UWOL#7 "Everyday Adventure" by Ruth Happel at DVinfo.net

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:03 PM   #1
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UWOL#7 "Everyday Adventure" by Ruth Happel

UWOL#7 "Everyday Adventure" by Ruth Happel

This video was shot in our literal and figurative backyard. We never walked more than a few minutes from our actual yard, and most of the footage was shot in the approximately 1/4 acre of it. I wanted to show that for most people, including Robin and me, our adventures are wherever we can find them.

Although it is the heart of winter here in the Pacific Northwest, there is still a lot of adventure, and nature, to explore. I often find I see more looking down than up, and enjoy exploring the worlds within worlds of even the most ordinary parts of the wild.

In addition to the link here, it is also available on my website- http://rockfowl.com/archive/2008/02/...adventure.aspx including an HD version - http://www.naturepalooza.com/everyda...adventure.html - and a few additional words about it in my blog. We are thrilled that earlier this month one of our UWOL submissions from last year, Marvelous Mammals, became an editor's pick at the online video site Revver- http://revver.com/ - and are even more excited that earlier this week we are currently featured on their homepage under our Rock Fowl name as a featured video creator. So we are looking forward to more inspiration from this contest.

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:20 PM   #2
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First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. To me dogs are just children with fur and to lose one can be quite heart breaking. Please tell Robin I'm sorry as well.

Knowing that I think I can say that it didn't seen that your or Robin's heart was in this one. I know mine wouldn't have been. Congrats on getting it done. Sometimes being busy is the best medicine.

I think you got your message across fine though. Just didn't see that spark that we usually see from Robin and your camera shots.

But I think it's very true that we often overlook things that are right under our noses. It looks like you live in an incredible place and I look forward to more adventure with you and Robin!

Sound is really your thing isn't it? I felt refreshed listening to the sound of the water! :)

Congrats again on Marvelous Mammals!!!
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:57 PM   #3
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ok, i always get one big chuckle out of your films, and this time "it was not the most gorgeous flower," poor sagging little hapless winter flower heads being chewed by bugs...

you seem to be doing some nice shallow DOF experimenting with this one. and what a great setting to do it in, the pacific NW has the most complex landscapes...

also sorry to hear about your dog...mine turned 14 this month as well and struggles.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:20 PM   #4
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Congratulations on all of your recent successes! I am personally thrilled for you and Robin. It brings inspiration to me to see you move onto other forums and do so well. Congratulations friend!

What can I say, this contribution is light, airy, thought provoking and fun. Robin is growing up don't you think? Your work is inspiring and beautiful. Thank you.

Blessings in the memory of your faithful friend.... we shed a tear, knowing how much we too, love our animals.

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:36 PM   #5
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What a wonderfully whimsical film, Bravo!

And sorry about your loss, I've lost a few dogs in my lifetime and it's always a sad affair. I'm sure your pooch would be glad for the tribute you gave in that short.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:14 AM   #6
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I'm impressed of what Robin and you are able to succeed in your own backyard!
I think your skill behind the camcorder has improved very well, some of the opening shoots was very well executed. And Robin, it seem that she loves to be in front of the camcorder!
A good story too, keep it up Robin and Ruth!

I'm very sorry of your loss of the dog.
- Per Johan
Vimeo Site and Stock Footage Library at Pond5
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #7
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You got some nice ”DOF-shooting” there… good job.
I’m happy for your pick on Revver… that is always fun when you own films got picked.
Sorry about you dog.

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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #8
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Lovely colors in your backyard....
I think you made some excellent choices in your close ups....

I think I would have tried some motion on the senery, especially the sky shot....some slow pans....
But hey, believe me when I say I'm no expert....and I could be wrong...

So very sorry about losing your friend.....been there a few times myself....
Bob T.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #9
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Hi Ruth,

First of all, sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. I know how close family members they become.

It is great to see how both your and Robin's skills develop through the uwol films. Now Robin's "acting" has become more natural, and that's very good to see. I'm impressed of her talent.

With this film you really showed us that we don't have to go far away to have an adventure. I always expect something special from you, and as always, you deliver that!
All in all, a great film!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 12:56 AM   #10
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Hello Ruth
Congrats on Marvelous Mammals, became an editor's pick at the online video site Revver.Robin and you always have a lot of fun filming,and it carries over to the viewer.
keep the adventures comming
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Old February 25th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the comments. This was a fun film to make- I wanted to emphasize the way Robin and I have most of our adventures- just enjoying the wild near our home. Since this is how most people relate to nature, I tried to focus in on the details that are exciting when you stop to look and really explore.

So to respond to specific comments-

Kevin- Without a specific critique, I am not exactly sure what you mean by a missing "spark". The tone was very different- I let Robin basically run with this one, and though at first I wasn't sure if the dramatic voice would work, I think paired with the imagery it was a subtle but effective humor. Not the slapstick of our usual pieces, but I was pleased to see how Robin came up with this whole feel on her own- she is becoming more of a collaborator with each film, which is fun for both of us. So I am not sure what you miss from previous films, but this was by design an understated film to emphasize the way nature can be both subtle and inspiring- even in a cloudy northwest winter. Yes, we do miss Decker- he was a part of our family- thanks for your sympathies. I'm glad you liked the water sound- I spent quite a while trying to figure out exactly how to fade that in and out-I wanted to give it a voice without overpowering other elements of the film. As you note, I am pretty obsessed with sound- since that is my technical background.

