Clip from feature doc about birdwatching! at

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Old June 3rd, 2006, 02:30 PM   #1
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Clip from feature doc about birdwatching!

Hey! I'm working on a feature length documentary about birdwatching and its culture through the eyes of a most unconventional birder. I know there are a bunch of wildlife videographers here who might be interested. This is a small 4 min segment of the film shot in Hong Kong. Does the guy and the content in the film hold your attention. What about for 8o minutes. Any comments would be helpful. Thanks and enjoy!

ps. go halfway down the page and click on on the rightside of the page
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 08:40 PM   #2
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I tried, but there were too many confusing commands , places to click and adverts, so I didn't see your clip. That site is very confusing.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:50 PM   #3
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sorry any suggestions on a good place to host a file, i havent been able to find anything decent that doesnt compress the file as well
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 10:20 PM   #4
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I don't know about 80 minutes, but I thought it was entertaining. I almost closed the window at the beginning thinking it was a blooper reel with all the outtakes. Host has an enthusiasm about his birds that held my attention later. The locations and the bird flu element make for interest. Look forward to seeing more.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #5
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I agree with Glenn that the Flu comments are mainly what held my attention. While I realize it is a nature documentary, it will definitely need an underlying theme ... with that clip it seems the theme may be centered on the Bird Flu (could be pretty interesting).

The image clarity is actually quite nice. I think the overcast adds to that "despair" feel going in with the Bird Flu theme (though probably NOT what you were going for).

I would be interested to see where it goes from there, so, I guess you have achieved in that clip what you intended ... capture my interest. How long that interest holds would depend how consistent the mood stays.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #6
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As an avid birder and nature documentary junkie, I was excited to see this posted. However, I did find the host to be distracting. He clearly enjoys his subject matter, which helps a lot. Unfortunately he's not very good at ad-libbing and he tends to stop a bunch. Nobody ever said hosting or narration was easy, but there is a real skill to it. I tried the radio DJ thing for a while, and it was fun and frustrating at the same time. Speech flow is a valuable skill for any announcer or narrator. In radio, the lack of flow causes the dreaded "dead air," followed by hundreds of dials being turned to another station.

Think about David Attenborough (especially "Trials of Life"). Sure he's a bit goofy and animated, be he holds your attention because he really enjoys the subject matter and appears that he can't wait to tell you about them. His flow seems well produced, but it comes-off rather natural. Most of it is probably scripted delivery, but if that's what it takes then I say do it that way. Marty Stouffer (Wild America) is completely scripted to the point of being wooden, so I wouldn't take it to that level. Actually, Peter Jackson is quite good during his behind-the-scenes movie set clips; it is definitely natural.

Anyway, it's just my $0.02. I could easlily watch an 80 or 120 minute nature video if the setup was right. I just want your stuff to turn-out great, since there needs to be more, good indpendent nature videos out there.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #7
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Hey Andy! THanks for you comments. They are indeed helpful. After reading them, there are 2 things that I'm relieved about. 1) The clip that I posted was from our first 2 days of the shoot and unfortunately the host definitely appears nervous. 2) ALthough he is the main character, he will not be the one giving most of the "birding" information. He will hopefully hold the film together as someone that it continually comes back to. The hosts story about how he got into birding and how he gets around the world to do it, I think is unusual and exciting and will unfold along the way. We are interviewing Pete Dunne next week and we have some great interviews from a few SE ASIAN countries with people who will provide alot of the "birding" info. THere are a few other interviews scheduled with some important American birders. All in all Im very excited about this film but it is a daunting task trying to figure out exactly how it is going to play out. Im sure I will post more as this goes along and I hope that you keep commenting sincerely. It would help alot and I desperately need more honest opinions like the ones you posted. Thanks so much,
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Old June 7th, 2006, 07:52 AM   #8
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sort of along the lines of what others have said...maybe frame it this way, start with his wisdom and knowledge first and let the goofiness unfold, instead of starting with his goofiness and letting his wisdom and knowledge unfold. his presentation is already unconventional, so to speak, he ain't peter jennings, so we need to establish trust first. i can see the potential of this little adventure, but he isn't the hook, actually, the situation is the hook, busting into the sanctuary, the threat of bird flu, etc.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:44 PM   #9
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I agree about the "dead air" and verbal stumblings but those are a far better problem to have than speaking too fast or mumbling. The dead air and stammering can be edited out, especially in V.O.

Keep it up!
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