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Old March 10th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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Outlands: Wild Places of the Lothians

I haven't posted much recently because I have been working hard acquiring shots for another documentary about birds and other wildlife in the Lothians, which are the counties surrounding Edinburgh in SE Scotland. The working title of this film is Outlands, and it will, like my previous film Oasis, be approx 30 minutes long. The target audience will be wildlife, conservation and civic clubs and societies and the aim will be to present the film along with a lecture and stills in a presentation lasting just over an hour. This format worked well for Oasis and I have received quite a number of invitations to talk based on this and previous films.

Outlands will concentrate on birds in the more remote locations in the Lothians, but will periodically revisit old friends in the Esk Valley. The main sites are coastal grassland, upland moors and conifer woods. The flow of the film is by association and reflection so it runs in a different way to Oasis, although still chronological from autumn to autumn. (for example, one section of the film studies a sand martin colony in a barren sand quarry, jumps by association to house martin colonies and back, then runs on to describe breeding waders in the quarry. Breeding waders having been already visited at other upland sites. Sounds convoluted but I think the links are working better than I expected.)

I did think long about whether to include bird species already featured in Oasis, and have scripted the narrative so Uplands can stand alone but also be shown after an interval following Oasis with some nice looks at bird species such as peregrines in a subsequent breeding season.

I received very helpful feedback on Oasis previously and will post updates periodically on this thread. The thread for Oasis is linked below.

Oasis: Birds of the Esk Valleys

A very quickly assembled and much shorter edit of Outlands was put together a couple of months ago - narration and music very sketchy and done in a night - this can be seen on my Vimeo channel linked below. Since then better footage and sequencing achieved and current timeline length is 35 minutes so needs much work. Looking forward to further advice and suggestions as the edit progresses.

https://vimeo.com/channels/roslinnature


Neil
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Old March 15th, 2013, 04:05 AM   #2
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Re: Outlands: Wild Places of the Lothians

What kit are you using these days Neil? I was in Galloway until this Wednesday when my XLH1 went dead on me just after filming some Twites on "The Wig". Had to curtail my trip which had been going well as lots of subjects there.
Cam went similarly last August and cost 500 to fix! "Main Circuit Board" whatever that means.


Ron
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Old March 21st, 2013, 03:03 AM   #3
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Re: Outlands: Wild Places of the Lothians

Hi Ron,

I am still using XLH1A with standard lens or 100-400mm lens. I have Canon 7D also, and have been using GoPro Hero 3 black to experiment with journey sequences to link sections of the film. Unfortunately as I write I am in hospital in France having had surgery after a skiing accident so I won't be filming much for a couple of months. The silver lining is that I will have more time to work on the editing!

On the subject of twite, Outlands will feature these as I obtained some nice winter shots of twite and linnet together, showing the differences in bill colour and rump.

Neil
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 10:32 AM   #4
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Re: Outlands: Wild Places of the Lothians

Bad luck but at least in one piece! I'm getting rid of some kit. You may be interested. I'll send you a p.m.

Ron
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Old April 12th, 2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: Outlands: Wild Places of the Lothians

The Outland project is moving along steadily - music recording took place Tuesday last with Dmytro Morykit, who also wrote and performed the music for Oasis. I was sceptical at his suggestion to record from an electric piano, in part because we had already recorded one of the seven music segments on acoustic (upright) piano. However, a demonstration piece quickly convinced me - the fuller sound, particularly on bass notes, gives a more authoritative feel to the film and somehow a more cinematic feel too. A four hour session was required to make the necessary recordings and these have now been edited into the timeline.

Today I recorded the narration, having gone through three drafts of a script. This went smoothly except for the fact that my acoustically 'quiet' room was subjected to the loud noises of courting woodpigeon, and singing nuthatches and wrens outside - not ideal when recording the commentary for winter scenes. However, I recorded the narration in 39 segments and this is now being edited into the timeline.

The weekend will be spent sorting out audio levels, then for a series of test runs on Blu-Ray as this will be the format for the first public showing on Wednesday 17th April - at the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protenction of Birds) Borders branch meeting.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #6
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Re: Outlands: Wild Places of the Lothians

Here is the first render of the film; almost as I want it, a bit of audio hiss to fix but has already been screened at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Borders Branch meeting in Melrose, Scotland, with good feedback.


It has ended up at just over 31 minutes, a little longer than I had planned but as this is to accompany a lecture presentation, rather than having to fit a tight schedule, the length isn't so critical.

I hope you enjoy it, and comments would be welcomed of course.

Neil

n.b. a trailer for both of my recent films is on :

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