UWOL #6 "Aksarniit" By: Brian McKay at DVinfo.net

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Old November 20th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #1
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UWOL #6 "Aksarniit" By: Brian McKay

Hello All:

As many of you have said this was one of the most challenging themes to date. Up here I didn't only have to battle the dark but the wind and cold as well. On top of all that it's been a very very long time since I did a voice over so that in it's self added some extra challenges.

As you will see "Aksarniit" is the Iniktitut word for Northern Lights, as well you will see how bright they can be at this latitude but still it's been impossible to capture them in motion. By using a number of consecutive shots and transitions I hope I have been able to give you some idea of there beauty.

My wife and I had fun bringing this to you...even if we darn near froze in the process.

I hope you enjoy.....I'm looking forward to viewing all the entries.

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Old November 20th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #2
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This was superb! Northern Lights... you did it! You brought them to us and we are so blessed to see them! I loved your commentary, and the constant drone of the wind that was perfect and never distracting. How informative and captivating your story. I loved this film. Beware though! I just might watch this entry enough so that .... well let's just say, if my comments on people's films turn mean spirited and insulting .... hey it won't be my fault, right? I'll just point to Brian's film for an explanation ;-).

Well done and thanks Brian.

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Old November 20th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #3
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Great narration Brian.....really was top notch. You soothed me through your story which I have to say was very nice too, educational, informative with a nice local theme. Your images were lovely too but I couldn't help wanting to see things move.

Great piece!
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Old November 20th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #4
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i have looked too long upon the aurora. heh. heh heh.


must be where that NIGHT theme came from....

this was awesome! i'm so glad you brought this to my desktop! it just blows me away, how varied and remarkable and astonishing our planet is, and how we all have such a range of experiences.

this is my favorite of all your entries. here's what i loved: i loved the voice-over and how you brought in all of the legends about the aurora. and that last bit "soon goes mad" was a nice way to punctuate the end.

also, you did an amazing job of controlling the wind noise, under these circumstances--so often, wind noise is a hindrance to the image but you managed to use it here in a way that underscores that legendary quality as well as making us acutely aware of the climate that you operate your camera in...it takes some skill to use wind noise as an effect, instead of having to cover it up with music or strip it out of the image. it made a great soundtrack here.

i think i need to crawl into a sleeping bag now, i'm cold just from watching this!

and hey,... it wasn't even about snow!!!!! well, there's always february...
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Old November 20th, 2007, 04:22 PM   #5
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I really thought the voice over was excellent- hard to believe you were concerned about that. It added so much to the film.

The images were amazing. I did want to see them move, but the fact you got such spectacular footage of any kind was incredible. And then to see the conditions you were working under- the howling wind, clearly bitter cold- it is a tribute to you that you got anything at all.

Just for your information on the Under Water Over Land forum on this site, someone recently discussed how they got footage of northern lights. I asked a detailed question about how he did it, so you might want to look at this thread so you can continue your exploration of the aurora borealis-


This was I imagine way more fun to watch at my toasty warm desk than to be out shooting- thanks for suffering for your art- and sharing it :)

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Old November 20th, 2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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Brian, an entry to my liking, can't wait for the winter to come at my place ;-) The aurora sequence was nice, I could also wish for some movements too.
Your narrating is very good and a good story too,

Good work
- Per Johan
Vimeo Site and Stock Footage Library at Pond5
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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:12 AM   #7
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Good job!

This is night! Where I grow up in Sweden, we hade Northern Light during the winter some times, it is a spectacular show. I liked your VO, just a technical thing, put it on both speakers, or just export to mono. I specially love the legend story; this is what brings a story to life…
Of course it would have been superb with time laps on the Aurora (like the one in UWOL forum), but this is good too.

Markus Nord
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:12 AM   #8
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Hi Brian,

Thanks for bringing the Aurora to us - you just had to!

It was lovely to sit back with a cuppa and learn more about this amazing Phenomenon (thing). Your voice over was great and the use of the stills with cuts back to you next to the tripod, with the the wind howling, was VERY smart.

You really nailed everything in this film and brought the Aurora to us in a very well thought out way. I enjoyed learning of the elders interpretation of the lights - much more moving and enspiring than the scientific explanation.

One of your best entries I think - well done!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:09 AM   #9
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First off thanks everyone for the comments and feedback....to me this is the best part of UWOL. If one takes the comments and uses them to there advantage they can't help but produce better films.

The quality of the films this round are bloody amaizing when you consider the theme. I honestly thought most would be bumper out.....this is fantastic.

I do want to say how pleased I am that you liked the legends. I was somewhat afraid that you may find them out of step with the times we live in but in my small corner of the planet stories and legends are a serious part of life. Here's an interesting fact for you....written language is only 150 years old up here so most life lessons are still learned through stories. Down the road if the right theme should come along and I can find some actors I'll try to bring you a few of these stories.

Now one last dig at Meryem....please be kind in February, it's the worst of the years weather for me. So my suggestion for the theme would be "indoors":)

Again thanks for the feedback.


PS I have four left to watch, I can't wait to get home from work.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:15 AM   #10
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don't worry, brian, we will have one theme for everybody else and then a *special* theme for people who live in the arctic and don't want to brave the february cold. it will be something like BREAKFAST or DOORKNOB...something designed to keep you warm and toasty...you'll love it!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:30 AM   #11
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Hi Brian.
After watching your film I understand why you said I have the wrong definition/facts about Aurora, hehe. The Sami people in Norway do have a similar story about the Nothern light.
You have good narrating skills and the background sound of the howling wind was great. Maybe some movements in the way Aksarniit behave would have been nice though, but that's just my opinion.
I love a good story and you tell yours in a splended way.

Wish you all the best.
Geir Inge
Geir Inge B. Brekke
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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:23 PM   #12
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Here in the prairies the indiginious people thought the northern lights were the souls of the dead rising to heaven (my word).

I thought you did a great job using the stills of the the northern lights in you movie!!
I have been trying to film them for a few years and have not been very successful. Using stills seems to be the way to go.

Nice Job! I think it is your best one to date, at least for me.
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:47 PM   #13
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I always find legends interesting. I like the fact that you narrated this one and did a good job at it. Northern Lights are really something to see. We can see them once in awhile here but unfortunately there is getting to be more lights around that is spoiling the night sky. Maybe Meryem will give you entertainment for the next theme and you can get some throat singers(?).
Well done and stay warm.

Gordon Hoffman
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 02:32 AM   #14
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I loved your film, like others, i would have liked to see the light "dancing" a bit more, but having said that, the pictures you had, put together with the film you shot, & your amazing VO, together, had me glued to the screen, & not wanting your film to end. In the end though, the way you brought your film to a close was masterful! I loved it.

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Old November 23rd, 2007, 07:41 AM   #15
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Brian, thank you very much for bringing the Northern Light to the challenge.
It was a spectacular view. You did very well capturing it.
Don't worry about your voice over. I think you did that with great skills.
Hope you didn't freeze too much when you were out there with the camera.

I'm looking forward to your future videos.
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