UWOL # 6 Nightshift by Bryce Comer at DVinfo.net

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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:57 AM   #1
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UWOL # 6 Nightshift by Bryce Comer

Hi all,
Well this was my first ever attempt at making a wildlife film & i must say i thoroughly enjoyed it. My original idea was to try to get footage of a Powerful owl. This is the largest of all the owls here in Australia, standing around 65cm tall, with a wingspan of around 135cm. They feed on small possums with the sugar glider being one of them & also other birds & small mammals. I was hoping then to be able to link to the sugar gliders & if lucky be able to film the hunt or at least the result of the hunt. Well, after hearing a female powerful owl on my second trip out in the bush i was very hopeful that i might just be able to pull this off. Unfortunately though, after 2 weeks of going out nearly every night, i still only had footage of a tawny frogmouth & an echidna, & not a single possum! In the last couple of days i had to get out with the camera i was inspired again with the near miss of a shot on a Boobook owl, & had renewed hope that i might just be able to pull off my original plan. Unfortunately in the end, things didn't go my way with the owl that i was after but i did end up with some footage of my favorite possum, the sugar glider. I must say that my original plan was probably way too ambitious considering the rareity of this owl in Australia, not to mention the fact that i had no idea how hard it would be to film the sugar gliders. I would love to pursue this project further, but would definately have to invest in some gear to do it properly. You may have noticed for instance that the lighting was not the best, not to mention the focus on some of the shots. This was mainly due to the fact that i had to try to hold the torch in one hand & control the camera in the other, often forcing me to put the camera into auto focus mode just to be able to get any sort of shot at all. I think next time i go out at night (& i will thanks to you Meryem), i will definately have to set up some sort of spot light on the camera, so i have both hands free to control the camera better.
In the end i didn't have the footage i had hoped for & practically threw the whole thing together in a couple of hours after getting home later than expected from my trip to Queensland & didn't end up with the sort of flow to my entry i would have liked. BUT..... Having said that, i've had a ball, i've learnt heaps (especially how little sleep one can survive on!), I've learnt lots about what my camera can & can't do in low light (thanks again Meryem) & definately realized that this has got to be the best way to spend time, whether paid or unpaid you could ever have.
I look forward to your valued opinions & where i can improve.
I am just about to go & start watching everyones entries & already know i will learn heaps from what i see.


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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:37 AM   #2
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Hi Bryce,

Wow - this is your first attempt at filming nature - it didn't come across that way!

I cannot believe the diversity of animals you found in the Aussie bush, absolutely amazing. You also have a vast knowledge of your subjects and I really enjoyed watching and learning. Great voice over and a lovely flow to your film.

To read that you have Powerful Owls in your area is so exciting. If you captured footage of these, I reckon you would have the National News on your doorstep. Hope you pursue that idea to further develop this idea as i would love to see your footage.

Bryce, for a first attempt all I can say is that you should be very proud of yourself. Knowing the effort that would have gone into capturing this footage, I take my hat off to you.

I hope this is one of many UWOL entries to come.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 06:24 AM   #3
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Hi Bryce:

I agree with David on how well done this was. I think your film captures the heart of the UWOL spirit with the documentary style commentary which was very informative, heading out into the Aussi Outback and capturing such a variety of wild nightlife, and excellent filming. All the way around this was very well done.... and I so enjoy your accent ;-).

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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:40 AM   #4
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welcome to the wildlife addiction, bryce. you did an amazing job getting out there and gathering nocturnal footage of animals. you definitely have the most diverse wildlife represented in a single video. boobooks and tawnys and sugar gliders and echidnas (did i spell that right?), wow!

i love the "sugar glider"--a great name and a cool little animal, to be sure. i've never seen one before. australia is so loaded up with interesting animals.

NIGHT was a difficult theme, but you did an outstanding job with it, for a first entry. it is also fun to hear your back story, about stomping around in search of these species.

there's definitely some technical work to be done, in terms of stabilization and getting a better light source, but i'm sure you know what those things are...i'm not going to get too critical over someone's first effort at shooting wildlife, the first thing you learn is how hard it is!

i'm really glad you managed to post this...looking forward to more.

and i'm thrilled that you feel as if you learned some things and had a lot of fun (RULE #11), those kinds of comments really make my day! (although i have to spread the credit around to Mat, Kevin, and the players who make this thing what it is, really, i just try to keep the mojo alive...)
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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:19 PM   #5
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I certainly wouldn't have known this was your first attempt if you hadn't said so- very impressive. The narration was very professional- I learned a lot. It hit just the right balance between entertainment and information.

And you had so much footage of so many creatures. Definitely keep at this, and I will be looking forward to your next film. A vicarious trip to your exciting part of the world.

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Old November 22nd, 2007, 12:53 AM   #6
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Nice job dude…
You got some nice photos there. It’s really hard to shot handheld and having a torch in the other hand. You got allot of different Aussie animals, I would have liked some more shot of them, different angles, close ups. I liked the VO but I think that the music was a bit too high; some times it was hard hear the VO. I have done the same problem a couple times, the answer, I think is to view the film for 3-4 guys and ask the, ‘cause you know what you are saying so for you it’s no problem to understand.

