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Old November 5th, 2008, 11:28 PM   #31
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Judging ?

Well, I am thinking that having a first, second, and third place "awarded" when there are 3 entries is a bit....something.
Getting third would still mean medaling, and winning would be kind of like being the worlds tallest midget. No offense. The competition factor is part of what makes it fun and as mentioned above, I did learn a few things that will directly contribute to similar efforts in the future. And I loved seeing the other docs.
I would be fine with this go-around being pre-season, or exhibition. It was still a blast.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 06:10 AM   #32
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Ken's right - there really isn't much reason to rate who's best, since I'm running it and have one of the entries, so that leaves two legal entries.

I do still have the prize money set aside for this, so I can split it 50/50 between you guys - just PM or email me your paypal addresses and I'll take care of that.

If Chris Hurd decides to move us to the contest section, I expect that would grow our numbers and exposure a little bit. My guess is that he was waiting to see what kind of turnout we'd have and if we can compete with the other contests, so I'm content to just wait for a bit and see what he decides to do.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #33
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and winning would be kind of like being the worlds tallest midget. No offense.

Ken... Thanks for that. I actually really did laugh out loud. And frankly I can't say I disagree. Far more valuable that the money was the review and critical feeedback. I appreciate yours and Phils. And as for the last... no offense taken whatsoever.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #34
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Hi Phillip - if you want some suggestions, email me through DVinfo... I don't want to overstep by offering them up for you, but I may have some feedback for you, if you're interested. I would like to see this succeed.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #35
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Thanks Meryem - sent you a pm.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #36
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hm, never received...can you re-send to uwol@comcast.net?
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Old November 7th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #37
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For What It's Worth...

... I really DID want to join in on this one, just ran out of time with being on the road and having to get a rough cut done. If it helps for future contests, I'm still VERY interested in participating. Good work guys.
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Old November 7th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #38
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Shaun raises a good point. I think doing a DVChallenge film probably lends itself to a lot of control in terms of content, timing etc. UWOL also does, but a lesser degree in my mind (haven't worked on one of those yet, but watched lots). Documentary is an entirely different animal in many ways it seems to me. While image in "king" in all if you will, in a documentary the image is perhaps more secondary to the story that it carries... I am sure some will disagree, but that's how I see it.

Clearly to involve human subjects, with their own conflicting schedules makes the addition of more time for completion of the film necessary. I wonder is 30 days even enough? Also the requirement this time of an intermediate step (posting something on the 19th in this case) may have put a lot of possible applicants out of the contest. I think that idea, interesting though it was, should not be a part of future contests. If you want to edit and render and send it the night of the due date, so be it. I got through college with some last night cram sessions (blush).

We have some darned good film-makers on this forum. I stand in awe of them and always learn from their work. I'd really like to see this contest work, and in so doing allow folks like me to continue to learn by doing, and seeing a broad range of others work too. I guess what I am saying whatever it takes to make this type of format/genre work for our film-makers here, we should try and accomodate.

All that was my 2 cents worth, plain.

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Old November 8th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #39
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You've raised some good points. When I started I felt like 30 days would be plenty long enough, but it burns up quickly, and if I had tried to do my project in a week or a week and a half it would not have worked at all.

I liked the intermediate step, but you might be right about that -- maybe I should drop that. It does raise the bar a little bit, but maybe it's unnecessary.

Meryem, I sent you an email -- let me know if you still don't see it.

Thanks again guys -- for your patience and hard work, and hopefully we'll see this thing grow a bit. Any feelings on when you'd feel ready to do this again?
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Old November 8th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #40
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Sorry it took me so long to get back here for comments on the docs. I wanted to wait until I could study them a bit. As I said earlier, I really appreciate you three for getting these finished. It’s hard work!

Speaking of appreciation, Chris and Chris, I got a lump in my throat while watching your entry. It hits a little too close to home for me because my only child is being deployed early this summer, but I appreciated it so much. Your use of archived video and photographs couldn’t have been better; you weaved them into the story just right.

One thing I have found in doing interviews is that it is only as good as the person who’s doing the talking. Sgt. Ferguson drew me in with his honest approach--no pretense of trying too hard (if that makes sense). Please tell him “thank you” for his service and that he did a really nice job.

Chris S., you did the right thing in simply letting Sgt. Ferguson talk. Yes, it was a lot of footage for Chris B. to wade through, but the reward is right there in your finished piece. I have several hours worth of footage my brother and I shot of a Vietnam veteran last year. There was no way we were going to rush him--we just let him talk. It’ll take me forever to pick out what we want to use but man, did we get some riveting stuff.

Now for one nit-pick. I've been told, and it has been my experience, that when shooting an interview the person’s head should not be in the center of the frame. Because Sgt. Ferguson appeared to be looking slightly toward the viewer’s left, it seems that he should have been framed with “nose room,” as in his head framed to the viewer’s right so he’s looking across rather than out of the frame. Also, the zoom to extreme close-up when he spoke about his family was just “wow,” but at the end of the interview I felt the shot should have been pulled back so viewers weren’t looking at just his face--especially when the text covered part of it.

It pains me to bring up that point because I loved the content so much. If framing of this type has become more a matter of personal taste then I stand corrected already!

You both did a wonderful job. It was well-worth all the effort. Thank you.
…………….

