UWOL #5-"The Oasis" by Mat Thompson at DVinfo.net

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Old September 26th, 2007, 06:32 AM   #1
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UWOL #5-"The Oasis" by Mat Thompson

Hi guys

In this round I decided put a greater focus on the film making and story which I hope Iíve accomplished to a greater level than in previous entries. Iíd also decided to try a full VO piece and although I donít think its great its amazing how much it shapes your editing, I think its worth writing a VO even if you donít use it! Iíd also made my mind up to try and get an evening silhouette shot after lots of chat on the subject with Kevin Ď60fpsí Railsbach ;-) which was tough getting into the right location and below the horizonÖ.Iím particularly pleased with that shot though!

It seems we have 2 films on the same subject for the first time which is not a great surprise but Iíll leave the historical facts about Richmond park to Ron Chant.

The Red Deer is such an impressive animal and it was great fun watching them at this time of year. Itís a shame I didnít see any true rutting between the big males but Iím thinking of going back down in a week or so as the males get a bit more into the swing of things!

I hope you enjoy the Oasis as much a I didÖ.well almost :-) !

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Old September 26th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #2
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Hi Mat,

Just watched your film another time - taking my total tally to approximately 10 viewings (and I only downloaded it this afternoon).

I recall your comments in the shark tank about wanting viewers to be critical. So I am trying to find some things to say - but there isn't much I can come up with. Having said that, let me make some comments.

The opening title page is very professional looking. The street scenes and the "zooming out" (assuming that's what it's called), painted the picture nicely - although, the white balance seems out in the first four takes. Was this intentional, or am I seeing things?

I really loved the way this film worked through the light spectrum, dawn/early morning, leading up to dusk (my favourite time). I personally don't like filming in the middle of the day but your approach showed a nice array of shots in different lighting. The shot from 1:34 to 1:38 seemed out of place though?

For me, your shots from 1:56 onwards were just beautiful. I love this light - just as I liked it in the Fisher King, as dusk approached.

The reminder of the location was brought back to us, as the plane turned onto final. This was absolutely brilliant and reminded us that this was truly an oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle.

I think your VO was terrific and don't see why you have some concerns with this.

Mat, I think the best thing about your entry is the flow of the story. You have got everything perfect in this entry. It seems the viewer wakes up to the usual grey, dull routine many of us experience 5 days each week - yet, across the road, there is a different place, a special place, where life is quiet different. The life that takes place over there, in the morning, afternoon and night, is very, very different. Something you captured beautifully!

Gee the flies are bad. You might like one of our Aussie hats with the bottle corks dangling around the rim (personally, I wouldn't be seen dead in one).

Whilst I loved the Fisher King film, I do think this is your best entry to date in terms of the application of the theme, workflow, footage and use of light.

I would truly like to provide some constructive critisism, but you will have to drop your guard in UWOL #6 perhaps.

I get the impression you have really spent a lot of time on this entry!

Great entry. Well done Mat.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #3
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Mat, I very much enjoyed the park and your video.
One of the best you have shown us so far.

One question:
At about 2/3 (the deer scenes right before the fight), it looks like the speed of the clip is increased a bit for a fraction of a second, then normal again before it repeats several times about a second apart.
It is kinda easy to see when the big male deer (the one with the big horns) walks past all the others.
Did you edit it this way?

Thank you for sharing your Oasis with us.
Nice to see the skyline of downtown London in the background.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 08:46 AM   #4
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Great minds Matt Great minds, Did you take the CM shot of the London Eye from Kings mount, and then zoomed out and into the park I like that shot, also the big stag voicing his challenging on the young bucks.
As you say Matt impressive animals, it would be nice to get some early morning winter shots with hopefully frost or snow

Itís a pity we donít have any Wild Bore or Bears in the park it would keep the dog walkers at bay ?
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Old September 26th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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Hey Mat:

True to form with beautiful shooting and cinematography. The silhouette shot and sunset was stunning and a great way to end the clip... reminding us that we are not in the middle of nowhere but in an Oasis of wildlife in the city.

Well done. The VO added and complimented and I think it is insightful that you write a narration for a piece even if you don't use it... Food for thought! I just would have liked to have had the volume of your narration turned up a bit. British accents for me take some listening to in order to catch what is being said. I've noticed this watching the Harry Potter movies.... I catch about every third word as to what "Ron" is saying. So a good volume helps me out in this.

I also notice and like how you pull off cutting to many different angles, views, settings, etc. without seeming to. I think this is a real talent. The shots work together as a whole to add to the experience and I just sort of absorb it without noticing that lots of imagery is passing by. I think this is real mastery of cinematography and a sign of a real artist.

Well done, but please forgive me.... I will forever be a fan of your winning piece, A Fisher King. That film simply swept me off my feet and I have yet to come back to earth from it.

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Old September 26th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #6
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Super, as usual. A great variety of shots holds the viewers interest throughout the film, and the naration is strategically inserted at the proper moments to answer naturally occuring questions.
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old September 26th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #7
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David : Many thanks for the very thorough critique....I appreciate it. The white balance thingy is on purpose- I've used a light blue filter to take the colour out of the images and give them a drab feel. Along with the pace and cutting I was trying to create a bigger change between city and oasis.