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Old November 22nd, 2007, 02:10 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the kind words,
I am inspired by your comments to get ready for the next challenge.
Markus, Thanks so much for the really constructive feedback, i will definately take your comments on board for the next challenge, & for that matter, the next time i go out with my camera.
Ruth, Thank you for your kind words, I really didn't expect that feedback on my VO, i recorded it last minute, & if you listen again, i'm sure you will hear the couple of obvious mistakes i had made. Unfortunately i was so pressed for time, i simply left it as it was. Next time round, if i use a VO, i will definately have to put a bit more time & effort into it. I loved the VO's some of the others had put together for their entries especially the one of Brian Mckay's. If only i had a voice like his, & then was able to match the excellence in his script!
Meryem, thanks for the feedback, i really am thrilled to hear feedback like this from you. I am surprised i haven't had more feedback like yours regarding the unstable footage. I was often using a 1.8x tele converter, & with the tripod i have, it's really hard to get good stable footage at these focal lengths. In the very near future, i will be investing in a more stable tripod. & yes i've had an absolute ball with this challenge, & am looking forward so much to the next one!
Cat, Thank you, i'm really glad you liked my entry! I had wanted to concentrate on just two animals, but in the end, had only one of the two animals i was after, but plenty of others. I'm not sure if i like what i had put together in the end, i always tend to think that less can be more, but hearing your comments has made me realize that i have to look at what i'm doing more objectively, & think about how it will be seen by many people, not just me.
David, What can i say, to get that kind of feedback from you is really a great honor, i love your films, & feel very proud that you like my film.
To everyone, Thank you once again, to receive feedback from you all, is a real honor, & i hope i can improve based on your feedback in the coming challenges.

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Old November 22nd, 2007, 02:36 AM   #8
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Location: Oppland, Norway
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Bryce, if this was your first attempt to make a wildlifefilm I think you shall drop all you got in your hands and run, yes run out in the world and make some more wildlifefilms!!!
To me this was awesome to watch, technically very good pics in the night, the use of the lamp was well done.
You did the narrating very well too. For a foreigner like me who sometimes have a hard time to pick up what people are telling, your narrating was clear and easy to follow.

Very well done!
- Per Johan
Vimeo Site and Stock Footage Library at Pond5
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 03:13 AM   #9
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Hello Bryce

It`s a realy nice film whit allot of carming animal.Your woice over made
the film realy good.And it fit the them.So the all over ,one of the beder.

Realy Good.


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Old November 22nd, 2007, 04:09 AM   #10
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For a first time attempt at wild life,this is way above average .loved the hedghog,cute little guys and damn hard to catch.Looks like the Norwegians have a challenge developing in the form of some Aussies.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 06:08 AM   #11
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Hi Bryce.
Nice film to watch and some great animals you're showing.
Editing is good, some minor shaking in some clips, but just minor.
The best part is your soundtrack. I always think soundtrack is 50% of a film and you've done it all right. Starting with "jungle sounds" mixed with your narration and then in the end theres the piano tune - just great.
Just one personal opinion though: would it be wrong of me to suggest that when the hedgehog coming out from it's hide to put in a cutaway, maybe of the bird? Just a thought though.
You have a good storyline in this one.

Wish you all the best.
Geir Inge
Geir Inge B. Brekke
Visit me at: www.gibbfilm.no
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 08:46 AM   #12
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Location: bergen norway
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Light for Wildlife.

Hello agein Bryce

Abote lighting for great color at night I am thincing of (HID)Xeon as divers
use for underwhater,must bee the best on land to.They have color temp
as sunray 5000K-12000K (new carlight).I think on all my yeare on red-deer
filming at nigt, and no filming.This light sod been a dream.Mont as spot,
making composision of the shot realy nice I think.


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Old November 22nd, 2007, 04:24 PM   #13
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Bryce, what can I say. You really made a great wildlife film.
I'm looking forward to your future uwol videos.
Who could have imagined this was only your first (of hopefully many to come), if you hadn't told us.
The editing, the interesting narration, the sound... You did it all very well.

I'm facinated of Australia and the Australian wildlife.
Thank you very much for sharing.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 07:10 AM   #14
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Oh, your first attempt at wildlife?! After seeing your video, I thought you were an UWOL veteran!
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 10:37 AM   #15
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Hi Bryce

Ok well the diversity of animals you found on your trips out is amazing, especially if you werent actually after those subjects. Very nice indeed. I love echidna's, great animal and very interesting as one of Earths most primitive Mammals. I would have been happy with 3 minutes of that fella! I also can't believe you got away with throwing regular light at them without too much disturbance but if you've been out every night for 2 weeks then I can understand it more, 10/10 for putting the hours in fella.

Ok then, some of your camara work needed stabilising more and stay away from lots of quick zooms. Use them for effect only otherwise cut to another shot. Some of the shots would have been better with a mounted light too.

My biggest critique with your piece however is the VO, please don't take this the wrong way but it sounded like you were bored. It was very flat and thus didn't present your information well. That said the narration was well written and interesting.

Your film could also have used a better conclusion or round up. I think with this many subjects you could have picked one as your subject and done a 'search for' piece while presenting the other animals on route.

Great first piece.....top 3!
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