UWOL #9 "Wetland Wonder" by David Gemmell at DVinfo.net

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Old June 23rd, 2008, 11:53 AM   #1
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UWOL #9 "Wetland Wonder" by David Gemmell

I really enjoyed filming "Wetland Wonder" with two of my boys, as it took me to a remote National Park in the top West corner of Victoria, Australia - namely, Hattah Kulkyne National Park.

This park is home to the rare Regent Parrot, which I managed to capture (a yellowish parrot with a red beak) and also some water birds that I have never seen in the wild. So it was really exciting for me to be filming in an area I rarely get to.

I filmed from a hide over four days, and as the birds got more comfortable with the hide, the footage got better.

In this film, I wanted to give the viewer some appreciation for the position I was in relative to my subjects - which I think worked well in some of my closing shots. I also wanted to capture the beauty and tranquility of the area, which I think is very evident in the opening shots.

The birds in order of appearance are;

Red Necked Avocet
Australian Pelican
Great Egret
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Black Winged Stilt
White Faced Heron
Regent Parrot
Mallee Ringneck

I hope you enjoy watching Wetland Wonder.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 12:14 PM   #2
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UWOL#9 The Park Ron Chant.

Sorry David, some how I put this post into your description post.

Last edited by Ron Chant; June 23rd, 2008 at 12:57 PM. Reason: post in the wrong area
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 05:03 PM   #3
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Wow David:

You live in a beautiful, beautiful part of the world! Stunning. The lighting you are able to capture in your films is par none. You set the mood with great music and the content is always so rich and seamless from one perfect moment to the next. Thank you for this gem. I really enjoyed it. I loved the mirror-imaging of the water and the amusing spontaneous moments. And the Emu... wow.

This is the first time I've heard you narrate. You have a beautiful voice! And yes you gave us both the beauty of Australian wetland wildlife and the joy of filming it.

Thanks David,

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Old June 24th, 2008, 04:38 AM   #4
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I really like this short, the morning light you had was just stunning, the intro pan was smooth as silk.

Out of the many good shots, the reflection of the red-breasted birds is an ace, then to make it better one of them bent down to take a drink, it was as if the bird was kissing itís reflection, great shot.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 04:53 AM   #5
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Ron, those were the Galahs - as in "Flamin Galah!", and I have to aggree, that was my favourite shot too, the way they sycned was perfect!
David, this was entralling, beautiful, and smoothly edited. Image clarity was superb and the setup goes to show your determination to get these shots. As with Per's entry, I am again impressed with the commitment and patience required for this stuff. Good on ya!
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Old June 24th, 2008, 05:05 AM   #6
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WOW....species-tastic! Great selection of birds in the 3 minutes and some really good camera work in tracking flight and general exposure/focussing. I absolutely loved the shot of the two parakeets (i think) drinking in tandem...great moment (up there as a uwol fave!). Nice to see the Aussie variation of the Avocet too although your looks a little bolder than the UK version I think.

I really liked the light/colour in your opening shots. It gives it that Austrailian look straight off the bat. I would have liked a touch of Aus in the music too but then I think I say that everytime and I guess that might get a bit old after a while.

Your ending and final structure I thought was a little abrupt. I guess I wasn't expecting VO when most of the piece didn't have any. I really liked seeing you in the hide and your sentiment but the delivery and the way it sat at the end of the piece somehow didn't feel right. You also dropped the audio way before the VO, which felt like a mistake until your voice came in. Maybe your piece might have felt more balanced with the context of you in the hide introduced at the beginning rather than the end....a kind of 'come and sit in my hide with me while I show you all the bird life' kind of thing.

Anyway, fantastic variety, great shooting.

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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #7
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Wow David...you had me with that opening shot, just beautiful...

Then I was wishing you had enough lens to get me in close, and you did! Excellent.

Loved the two birds that bent down for a drink...they looked like Lovebirds to me, but you say they are "Galahs", I believe.

I like the shot of you in the blind...maybe it would have been better at the beginning as Mat suggested, but I loved the beginning you used...


Bob T.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #8
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Lovely presentation of numerous species. I especially like your seamless transitions. It's like each bird was saying, "Here, come look at this friend of mine. I'll take you over." Your sequence of a single bird followed by multiples of the same kind is also very effective. Well done.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:57 AM   #9
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Nice colours David and really good film of cause! Smooth and niceÖ it some of the shots you got a perfect mirror in the water but you cut it out side the frame, I think that you can use that to, maybe first film the mirror and then you tilt up to the bird and keep both in the frame, just an idea. Well done DavidÖ well done
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Old June 26th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #10
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Excellent David, absolutely excellent.

Defiantly one of the best uwol entries I have ever seen.

I would disagree with those who have suggested that you should have introduced the hide at the beginning as I donít think the style of the piece or the shots that you achieved required this much of a story. I felt it was perfectly pitched as a fly on the wall short with the images and music carrying the piece smoothly.

The ambient sounds at the beginning set the scene beautifully though I felt you could have brought the music up more slowly and softly as I felt it intruded ever so slightly on the ambience of the piece.

Wonderful smooth pans and the incredible light gave the whole film a slickness and smoothness which was almost unreal.

The timing of bringing the music down didnít quite sit right with the ending but I like the way you closed by showing that you had been a quite observer of this scene for some time.

You and your boys must have had a brilliant four days.


Ps. where did you get your hide? That material looks like exactly the sort of stuff to let the wind trough but keep you concealedÖ..exactly the kind of stuff Iím after!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #11
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Hello David.

I must say you make a realy nice film here.You have realy used the magic light
and got this lovly warite of bird clip.The sharpnes is amasing,and a good composing.
Lock forword to see more of this film!


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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #12
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Very mice video!!! an awesome array of wildlife, some of which I would have liked to know what they were. The music selection was a good one and was very suitable!!

All in all I think it was first rate. Some great compositions!!

i was actually surprised to hear the naration at the end after 2.5 minutes of serenity. It broke my mood you set for me. this kind of video would be great in front of those "Tranquility" CD's you often see for sale!!

Terrific job
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old June 26th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #13
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David, fantastic video and definitive your best to date!
Splendid colors, so colorful birds and the light!
Could have wished that you didn't cut off the head of birds in the mirror scenes, but that is very minor.
This is on my top entry list!
- Per Johan
Vimeo Site and Stock Footage Library at Pond5
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #14
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You have some pretty amazing shots here David. I loved the one of the Emu, also where the Black Winged Stilt hops on top of the other Stilt was amusing, I'm guessing it's part of their courtship/mating ritual.

Top notch videography here.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:29 PM   #15
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Good heavens, what a beautiful and varied assortment of birds! I remember looking through bird books when I was a kid and thinking how great it would be to see some in action; well, you provided that in a short three minutes. My breath caught when the two red-breasted birds bent down for a drink together. That had to be an incredibly magical moment for you.

Four days edited down to three minutes. Wow. Thatís patience and commitment at work. Thanks for the wonderful presentation.
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