohnWayne00?feature=mhee

*Hope you enjoyed and were perhaps a tad inspired by some of this Carolyn - 

Ken-

Hi Ken-

I've seen some of your videos on ADM that Ralph has posted. I think they are great!

Other than YouTube, are you having success feeding your videos anywhere else like cars.com, autotrader, etc?

Respectfully,

James Plankey

Hi James,

 

Yes......... when it comes to videos, I utilize them all over the `Net~

 

Get ready! Here`s a simple and yet a very effective way to get your videos up on Autotrader and Cars.com...........

 

When you post clips to these sites they have time restraint of approximately 2 minutes if I remember correctly.

 

*Here`s a simple and effective way around that issue......... simply upload your You Tube video then just grab the link to the actual video and drop that in the description field in Dealer Specialties and when the feed goes out to Autotrader and Cars.com it will look like this;









 

 


*Right between the Red Dots you will see they actual Video Link................Presto!~ Believe me your customers will Copy & Paste this link!



They say "Proof is in the Pudding" right.......... or Audi! *Check this out;
after viewing this clip on Cars.com that had been posted three days;

This young guy drove from Connecticut to purchase that gorgeous Audi S5 Coupe;

I also use the clips in Blogs and Craigs List Ads which are also highly effective;
http://cnj.craigslist.org/ctd/3007660659.html

*So there are many many cool ways to use video in your Digital Marketing Strategies that can ALL BE ACCOMPLISHED IN-HOUSE!!! No Vendor needed!! How cool is that????? 

Great Thread!

Ken-

Ken-

Hi Ken-

This is great stuff, up to the point of "No Vendor Needed" : )

You have a great video solution that will work for a lot of stores. There is no doubt in my mind, video sells automobiles as you have demonstrated on your last post. It's very impressive!

Dealerships I work with are not willing to commit 4-9 minutes to shoot a video, then take additional time to edit, render, and upload. By doing the equation: Time X Hrs = $  My product, and others like it, more that pay for itself, and truly simplifies the video process. My clients also want their videos to play directly from cars.com, autotrader, carsoup, and their website to replace the fake PTZ video. In their words, it's providing a "better customer viewing experience."

What is great about ADM's site, it provides someone like Carolyn a great resource to weed through what process will serve her best. I've certainly have learned a few things these past few days, and I'm sure Carolyn has a clearer vision on what video will look like at her dealership as well.

Respectfully,

James

Hey James - 

Just wanted to make sure that Carolyn realized that there are "Two-sides-to-every-coin"................ that`s all.

I agree..... ADM offers a wealth of resources to all dealers  in order to enhance there Digital Endeavors. 

Carolyn, Hi. I don't do as much video as I should but I like our Canon Vixia HF R200, mostly because it has an external microphone input that I team up with an Azden WLX- Pro wireless Lapel microphone system. Gets rid of the wind and background noise. While video is pictures we are still marketing with the words! The whole thing was less then $500.00. One piece of advice...DO NOT load the Canon software and I agree with Ken about the Avid Media Composer 6. I think he knows a little something about this video stuff!!!!

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