Meryem- Thanks for your comments. We lost our dog at 13 1/2- and he was steadily declining, so it wasn't a surprise, but being without him is still a shock. I am really glad he was featured in one of the UWOL films (as Fluffy), since now I have a good record of him on film. We almost always try to include some humor, but this time it was deliberately understated to keep in the mood of the film. The DOF experimentation was an exploration of the macro world, which is most of what there is to explore here in the winter, so it was a good time to try out some new techniques.

Cat- Yes, Robin is really growing up. This time I let her set the tone, and I thought it was really effective- and surprisingly subtle for someone her age, so it's been fun working together with her on these films. I know how much of an animal person you are from your films, so am sure you know how hard it is to lose a dog. But at least I can get some vicarious fun seeing all the animals in the other films. Thanks for your congratulations on getting more exposure for our previous videos. I think any exposure we all get outside this forum will help to generate more interest in the contest, and dvinfo in general, which is a good thing :)

Adrinn- Glad you enjoyed the film, and I hope my dog appreciates the tribute.

Per- Thanks for your kind words. I was experimenting with some new techniques in the opening shots so I am glad you appreciated them. Yes, Robin is a real performer, and gets a lot of energy from being on camera. I know if I needed to be my own host, you would all lose interest quickly, so I'm happy to have her involved with the videos!

Markus- Since there isn't a whole lot happening in the winter here, it seemed a good time to focus on the miniature world, and play with DOF. I was amazed myself sometimes in framing shots how a whole universe opened up in what I had previously just stepped over or walked by. I think the adventure theme made me realize, since there wasn't an obvious adventure to be had, that just by looking closely, there is always something in nature to be excited about.

Bob- Thanks for your comments. I thought about doing a pan, but instead shot at a time when there were lots of clouds, and sped up the motion in post, so I went for a shot that was static in frame but with lots of movement. I experimented with different rates, and maybe it would have been more dramatic with a pan, or speeding up the clouds even more- but when I tried that, it started to look sort of obvious, and I was keeping everything low key by design for this. I will experiment in future with different techniques, and appreciate your suggestion.

Trond- Thanks for the comments. This time Robin set the tone, and that may be why she seems more natural. Her instincts seem better just to ad lib than my elaborate scripts, so I will be handing the reins to her more in future! It is sad to lose our dog, but I especially enjoyed watching your film with Vera, for a vicarious dog experience!

John- Thanks for your kind words. Robin and I have really enjoyed these contests and working together. She and I get ideas from each other and give each other a lot of energy, and I'm glad our fun shows on film.

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Old February 25th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #12
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Hi Ruth:

Driving in the car last night the radio was on and tuned to NPR Living on Earth. They closed with a audio recording of crows and such in the desert and credited to none other than our very own Ruth Happel!

My goodness young lady, you are everywhere! Fire me an email sometime and let me know all that you are up to. I'd love to know!

Keep up the good work!

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Old February 25th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #13
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Hi Ruth,

As I've said many times in the past, my family and I do enjoy your whole approach to filming - and it sounds like your style is being recognised by many others! Wow, this is wonderful, congrats to you and Robin!

I actually was downloading some UWOL entries today at work (just can't get motivated) and watched Marvelous Mammals while waiting for the downloads. Gee, it was a lot of fun, with the staff & I having a bit of a chuckle at Robin and her alpaca antics. But getting back to this entry...

I did enjoy it a lot and would suggest this would always be the case with Robin being in front of the camera. I think it may have been better to keep Robin in the picture (maybe to the side), with each scene disolving in and out. I say this as the delay between Robin's commentary and the actual scene was not consistent - which became a bit uncomfortable.

But as I said, I always enjoy watching your entries.

Sorry to hear about your sad loss. I know these times can be very difficult, especially for our children. Best wishes to you and your family.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 04:28 AM   #14
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Hi Robin and Ruth.
I'm glad to be able, once again to look at one of your uwol films.
You both have been an inspiration to me, thats why I choose my own "little" girl and two of her friends to participate in my uwol film this round.

I think Robin is a born actress, but I have told you so before, but a good thing can not be said too often :) hope this make sence in English too?

I'm so glad you show us that you can find an adventure in your own back yard/garden. As film makers I think the most importened skill is to see and look for the details. In this film you not only do this, but you really show and teach us a lesson about it, thats great film making Ruth.

Give my best regards to Robin and thank you for sharing with us.

Wish you both all the best.

Geir Inge
Geir Inge B. Brekke
Visit me at: www.gibbfilm.no
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Old February 27th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #15
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Thanks for the comments.

Cat- Glad you heard one of my albums. That was one I did in New Mexico-a nature conservancy protected area. I spent about 10 years doing nature sound recordings. It was fun, and at times exciting- one of my Brazil recordings made it onto a Neil Young album, and I am just now about to release an album I did at Jane Goodall's site of the chimps- recorded over 15 years ago. I still do some work with that now, though over the past 10 years I have moved mainly from audio and multimedia through still photography and now into video. Always nature, but exploring it in different ways.

David- I am not sure exactly how you mean to keep Robin in the picture. Her commentary was shot entirely separate from the other shots- which were mainly macro, so she was never in the frame at the same time, and I think to superimpose her would distract from the details of the images. I varied the time between commentary and shot so it wouldn't get too predictable- I played with different timing but ended with this since I was cutting the transitions to the music. I will keep your comments in mind for future edits. Thanks for your condolences about Decker- he is greatly missed.

Geir- Thanks for your kind comments. I am thrilled to see you have included your daughter in your film, which I greatly enjoyed. Robin enjoys acting, and we have a lot of fun with these videos. As time has gone on, she has become more and more involved, and with this one, she actually set the whole tone of the piece. Our work is becoming a real collaboration, which is very inspiring for me.
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