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Walk the Walk with Virtual Tours

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Remember when everyone thought the phrase “new normal” wouldn’t stick? That this COVID thing would only last a few weeks or months? Those were the days. Smash cut to the end of 2020, and it seems as though the world has mostly adjusted to a new way of life. We do, in fact, have a new normal. No events, no large gatherings, and wouldn’t you know it—no in-person tours. Schools, medical programs, and even government agencies have made the switch to virtual, and Jpixx has been right there to lead the transition.

While COVID didn’t pioneer the need for virtual tours, it certainly made the option more imperative than ever. Jpixx rose to the task of helping our clients present all of the necessary info while simultaneously showing off a certain visual appeal and keeping everyone socially distant. The icing on the cake was our ability to add that ‘walking-tour’ flair by incorporating choreographed camera moves and coaching the tour guides to interact directly with the lens.

First, we worked with our friends at Nansemond Suffolk Academy to create a welcoming virtual tour of the campus for interested students and parents. With in-person tours limited, and cancellations dependent on the latest ordinances, we helped NSA create a video that would be as evergreen as possible while also covering all of the bases—classrooms, art studio, library, you name it!

Let’s talk tech. How do you accomplish a walk-and-talk format and keep everything looking smooth and effortless? Fortunately, we are geared up with our Freefly MOVI Pro, Canon C200, Sony Wireless lavaliers, and Teradek Serv Pro monitoring system. The MOVI Pro allows us to keep all of the camera work stable. The Canon C200 has excellent touch-screen auto-focus, which is super helpful when you’re mobile. The on-screen talent was mic’ed up with a Sony wireless lav, which transmits a signal to the Sony receiver plugged into the C200. Finally, our Teradek Serv Pro is a wireless monitoring system. With a transmitter rigged to the camera, the client is able to see what the camera sees from their smartphone, or any number of mobile devices. That way, they get to be in on the action with us, take-by-take.

BOOM. That’s some serious muscle. We used this same rig to help the UVA Neurology Department with a video taking interested Residency applicants on a tour of the historic UVA grounds in Charlottesville, VA. For this project, we helped the client plan out which stops we would cover on the grounds, who would be on camera at each stop, and what the talking points would be. We know what you’re thinking—multiple on-camera speakers, multiple stops across the campus, and multiple talking points that need to be memorized. Yes, we definitely had a lot going on and got our steps in (27,846 over the two-day shoot to be exact). But working with the UVA Neuro folks was a breeze; they provided scouting photos of each stop and came prepared with their talking points.

When we’re planning a virtual tour video, our clients are often curious how it will come together, quite literally. How will we transition from one speaker to another? How will it feel natural if we’re not in person? One way to remedy this is to have each speaker do a verbal hand-off to the next speaker. With some pre-planning, this is exactly what HRSD did for their virtual tour of their new Cambi THP system. Since we’re filmmakers and not engineers, this hand-off system was massively helpful in the edit as well. We were able to match up the script and the clips and didn’t have to stress about identifying the difference between a scalping hex and a cooling hex, if ya know what I mean.

No matter how you want to approach it, Jpixx is ready to create your virtual tour video. Want to show the world your campus, special program, or newly installed technology? Well, right this way…we’re here to help!

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