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Old September 26th, 2002, 08:40 PM   #31
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Hello Henrik,

I'm an amateur videographer who is currently working on my own wildlife/nature/history projects. I would be interested in hearing about any of your projects and any advice or stories you have re: wildlife docs. I'm sure there are plenty of others who would also be interested.

Welcome!
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Old September 28th, 2002, 04:35 AM   #32
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Well. some advice are pretty obvious and some are very project dependant. But in short:

1) Plan ahead (gee have we heard this one before). Although some people seem to think its just a matter of going out in the woods or hopping into the ocean, this is not the case. You need to get a synopsis, a rough storyline, a script and if all possible a storyboard. Now... you say "but how can i coach a wild tiger or a great white shark to do as i tell him?" well.. hehe.. you can try :) no seriously, you still need to know WHAT shots you should be on the look out for.. there are very few re-takes here, so either you spend a lot of time waiting for the shots that might look good in post or you try to select out those that you need.

2) more cameras == usually good. When capturing an event unfolding once, have several cameras with different zoom settings. A wide cam, a CU cam, a medium shot for example. that way you will have 3 different angels to edit from when you see that rare moment.

3) avoid interaction and tampering. There are instances when wildlife producers have definately stepped over the line of what is ethical and what is not. Me personally i strongly object to anything that either abuses the subject your are filming or abuses another subject indirectly. Some exampels; Feeding live animals to predators, using searchlights at night to illuminate the subjects (this startles them and makes them easier prey for predators), physical interaction (riding on whalesharks/turtles etc). If one truly loves the subject you are filming, it is beyond me why you would hurt it just to get the shots you want.

There is a very good rule-set on this that you can find at http://www.scandinature.se/company/wildcare.html

4) It also helps with aquiring other skills than just filming. Be an expert scuba diver with great boyancy control is vital to avoid harming the environment when filming. 4wheel driving, climbing, airpiloting, first aid (important!), skipper, carpentry, etc. it all depends on where you want to shoot and what you need out in the field.

5) Licenses. Make very sure you have all the paperwork set out proper when going to a foreign country to shoot.

6) Hazards. If going to a unstabile country, you MAY need protection. If this sounds odd, don't go there. You will be carrying around camera equipment for thousands of dollars in an environment where you can be robbed and killed for 10 dollars. So just because your backyard is safe, don't expect everywhere to be the same. Furthermore, if filming large land based predators, be prepared to defend yourself. IF they attack, it may end up being you or them. Another good reason not to get to close. Tele-lenses are ours and their friend :)

So.. its' not just going out in the jungle and shoot the next wildlife spectacular =)

Regards,
Henrik Bengtsson
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Old September 30th, 2002, 11:49 AM   #33
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Good list Henrik! Thanks for sharing that...
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Old September 30th, 2002, 07:24 PM   #34
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Thanks for taking the time to give some advice. Most of my video will be in my very stable "backyard", but I have seen some nature docs where the least dangerous thing is the wildlife.
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Old October 1st, 2002, 02:40 AM   #35
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Actually i forgot the perhaps most important point of all.. although some would say it goes without saying :)

Make sure you know a LOT about the subject of your documentary. This will help forseeing behaviour that you want to shoot and avoid any "bad" experiences.

A good way to get this information actually is to watch other productions made about the same subject. This also helps you weed out any elements that look to similar to previous productions.

And if you do not have the zoological/biological knowledge yourself, make sure you get a contact who does. Most scientists in these areas is all to happy to be a part of something that is beneficial to their area of research. Just don't expect a shark scientist to support your "Killer death sharks who eat little babies" project.

Ok. good luck.. and to citate Bo Landin (Scandinature) "Keep your boots muddy" with my own addition "... and your scubagear moist."

/Henrik
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Old December 24th, 2003, 06:47 PM   #36
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Ahoy there...

Greetings and all the usual cr*p people say when introducing themselves. As you can see with your very own eyes, my name is Frank. In my quest for finding any and all information about DV on the internet, specifically in relation to the Sony DCR-VX2100 I just recently purchased, I stumbled across these boards that you all call home...or at least your online home. You will now have to put up with the likes of me for as long as I choose to remain a part of this community. I apologize in advance.

This post is merely a hello, a declaration of my presence if you will, though I fully intend to make hundreds if not thousands if not millions of new posts asking and bugging and poking and prodding you all about everything you know about DV and my camera. Yes that's correct, I'm yet another fellow here who went off and bought himself a nice camera and doesn't have a clue as to what to do with it.

