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Villa Mannu Promotional Video in Sardinia

In this article I am going to discuss how I approached this shoot from concept development to delivering the end product.

Research and concept development

When Paolo first contacted me asking me to create a promotional video to increase bookings for their rental villa in Sardinia, the first thing I did was asking a few questions to try to get as much detailed information as possible about the location, competition, and their USP (Unique Selling Point).

It was important for me to understand how many rooms the villa had, as well as other features like the swimming pool, two balconies facing the sea, and the proximity of the villa to the sea itself. I then carried out some research of my own looking at other rental villas in the area (the competition), the aerial view of the house (using Google maps), and I used an app called Sun Surveyor to see the position of the sun with respect to the villa at different times of day.

Commercial photo of swimming pool

We then agreed to put together two videos, a shorter trailer video for the home page (1 minute or less), and this video which is a longer (10 min) promotional video where we discuss the USPs and main features of the house, as well as local attractions.

With a clear understanding of the competition, geography, and the target customer, we built a story around the idea of "Pockets of Peace", a few selected areas of the house were guests can find peace and tranquility while enjoying stunning views of the sea.

Commercial photo of balcony in Sardinian villa

Gear selection

For this shoot I was going to work as a one man band, which means that I was going to have to do lighting, audio, and camera work all on my own. I also had to consider how much equipment I would be able to carry on the plane with me going from London to Sardinia.

For that reason I decided to opt for a minimal set up whilst at same time having all the usual backups needed to ensure the job will get done comes what may.

The interviews were shot on a tripod using a DSLR camera, Rode clip on mics, and an LED light with soft box.

I also had a gimbal with me to shoot some moving shots around the outside of the house.

For the areal shots I decided to use some drone footage that we already had.

The shoot

The day before the shoot we had a walkthrough the house and we pinpointed the locations where we would be shooting the interviews. I then checked the weather forecast for the next day, and I used Sun Surveyor to determine at which time it would be best to shoot for each location.

I also had a list of other shots I needed to get, which I would then use to illustrate the interview.

On the day the main focus was on the interviews as those were the most important parts of the video, and it was essential that we would start shooting at the pre determined time. As an example the sunset does not last long and in order to have the sun setting in the background for the interview we shot in the upstairs balcony we had to we had to be all set up and ready to go when the sun started setting.

In between interviews I would look at my shots list and keep shooting secondary footage until it was time to set up for the next interview which would maximise the use of my time.

Putting it all together

At the end of it I had my primary footage (the interviews), all the secondary footage I captured inbetween interviews, and the drone footage.

I started by lining up all the interview clips on my editing software (DaVinci Resolve), I cut out any mistakes and long pauses, and clenaed up the audio.

The drone footage had not been captured by me, and I had to go through all the footage and cut out the parts I needed for the video. As an example, I cut out a part of the areal footage showed how closed the villa was to the coastline.

Aereal shot of Sardinian villa with a view of the sea

After that I marked on the timeline where I would want to insert my secondary footage, and started adding it to the video. For example, where Paolo mentioned the pool I used the drone shot of the swimming pool.

The final video

The final video was a mix of interviews, and secondary shots (e.g. swimming pool, sunset, aereal view of the villa) all tied toghter in one one coherent and engaging story that delivers in showcasing the may selling points of this fantastic villa on the Sardinian coast.

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