Yeah the flies were quite nasty, I got 3 or 4 lovely big bites on my leg....but I always get some injury or ailment from my uwol entries....maybe I needed a cork skirt or something.....anyway moving on! Shot 1.34-1.38, I thought it blended but now you say it hhmmm maybe that wasn't the best choice...good spot! Thanks for the kind words on the VO...that makes me feel much better about...although no one likes there own voice do they.

Trond : Cheers- No speed changes in the footage, I'll take a look at that though.

Ron : Wild boar would be great....in fact I did think about covering them this time round as there are a few wild groups now but It seems a difficult task in just 3 weeks.

Cat : Many thanks. I hear what your saying about the VO, I will consider you guys a bit more next time with the levels. Damn that fisher king ;-)

Chris: Many thanks. My goal with this was to really improve my story telling and film making so what you've said means a lot!
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Old September 27th, 2007, 01:31 AM   #8
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Mat, that is a nice film. You got everything in this film. I love the beginning of the hectic London streets and how you tock us out of the city to the Park.
What I didnít like was the ďfade to blackĒ in the opening. It is something about that that I donít like. I like the quick editing but not that it fade to black in-between.
I like that you to the chance of keeping the VO during the film. As I sad to you on UC4, I think that the VO will bring that story on, and you did that during this film.
Good job, one of the top!

Markus Nord
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Old September 27th, 2007, 02:51 AM   #9
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Stunning video. I lived in the UK for about 2 years when I was racing speedway over there, and never knew that London had wild life. But then again I was young and more interested in night life. I like the way you cut to different angles, I think this takes a lot of work and practice, when I try that it just never seems to work for me. Great animals in a scenic setting made to look even better with your talent. The jet flying over head at the end reminds you of where you are. Nice stuff.
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Old September 27th, 2007, 09:00 PM   #10
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Hi Mat,

This entry had a really nice mix of footage and a definite story, and the VO definitely worked for me. Without it, it would have been a nice video, but with it, there really was a theme to it.

It's nice to know that major cities around the world have wild places like this. When I was an undergrad at NYU in NYC, I used to escape to Central Park to get a dose of nature. Nothing as wild as your deer, but at least trees and birds. The way you brought out the juxtaposition of city and semi wilderness was very evocative.

And the ending was great, beautiful sunset silhouette- a perfect way to close the film.

Very enjoyable, as always.

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Old September 28th, 2007, 03:49 AM   #11
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Hi Mat,
finally I got downloaded your film and have watched it several times.

Much has been already said about your entry and I second much of it. Your way of editing is very seamless and I alway enjoy wathing your films! You got a very good eye for the details when shooting and you put it very well toghether in the editing process. I must admit that I have been looking to your way of editing to improve myself!

If I'm going to London in the future I will definitive take a trip to Richmond Park with or without gear. Looks like a wonderful place to take a walk or just relaxing.

Thanks for sharing!
- Per Johan
Vimeo Site and Stock Footage Library at Pond5
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Old September 28th, 2007, 04:53 AM   #12
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Hi Mat.
Just want to say that your film is one of the best in show, at least that's my opinion. Yesterday my girls downloaded the films for me and I couldn't wait til tomorrow to watch'em :) Got to bed at 4.00 am because of uwol. Today I'm tired and it's also my last day at work.
I cant comment on every film today as I have to watch every film a bit more before I give my feedback.

Yours is one of them I watched a couples of times.
I can't put my finger on one thing I dont like about it, but there's a small touch of feeling and I ask myself; is this a film about mammals or is it about a green lung in a city? I cant seem to find the answer myself. At some parts it's about the park and then it's about the animals in the park. No offend Mat, but maybe it's a mix between the theme "recreation" and "mammals"?
But as I said your film is great, one of the best in show.

Best wishes.
Geir Inge
Geir Inge B. Brekke
Visit me at: www.gibbfilm.no
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Old September 28th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #13
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Mat nice work. I like the way you brought us in and out. Doing the voice over really helped.
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Old September 30th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #14
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Markus - Yep I remember what you said in UC4....:-) ! Thanks for the compliements. I hear what your saying about the fade to black but I just wanted to give the 2 sections time to breathe and a long transition just felt right....thanks for raising this though.

John D R - Many thanks and its funny you say about cutting to different aspects(Look at my critique of your piece) When I shoot I'm already editing in my head, if a subject looks one way at something then I make a mental log I need a shot to cut to with a subject on the opposite side of frame and so on. You don't always get it right but you do tend to get more to fit together when you sit down to edit.

Ruth "nice mix of footage and a definite story" - This is what I really wanted from this entry so many thanks for this comment. I do feel like a achieved what I set out to on this one. Many thanks!

Per - If you come to London then I'll take you there fella. I think you would love it and the Deer are just so used to people that I'm sure theres no where else better to get footage of Red and Fallow deer in wild surroundings! Thanks for your comments on the edit, for me the film making and putting quality sequences together was key on this one!

Geir - Many thanks fella I'm glad you liked it. I understand where your coming from with topic although for me it is at its core a story of mammals that life in an Urban oasis but thanks for raising it.

Gordon - Cheers....glad you liked the VO....its always difficult when its your own voice huh !
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Old September 30th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #15
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An excellent and very well done "film". Cinematography looks great (we've come to expect that in your work anyway!) and the editing is very smooth. Voice over was easy to understand and very well modulated.

I especially loved the silhouette of magnificent antlers against the sunset sky (I'm not a hunter so my finger did not start twitching). I really enjoyed watching what you did here, and this is one of the ones I had to see more than just once or twice.
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