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Lights, Camera, Action

Lights, Camera, Action
by Gary Woods

I've been shooting video for a long time. First it was with my old VHS camera that made me look like the folks from Channel 5 on assignment. Then, I went to a much smaller camera that used digital video tape and now I've got a Sony HD camera which just uses internal memory.

For editing I went from a bulky system that required 2 players and a third machine to record the final product to using Premier Elements on the PC which is still a pretty cool setup and now I'm using Final Cut Express on the Mac then burning the videos using iDVD.

All of that was fun and I got some great looking videos of vacations and just some strolls around town. But, since I got the 3rd generation iPad with built-in cameras and one of our clients wants a quick Video of a property in which they're interested I fire up iMovie on the iPad and start shooting.

The iPad takes very nice video and has a stabilizer feature but even so I found some of my shots shaking like I was coming down from a 3 day bender. To make sure what I shoot looks rock solid I found the iPad Tripod Movie Mount from Makayama. This device has a tripod screw on the bottom so I either use a tripod or if I'm in a hurry I've got a cable that attaches to the bottom of the mount from which a steel line descends on which I stand giving me a solid shot without lugging too much stuff around.

A nice feature of the Makayama mount is that it allows you to use wide angle lenses which make the rooms look great. The lens mount is on a slider so I can take a shot once with the lens then quickly slide the lens out of the way to see how it compares.

Once I've shot a house which takes about 20 minutes editing inside iMovie is a breeze. You can re-size the length of what you took, add dissolves, titles and still photos to your project with what they call the "Ken Burns Effect."

If you're particularly ambitious you can use Garage Band on the iPad and compose your own musical background for the project or just add some narration for a personal touch. After you're happy you can upload the Video to YouTube from right inside the app and you're done.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc