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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:15 PM   #1
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Wasteland, a 4-minute short

Please take a look at my first serious effort, a documentary in b&w.

All comments and advice are welcome!

Thanks,
Arthur

www.robincasady.com/video/
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:51 PM   #2
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Pretty to look at, it was also successful in one particular aspect: It made me ask why?. Why were so many houses abandoned? Who was responsible?

If that's what you set out to do, you succeeded.

My attention began to wander about half-way through, because I expected a straight documentary. When promoting it or describing it to others you may want to dispel that impression.

It seems that there's fertile ground for a much more in-depth documentary.

Michael
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Old February 1st, 2005, 12:13 AM   #3
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Michael,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

You're right, "documentary" is a bit misleading--I wasn't sure what to call it, and wanted at least to make it clear that it wasn't a dramatic piece. What I really wanted to communicate was the awful feeling of loss one gets wandering around those decaying houses.

There are a lot of reasons, good and bad, why the situation is as it is, and it would indeed take an in-depth documentary to present them.

Arthur
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 04:20 PM   #4
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mister arthur,

The teletubby on the ground was a real sad scene. I almost had to cry with that one. Compared to the tsunamis, this doesn't shock me. YOur footage is way too amateur. Try to stay away of zooming. And the typical slide from left to right are just too basic and I could feel that was going to happen when I saw your first scene. WHy black and white? Great texts in it!
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 06:03 PM   #5
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Not bad. Very moving. Makes you wonder what the hell is going on? The 'Missing Cat' poster was a clincher for me. NOt to make light; but that location would serve my UNDEAD NATION films nicely. (Filmwise that is)
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Old February 2nd, 2005, 11:00 PM   #6
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Thanks, John.

Yes, Ft. Ord is quite a place for exploring the intersection between living and dead: check out Robin Casady's still photos at www.robincasady.com/Photo/entropy.html

Incidentally, and on another topic altogether, I followed your general design for building a skateboard dolly--thanks for that, too. Being both cheap and lazy, I used four pairs of skateboard wheels instead of four groups of four. It seems to work smoothly, even with my considerable bulk on it!

Arthur
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 02:16 PM   #7
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That's great news! I can't believe I went so long without a DOlly. A great tool in the bag if I say so!
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 07:59 PM   #8
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Arthur,

Rather than a documentary, I would call it a photo-essay, or video-essay. You had some very nice images, and personally I like the b&w.

Generally I prefer static shots in this venue, and those were your strongest images. I try to avoid zooms, if the camera needs to move in, a dolly-shot is much more cinematic and pleasing.

I agree with John, the "missing cat" poster was strong. It conveyed emotion from the ghosts of former residents, a sadness that is still here...after all these years. I wondered whatever happened to the cat, and then, what happened to the people who lost something they loved. That shot was truly haunting, and struck a deep chord within me.

You might consider expanding this into a longer photo-essay and include some images of the houses that are inhabitited and the people in them. Perhaps, although somewhat cliche' you could move to color in some of those sequences...although I'm not sure that would be as effective as continuing the b&w.

This is a very nice effort! Melancholy, but oddly pleasurable, it left me wanting a larger piece.

Keep up the good work!
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Old February 10th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #9
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Nice job Arthur.

I agree with most of the previous posters. There were definitely some powerful images in there. The missing cat poster and the rusty chains on the swing set were the most powerful for me.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of camera were you using?

Great job overall.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 12:32 PM   #10
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Brad and Brent,

Thanks for your comments, and for taking the time to check out "Wasteland."

Brad, what you got out of the video is just what I hoped people would get, so thanks. As for the dolly, I built one (see my post to John Hudson above) just as "Wasteland" was being finished. We considered reshooting part of it because of the excellent spatial information that dolly shots give the viewer, but I was kind of anxious to get the project out the door. Next time...

Brent, thanks for mentioning the rusty chains... I worked fairly hard to get that one right. The video camera was a Canon GL-2. Some of the stills are from the video, but most (including the excellent lost cat poster) were taken by Robin Casady with a Nikon digital camera (don't know the model, but it has an enormous chip and uses Nikon SLR lenses).

Arthur
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