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Old January 1st, 2013, 07:58 PM   #1
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"The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Well, what I thought would be an easy theme to tackle sure took me on a roller coaster of ups and downs.

With temps in the 40's and 50's and no snow on the ground, Iowa wasn't a very good looking state. The one good thing is the warm temps cause for some great fog filled mornings. The sad part was that I was working during most of them.

Once I finally came up with an idea and started filming, the weather changed half way and of course, we had a bunch of snow dumped on the state. So now I was left with a story that couldn't be finished because it was shot out of sequence and we now had snow on the ground.

So, back to the drawing board.

Somewhere along the line I came up with the idea of actually incorporating the charity film challenge into the story of the film. I thought if nothing else, it would be a documentary of my attempt to make a film about trees for the challenge.

I researched legends and whatever other stories I could find about trees. Learned a lot about what certain trees symbolized. I discovered that a grove of old pines that I visit when things like the Newtown shootings occurred or just want to connect with nature are know for creativity, life, longevity and immortality. In more than a year of filming at the nature center I've only seen three people at Founder's Grove. If it's not easy to get to, most people won't make the effort.

The whole story initially started from an idea I have about loving nature to death. Whenever I walk down "easy" trails that are flat and level, I find a ton of trash. Water bottles, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, used diapers, you name it. It got me thinking, why do these people come out to "enjoy" nature and then just throw trash everywhere and ruin the very thing they came out to enjoy?

It got me thinking that although we crave nature, we really have lost our way when it comes to connecting with it.

I started noticing all the things that are named after natural things. Retirement homes named Meadow Ridge, Wineries named Cedar Ridge, churches named after Oak Hill. It's like we try to bring nature into our every day lives but simply giving a name to something doesn't make up for our lack of connection with Mother Earth.

Ed Warrior Bear just brought the whole thing home for me.

He's a lot older than he looks and his health was frail. I would have loved to shot more shots with him but it was cold that day and his strength was waning. So, I took what I could get and hoped I could incorporate it into the film.

Hopefully it all makes sense. :)

Trying to piece everything together to make a story I didn't finish the film until last night.

I hope you like it.
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Last edited by Kevin Railsback; January 2nd, 2013 at 07:55 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 04:10 AM   #2
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Thanks, Kevin,

I loved the film - great photography, and above all, a message of hope - very well done!
As you say, in documentary, sometimes just one small thing can suddenly bring the whole story together.

Excellent work, and a Happy and Healthy 2013 to you and all DVInfo-ers!
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 03:09 AM   #3
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

This is quite an intricate docudramajournal, Kevin! I have watched it several times and always pick up something I missed.

First of all, your rich images are gorgeous! In some ways they're better than being there (for one, I don't have to be cold).

Not sure I've seen what felt like a behind-the-scenes narrative segue into the film itself before but I sure did like it. It's so personal--you take us along while you sort things out. I really appreciated the thought regarding our disconnect and maybe subconscious effort to reconnect through the naming of things. Interesting...

Even if I didn't know about your trials while filming this I would be impressed; knowing how things worked against you yet somehow you pulled it all together into this fine film is plain old amazing. Well done!
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 05:54 AM   #4
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Hi Kevin,

Your film and story is amazing!
As usual, your images are stunning.
I really like the part with the conversation about holding the trees. Very cool.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

I have always been a fan of your films and this one is no exception. Nice job!

When searching for an idea for this challenge I also came across the story of the Sparrow and the autumn leaves. I was going to try to do something with it but the time of year just wasn't right.

I also like the look of the film as to the color and clarity.

Great story!
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Old January 4th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #6
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

I echo what many have said about the quality of images you captured. Really impressive.

The beginning of the narrative threw me a little as it was describing the contest and your journey in trying to get footage- while at the same getting the footage you wanted.

My favorite shot was the snow reveal in Part 2 of the movie.

What do you shoot with?