All right, Philip, on to a lighter subject. That is one sweet little girl you’ve got there, and you used her well! I thought the documentary was going to be all about the change in her as she grows. You surprised me with the big change that is headed her way, and I liked the way you chose to reveal the news.

Before I forget, I love the way she makes a capital E. Made me laugh out loud! :)

One other thing, the audio stuck out for me because it was so clean, for the most part. What is that unit Kelsey wore?
……………

Now on to the most serious subject of all. Ken, I was not aware of this controversial group. How can I join? ;) Because I treat my dogs and cats kind of like children I thought maybe I'd have to be miffed at you, but....nope!

Seriously, you pay attention to certain details that really make your productions stand out. I like your sound treatment and your graphics. I laughed at the cut during your narrative when you turned into the camera. You are a nut. :)

From a technical standpoint your work reminded me of mine in some ways, namely a couple of audio and lighting challenges you encountered. The last scene with you in the chair looked like typical XL1s footage when the lighting isn’t just right. Get yourself the XH-A1s as soon as you can! LOL! (inside joke, folks)

Thanks again, Philip, for starting this contest. Next time I sign up I fully intend on finishing!
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Old November 8th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #41
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Thanks Lorinda. I used a Sennheiser Evolution G2 wireless with a cardiod mic on it - I've always loved the way it sounds. For the audio when she's not on that I used an Audio Technica AT897 shotgun mic.

I shot everything on my XHA1.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #42
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Lorinda, thank you so much for your feedback.

You are spot on on your comments about 3rd's "rule" and noseroom. I know better and once I realized where my keylight was, where I had set up the noseroom and where *I* would be sitting.... I thought... oh shjt... what ELSE can I do wrong? Excellent points raised, and points to you for noticing. (In the FWIW category...I also believe that IF the subject is talking directly into the camera you can throw 3rd's rule out the window and centered is almost preferable.... but that had little application here)

As for the end piece of his interview when the camera "came" back to him at the finish... that was never shot with that intention at the time it was created, and had it been I fully agree with your comments. After about an hour of listening to him talk (and it was a fast hour because I was raptly listening and very interested - he is a remarkable young man) I wanted to give him the chance to pour his heart out. I told him that his wife and kids would not see this until after he was gone, and if there was something special he wanted to say to them, this might be a good time to do it...

I didn't expect his quick response to the offer. He started talking before I could get to the camera to zoom... so it ended up being a little (a lot)clumsy on my part....Chris B., in his edit hid JUST how clumsy it was to a great extent, and I thank him for that. The timing of the closeup was fortunately exquisite.... every time I watch it, I still choke up when he does. I was talking with his wife Katie today as Chris and I were working on our DVChallenge "Travel" entry and she said she too just "lost it" at that point in the film.

On a more general note...I think the feedback and critique on these films are VERY important for the filmmakers..... I mean what is a "poor man's film school" with a thoughtful critique of the "assignment" ? Thanks again Lorinda for providing more of that.

ps. Chris and Chris are throwing down the gauntlet with our "travel" entry. We have covered thousands and thousands of miles in making this. Beware. Exotic locations. Beautiful women. Killer stuff. (Can filmmakers engage in trash talking?)

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Old November 9th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #43
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ps. Chris and Chris are throwing down the gauntlet with our "travel" entry. We have covered thousands and thousands of miles in making this. Beware. Exotic locations. Beautiful women. Killer stuff. (Can filmmakers engage in trash talking?)
Ha ha! Someone else from the DV Challenge will have to engage in the trash talk with you guys--mine is so far to the other end of the spectrum I can't compete. (As of today I haven't even ventured off my property.) Can't wait to see what you two have done now; it'll be hard to top "A Lucky Day." :)
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Old November 9th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #44
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Well today I finally managed to ge to see Ken's entry. With that I now have seen "ALL" the entries.... I am glad we had three I hope in the future there might be more.

So, I have said that feedback is important to me, and will assume it is to you two as well. Chris B. has weighed in, now it is my turn.

Philip: You have displayed a command of various (documentary) film making tools at a high level. Even the very intro title was very professional and very sweet. Kelsey is a delightful youngster..... and you captured that well. Your film was well shot and edited. The hand-held issues that Chris B. mentioned I saw but thought worked well in the free form of her life. (Chris and I don't always agree on things but respect one another enough when we don't agree to shoot things both ways when we work together - so disagreement amongst film-makers is to be expected I suppose. I might add more often than not I like his finished result in a take better than mine or than I thought I might anyway.). Chris B's comment about the wider audience appeal in conjunction with your film is something I am in agreement with. This film shows your range of talents....I would be interested in seeing it extended to something less personal and of of wider appeal. I will anxiously await.

Ken: There is something about parody or spoof that takes things to a higher level of mentation. I enjoyed what you did in this entry very much. My link to Youtube was not the best quality unfortunately - but I enjoyed the content, though what I had to watch did not do the picture quality any justice. Your choice musical accompaniment was perfect. The "self indulgent over confidence" that so typifies some of these kinds of programs was perfectly executed. The man on the street interviews were fun....

I think a program element that was spot on and so well done was the 911 call. May I ask your technique? I'd like to have THAT in my arsenal of tricks if you want to share.

In the end analysis, yours was a tad rougher around edit points than Philips. As Chris B said though, overall yours will appeal to a broader audience. I look forward to seeing more of your wit, and work.

This has been a fun first foray into documentary film-making. I hope it will mature and endure on here.
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