But to let you all know, I am fully dedicated to this profession I have chosen and would really appreciate the help and advice that you guys are capable of offering. While I may not totally be the horse's ass I led on to be, I look forward to discussing all aspects of DV and learning as much about it as I can while I'm here.

Thank you for your time.
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Old December 24th, 2003, 07:05 PM   #37
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Welcome, Frank. Feel free to search/read and post away on the forums.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 03:32 AM   #38
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I'm thinking, Chris, that there should be a forum here where only guys named Frank can post. What are your thoughts on this?
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Old June 10th, 2004, 11:44 PM   #39
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Joining the bandwagon

I guess I've been hanging around here, on and off, long enough to post on this forum. I surf the web quite a bit, mostly looking for quality information about anything. I'm a fairly regular fixture in a couple of tech forums and at least one aviation forum (AvSig) since my other hobby is flying. Out of all the forums and chat boards I frequent this is by far the friendliest, most personable, and most informative of all. Chris and the wranglers have done a remarkable job of keeping this board clean, relevant, and on target.

Congratulations guys!

If you want to know more about me just click over to http://www.terramultimedia.com/ozbio.htm

By the way, I shaved the beard last week. It's a thing I do once a decade to keep track of time - I now look younger by ten years.

If I can be of any help with anything related to television, video, broadcast or not, photography, or even flying – just drop me a note and I’ll try to be of help.

See you around the boards.

Oz

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Old June 10th, 2004, 11:53 PM   #40
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Welcome aboard!

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Old June 11th, 2004, 12:02 AM   #41
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Ozzie's actually being modest, as usual, with his belated self-introduction. As you can see from his site, he's quite an accomplished professional producer and director. He's been with us a month longer than I have! (November, 2001)

Ozzie's probably forgotten more than I will ever know about entertaining and educating people with moving pictures. And we're delighted to call him a member of our community.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 03:17 AM   #42
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Ozzie, you're too modest, I prefer your earlier introduction. You are one of the reason I decided to join DV Info and become active in the community. Glad to have you with us.
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Old June 11th, 2004, 06:00 AM   #43
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Ozzie, it was a real treat to get to meet you at the 2002 New York DV Show, and I hope to see you again at some other event in the Big Apple here in the near future. Please come down to DV Expo at the Javitts Center in mid-July, it would be great to see you there!
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Old June 11th, 2004, 10:27 AM   #44
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Oops!

Jeff, thank you for catching my earlier post from several years ago and my apologies for introducing myself twice. My apologies for introducing myself twice. I had totally forgotten. I had totally forgotten. A bit verbose, don’t you think?

I guess I wrote it at a time when I had more time on my hands. Today, the volume of work has increased while the budgets have hit rock bottom. This creates the environment where we need to do everything. I have added “sound designer” and “IT guy” to my list of mini skills.

Today, I constantly catch myself performing tasks I did years ago. At face value there doesn’t seem to be anything new. A few weeks back I directed a live switched game show. I kept thinking – 1972; then I did a few vox-pop segments – 1983; a soap opera – 1985… and so on. But, thanks to technology, I keep searching for new things to delve into. I spent the last few weeks fiddling around with Adobe Audition creating the sound track for an animated Julius Caesar – very 2004. (Okay so that goes back to my radio days in the 1970s.) Just last week I jumped at a client’s suggestion to go around the country interviewing authors about their work. I volunteered to do it… alone, just me, a camcorder, and a mic – my business partner looked at me in horror – what, no crew? – Very 21st Century. I heard a new one last spring while teaching at NYU. One of my students responded to something I said with – “Professor Alfonso, you are so 20th Century.” Wow! That was a wakeup call if I ever heard one.

There is always something new. Learning to use the technology, well that’s the easy part. Getting good ideas worth producing, now THAT is the hard part. For instance, last night I screened news footage about high school hazing – a story we are proposing to a client. I was horrified at what I saw – high school seniors, girls, submitting juniors, also girls, to total humiliation and even pain. All this was shot by primarily the guys with their camcorders. This made the national news because there are a bunch of law suits pending, but I couldn’t help thinking of Iraq while watching these horrific scenes. Initiation rituals have always been around as a way to prove loyalty to a group of peers. But this hazing is aimed at humiliation, not loyalty. When did we lose track of the difference?

So yes, there is always something new to keep us going. Gotta keep that fire burning in the belly.

Another verbose intro.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 01:40 AM   #45
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Hurd : Please come down to DV Expo at the Javitts Center in mid-July, it would be great to see you there! -->>>

I'm planning to be there. Looking forward to seeing you and returning the text you lent me.

OZ
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