Toni

Last edited by Toni Dolce; January 4th, 2013 at 07:15 PM. Reason: incorrect spelling of word
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Old January 4th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #7
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Thanks Lorinda! - I try to look hard and find the beauty in nature no matter what or where, even here in Iowa. :) What I started ended up so different in the end due to changing weather conditions that I finally pieced this together in the last few days of the challenge.

I would shoot something on a cloudy day only to then have sunny days when I had to shoot something that was supposed to go together. Had 50 degree weather then snow and temps in the teens.
Every time I would go out and get footage, the next time something had changed and then the story would need to change to try and have it all make sense.

Thanks Trond! Glad you liked it. I've always tried to focus on pretty fluff shots as I call them to the detriment of the story. This year I want to try and focus more on the content as well as the visuals.

Thanks LeRoy! I REALLY wanted to do the sparrow and the autumn leaves too! Of course, with no leaves that would have been impossible. But I think I'm going to mark it on my calendar to see if I can bring it to life somehow. Maybe I can find a wildlife rehabber with a sparrow. We'll see.

Thanks Toni! Have you not seen Dylan's Vegas Time Machine film? I narrated then went back in time to get the shots. :) The idea for the film changed so many times that it was just a shell of the original story. I was planning on having more fade to black and hold but then I thought I would really get ripped for just having VO with no imagery. So what you saw was the compromise I came up with. :)

Glad you liked the snow reveal. The snow was a surprise when I started the film as they predicted no snow at all for several weeks. And then BAM, ten inches of snow in one night.

I had originally wanted to say something about after all the crazy, horrible things that I watched unfold, that night, nature showed me that we can still start over and wipe the slate clean with by taking away the ugly and making something beautiful if we just learn how to reconnect. But the late hour and not knowing how long it would take to compress on the new laptop, I couldn't take the time to find the right words.

I shoot with a HPX250.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Hi Kevin – really nice to see an entry from you again!

Your film carries a poignant message and is beautifully shot as usual. The second time I watched this with the sound turned off so I could focus on the images. They are masterfully composed – beautiful framing, soft tones and subtle colours. A joy to watch – you are a master of light.

This was not an easy topic given that trees ‘appear’ to do nothing and don’t go anywhere because they operate on a different time scale. I like the way you used subtle camera moves, shots of subjects moving through the trees and shots of leaves moving in a gentle breeze to bring life to these otherwise static scenes.

Interesting to see how the events around the making of this film were themselves connected.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 01:08 AM   #9
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Kevin, I hear what you are saying. We're all in this together. There are so many 'A' list shots that you must have had trouble editing them. I was wishing I could relish some of the excellent views for more time before blending to the next. Cinematic wise I don't know what you are using for a camera, but it seems to capture outdoors to perfection.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Thanks Marj! It feels good to be back in the game. :)
I struggled for a long time trying to come up wi what I wanted to do after I figured out my intial ideas would be too hard for me to finish.

Bill, thanks for the kind words! I'm using my trusty old HPX250.
The one thing Iowa does have to offer this time of year is nice light since the sun stays lower on the horizon.
Course, sunset while I was filming for the challenge was around 4:30 in the afternoon. And since I couldn't get out to the nature center until about 3:40 it didn't leave me a lot of time to explore and shoot.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 05:40 PM   #11
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Kevin,

As one of the side-lined (once again) I very much enjoyed your film. Ironicly, this morning at church a friend and I were talking exactly about this unconnectedness brought about submission to technology and the lowest common denominator!!!

At first I was wondering where yu were going but as always you came forward logically and ended strong on your story!!!

As always your cinematography was outstanding!!!!

Lookforward to the the next uwol.

thank you for taking the time and sharing!!!
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Old January 20th, 2013, 10:57 PM   #12
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Re: "The Standing People" - Feedback Thread

Thanks Dale!
I was kind of was wondering where I was going too. :)
I've been really surprised by the number of people who have been telling me that they've been thinking as well how we've become disconnected.
I think it's only getting worse.

Went over to my parents house tonight to celebrate my nephew's birthday. I think he said maybe six words the whole time I was there. The rest of the time was spent texting on his phone. I need to work on getting that kid out more!
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