UWOL X FreeMe by Marj Atkins at DVinfo.net

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Old September 1st, 2008, 12:28 PM   #1
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UWOL X FreeMe by Marj Atkins

While ‘FreeMe’ is manned by a small number of qualified, paid staff members doing an amazing job of saving wildlife in crisis, this organization relies heavily on the hard work done by trained volunteers in the routine but essential tasks that are required to keep the centre running on a daily basis.

This commercial is intended for use on the FreeMe website: FreeMe: Welcome to the FreeMe site
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:45 AM   #2
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Hi Marj
Another top notch entry,and for a very worthy cause too.I know the bucket is very central to the whole theme of the video,and what a great idea that is.I however would have liked a shot of the people involved,as the video is now,it just seems to have too many headless people.I know just about everyone else will disagree with me on that one.I loved the establishing shot with what I think is the street vendor selling the bucket...only in Africa....
A good shot at the top 3 again Marj...well done
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:41 AM   #3
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Hi Marj,

That was a very good one from you!
The message came through in a good way, following that bucket.
And with everything in "high speed", it became kinda funny to watch.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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Your organization of choice is doing very cool work...

This is a pretty neat concept, following the bucket as a device for following the pathway from collecting coins to re-habbing animals.

I can see why your group would like it. The visuals are great.

Since it is for a web video, not necessarily for broadcast, I'd just make it longer -- to be able to see how the bucket is used in the re-habbing process, to let that section unwind a little bit and to be able to see the range of animals that these folks are treating would help give a little more space for empathy to develop, since this is such a high-speed, high-energy bit, giving that part a little more play might make it even better, I think. More animals! I'm not sure if the musical selection is long enough to support that, or not...

The closing shot with the bucket throwing out feed is a good way to end, works really well with the musical punctuation.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 06:34 PM   #5
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I really enjoyed your piece! You're right, for such similar "causes" we approached our topics very differently! I too have learned a lot from yours. I must say, I think the bucket thing is really ingenious as it did lead the viewed through your story; and it nicely conveyed, visually, how donations are transformed to useful resources (i.e. food for the animals).

I really got a kick out of your stylistic choice - with the energetic music and fast-paced freeze frame visual approach it was so entertaining and energetic. (I wish I could rewatch it, but am having trouble viewing .mov files at the moment. I am a humble PC user). You really injected some creativity in telling your story, and it was entertaining to watch and I was excitedly awaiting what was going to "happen" next. Fun ending for sure.

I do agree it would have been nice to see the gal's face at some point, but then again, I also think it works as is -- somehow having a dehumanized person throwing the bucket into our faces at the end seems more right than having someone we've actually seen and therefore, someone who is human and who we relate to (which, I think, would make the bucket in the face ending more offensive).


When I first watched your piece, I was torn between two reactions when the gal threw the grain at the camera in the end: I wanted to laugh (it was quite clever); and I may have been a bit offended (if they're asking for $, they shouldn't be throwing grain in our face!). [AS I SAID ABOVE, I DO THINK IT WORKS AS IS] But, I think that it may be possible to have something, either a VO or subtitles, or something, at the very end, after the gal tosses the grain at the camera, either affirming the humor or their gratitude for receiving any gifts.

Also, for the record, not that I know anything... but, I do think that you have a great short movie in you that I'd love to see! Don't know why I write this as I don't ever really know your interests other than the few pieces I've viewed that you've submitted to UWOL. I just so enjoyed your storytelling style here, I think you could have led your viewer (or at least me!) just about anywhere you wanted to go - whether it be a political, philosophical, or whatever other sort of statement (if even just for entertainment sake) you wish to make.

Don't know why, but I feel somehow inspired to send you the link to a short movie I really enjoyed: Spin. It's not necessarily at all like anything you've made. But, I do think it's an inspired (and therefore, to me, an inspiring) short film. Filmmaker is a young kid (i.e. 30's) from Denver. I've heard him talk at the opening of his first feature film which was a few years after he made Spin (which, he admittedly made as a way to raise funding for his feature. The short has probably gotten more recognition than his feature. Here's the youtube link to his short in case you're interested and have the time: YouTube - God is a DJ ! (Spin - Double Edge).

Ok, that's enough for now. Really enjoying your videos and looking forward to seeing more of them.


