Creative video techniques for construction projects

Traditional video has sometimes struggled to convey the scale and scope of construction projects. But as camera technology has evolved new possibilities have opened up for creative filmmakers. Here are three examples from other film-makers of our favourite techniques :

1) Timelapse

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then timelapse must be worth 1000 minutes. If well used, timelapse can achieve more in 2-3 minutes that a 60-minute documentary. The speeding up of footage doesn’t just provide an overview of the beginning to end of a project, but also a sense of activity and scale which could otherwise be lost.

This video of 6 months of construction of the Leadenhall building in London is atmospheric and rich in information about the building process and also the landscape in which the finished building will sit.

Making The Leadenhall Building from Paul Raftery and Dan Lowe on Vimeo.

2) 360 Video

A relatively new technology, 360 video gives the viewer control over where to look. With just a click and drag, the viewer can position the image and have a ‘look around’ rather than simply be shown what the director and editor chooses.

This video of the Elbphilharmonie construction site in Hamburg is a great example of the utility of the 360 technique. Giving a tour of the partially constructed building, the viewer can look around at their own pace, and focus on the areas of most interest to them. This is a more immersive experience than simply watching a video or even being guided through a virtual tour.

3) Drones

A drone-mounted camera allows the kind of footage which would previously have relied on much more expensive manned aerial flight. The ‘fly-through’ shots which drones can achieve add fluidity to a video and allow a sense of perspective. This added scale makes drones great for shooting construction videos.

This video of Apple’s new Cupertino HQ under construction gives a dramatic look at the subject, showing the wider landscape and how the building interacts with its environment.

Each construction project is unique and videoing them remains a rewarding challenge. Whether it’s marketing, education, or a report to the board, video creates a long-lasting and memorable record of every aspect of a construction project.