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Old April 14th, 2006, 08:38 AM   #1
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DVC 5 Feedback - Still Life

Ugh it’s definitely too soon after coffee to be writing this,

Whenever I take on one of the Challenges, I do so with a specific goal in mind, working on something I would like to learn or learning something I have been putting off. In this case, I got a new still camera, a big bruiser the Canon DsMarkII. I needed to spend some time with it to acclimate to it.

Well, no better way to acclimate than to make a video out of stills. Argh. It was much harder than I anticipated. I shot about 700 pictures to make this. Some things went in, not because they’re good shots but because they extend the narrative arc. Some of the best shots I took are out, because they did not.

The best moment in shooting this came when I decided I wanted to include a hawk and thought I would have to make a run to hawk territory, and, while I was walking around my neighborhood shooting snowy scenes, one appeared in my neighbor’s tree. It’s not the best shot of a hawk—my lens wasn’t long enough—but that hawk sure saved me a huge amount of time, and that it appeared in the most unlikely location just when I was thinking about it, is the little blessing of my modest film.

One technical note: it was a much harder process than I anticipated. I could spend the next three months photoshopping these images. As it was, I had time to process about 5 or 6 before deadline mania hit.

Also huge love and thanks to Bradley Marlow for jumping in and saving my voice-over when the guy I thought I had in lined up chickened out. He did the whole thing for me in one night and e-mailed it to me. Without much coaching or guidance and without having seen the actual imagery of the film. An inspired and heroic effort! And emblematic of why I love Dvinfo!

oh, and.....Bradley Marlow unmasked! At my outtakes link (very short file)...

http://www.ourmedia.org/node/201475

Last edited by Meryem Ersoz; April 14th, 2006 at 09:08 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:00 AM   #2
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All that hard work paid off, Meryem, I'm glad to see you stuck with it. I know if I run into situations that challenging I'm more likely to quit. Going through over seven hundred shots to assemble this, that's sticktoitiveness if I've ever seen it.

I'm guessing we'll see a bit more of this general plot before the contest is over, but I think you handled it well, and in a very unique fashion. Voiceover and stills, simple yet powerful. Elegant, really. I noticed some keyframe flashing, but it wasn't objectionable to my taste, and the film shone through nonetheless. You're a wonderful photographer, if I may say so.

I think I might have done the voice recording differently, though. It seemed as though the narrator was overly mischievous, if you will. I want to say coy as well, but I'm not sure that's entirely right. Like he had a secret he didn't want to tell us, and was happy about it. A little too happy, in my estimation. The overall speech pattern felt a little slow and deliberate, as well. Not a big deal, I just think a little faster may sound more natural.

I hope your knee's feeling better. Did you end up using the shot you hiked three miles through the snow for?
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #3
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This was certainly one of the prettiest "films" so far, but then what a backdrop you had to work with!

Many of the shots were great: my favorite was the shot of the one crow flying with the other crow directly under it in the distance. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! That was beautiful.

It's interesting to me that a number of films so far have dealt with the reflections of a dead person...

I'm sure that this took a ton of time. Thanks for all the effort.

Bill
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #4
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What a GREAT concept.

I absolutely love experimental stuff, and while I was watching it I was only thinking in the amount of work involved in the collage of the images. Really good, sobre way to tell a story.

Ahh, and excelent photos, as well :)

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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #5
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thanks, guys. i did manage to get a whole lot of pretty photography, just because the weather was so cooperative. it's 80 degrees here today...

the raven shot is my favorite, too. it really looks great on the DVD version, on my TV.

robert, that silly knee injury is finally healing this week. that stone bench is 3 miles uphill from my house, and i was so tired from schlepping gear, shooting 2 hours worth of photos, and breaking trail that i barely had the energy to swipe off the snow. and it shows! i wanted to go back up there and re-shoot it without snow, but that got filed under the heading of "@#%#%$ it, i've done enough ^&%%^& work on this #$%$%%$^*^&% thing."

i'm sure we each have a similarly labeled file.....
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #6
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Oh man, BIG props for photography on this film! Wow. A friend of ours has the DSMarkII, also, and the 600mm-12-gauge-shotgun-zoom lens as well (he's a neurosurgeon so he's got the bucks) and I'm really impressed with the quality of this camera. But great work bringing those stills into a video production. Good story, too.

Yeah, it's interesting how "reflections" is translating to storylines of family (or friends) who have passed. Good work, Meryem.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:11 PM   #7
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Finally, I was able to save this file and watch it! (my pc) It was so worth the struggle!

You did a GREAT job, Meryem. The whole piece was so eerie--I got sucked in right away and didn't try to see the end, therefore, it surprised me. I thought it was cool.

On a sad note, I've been meaning to ask about your beloved friend but was afraid of what you'd say. I am so sorry. You shouldn't have to walk that trail alone.

Thank you so much for sharing this monumental effort with us. I really, really liked it.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:28 PM   #8
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The most I'm impressed of is the fact that I understand all words ;-)

The plot and the decision to work with stills fit together very well!
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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I've downloaded and watched all the movies posted, but I have to run out the door to make it to my in-laws for Easter weekend. I won't be able to comment on everything until later. However, I had to take a quick note to tell you that this one is my four year old's son's favorite! He keeps wanting me to replay it.

There is something very soothing about the piece. It has a tone, almost like Mr. Roger's neighborhood. More later!
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #10
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Absolutely beautiful Meryem!

I do photography as well so relate very well to all of this, especially the nature scenery and the story. I really enjoy the whole feel of this film. You did a wonderful job.

"Think Edgar Allen Poe, the Raven. Think Gothic meets and walks in the Rocky Mountains. Think John Denver slaps on white face paint and eyeliner." I shall never forget! :)

Keep schlepping!

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:49 PM   #11
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thank you so much, y'all. above all, i want my work to be beautiful (it's fine if it's incoherent or juvenile or whatever, else, i can live with that!...), but i live for the moments when i can squeeze a little beauty out of the other end of the lens....

lorinda, this is a piece of fiction. my best friend is still hanging in, some days worse than others. those are her footprints! she's in my outtakes footage. she actually made that 3-mile hike in the blizzard with me (lots of stopping to photograph things helps...). snow days have always been a favorite and seem to unleash the inner puppy. i put that part in because i was trying to sort of ease into the theme of dying (frozen dead guys, dogprints) from the carefree living part. (we're athletic, etc.)...knowing my best friend's days are numbered, i think this is on my mind. when i screened this piece at my monthly girl-videomakers' video group, my friends were all mad at me for killing off my dog, even if it was entirely fictional....it's nice to know that my dog has such vigorously loyal friends! i'll count you among them, lorinda!

anyway, thank you all for the kind words.

my favorite audience is 4 year olds. i know i'm onto something when i can please my 5 year old!
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #12
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I really liked the story and picture combination. Some great looking pictures.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #13
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Whew!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
this is a piece of fiction. my best friend is still hanging in, some days worse than others. those are her footprints!
You got me! Somehow, I missed the doggie footprints in the snow. So nice to know the ol' girl is hangin' in there! :)
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Old April 14th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #14
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This was definitely different than the others! It was fun and refreshing to watch. I was a little confused about where it was going at first, but I caught on and thought that the 'beautiful place' line worked well when it came back in at the end. Nice job -- beautiful pictures, especially of the path and the mountainsides.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 02:41 AM   #15
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Yes, quite nice. The first half reminds me of a sort of chamber of commerce thing. Sort of like a "Welcome to beautiful Montana" sort of narrative. Then it drifted effortlessly into a real story line. Nice concept and good use of stills.

Voice over reminded me a bit of Agent Smith but that's OK. Also a bit like one of those story time readers at the public library. Nice twist too. Saved it till the very end. Good job.

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