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Old September 3rd, 2008, 06:40 PM   #6
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you always put up interesting material. I think that the construction of this is your best to date. perhaps not your best shots but everythig else is very tight. The bucket idea wa terrific, shows how creative you are!!!
I liked the tossed grain the blur out the closing shot!! I think it was brillant.

for a 30 second psa I think it was awesome.

I would work on a longer version to put on a the web site. However, if it was longer I do not think that your fast paced imagery would hold up without being tedious, you may have to slow the pace and that is something you may prefer not to give up and which case it is fine as it is.

Again, awesome job. I really liked it and I think it is a winner.
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #7
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Hi Marj and congratulations with your uwolx entry, mine is in the shark tank :)

I liked your entry very much.
It got tempo, the use of the bucket is great and the pictures are telling a story, the way you have put it together.
I cant put a finger on one thing I didn't like about it, other than I wish the text (buckets of love etc) could stay for just a little bit longer onscreen. I'm a slow reader :/

All the best and good luck.
Geir Inge
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Old September 4th, 2008, 07:08 PM   #8
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Hey there Marj,

Nice little film, great pace, fun concept and a good cause of course.

I would have to disagree with Amelia about the grain in the face...it seemed to me that it was more of a point of view shot, kind of like we are the little chicks being fed. That is how I took it anyway, but I DO agree with what she said about you having a rich story inside of you...and I think you ought to begin writing one. I also agree with her choice of short films to look at, "Spin" has been one of my favorites for years...and I can see where she sees similar styles in your stuff.

Anyway I really enjoyed your film and thought the music was fun and fit the piece perfectly. The only change I would make would be the very last title...it seemed a little cheesy compared to your film...but on second thought, maybe that would catch the audience's attention...who knows.

Fun little film with a story line...hard to do in a PSA.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #9
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Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to comment on my entry. Thanks in particular for the constructive help.

It is always amazing to me to see how you folk come up with things that I wouldn’t even have dreamt of - like headless people - but it’s really good to be made aware of these reactions. I was so focused on the helping hands angle and the bucket used as a vehicle for chores that it simply never entered my head.

Amelia: There was an addendum to my ad (encouraging folk to become trained volunteers). If you were having problems viewing QuickTime movies then perhaps you shut it down before the ad was finally over. Thanks for all your additional comments - I really appreciate your time and interest.

(I have to say that I have never considered myself a story teller at all so that certainly came as a surprise to me. I was just trying to think out of the box here and trying to apply, in a roundabout way, a bit of what Brant Buckland encouraged us to do - develop a character (in this case the bucket) and allow the story to unfold without giving too much away. Maybe I should also get the character to face an obstacle as he suggested - mmm now what could that be, I wonder . . .
.. no John, I can’t do a car chase after a stolen bucket of cash! :)

Meryem: Your suggestion to increase viewer empathy with more cute and cuddly’s is a good one. Rehabbing is not really part of the chores of volunteers so I’m not too keen to give the wrong impression but I could try to add a few cute and cuddly’s in the rehab centre needing to be fed with veggies or with a bottle.

Once again thanks to you all.
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Old September 8th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #10
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You really did fit the music to the film… really nice. I liked the concept that you build the film around “a bucket full of love”. In some of the shot the colour was a bit of, I think. You got a lot of sunlight so it may be hard to find a day with cloud… but the contrast may be too much. I would have liked to se some people in the film, not just the bucket…

Over all a nice film with a good concept, well done

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Old September 8th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #11
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Hey, Marj ! I love the sense of energy and fun that you build into all of your UWOL productions. I think the beauty this film is that it communicates the concept in no uncertain terms to anyone, regardless of language, culture or age. Thats a pretty hard thing to do , and I thought it worked out really well!!
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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #12
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Hey Marj

Well your film making prowess has shined through once more. Creative interesting concept with a snappy edit with a good effect that fit the fast drums perfectly. I found the shooting of varying quality and some grading would have seen the shots fitting together better. I also think some interesting use of transitions would have fit in this piece well being it was so dynamic in its progression.

Top stuff.
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Old September 13th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #13
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hmmm...do you have a direct link to the video?


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Old September 14th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #14
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Thank you for all your comments and input. Have a lot of ideas for improving this.
Hi John - only version is at The UWOL Challenge - Wildlife & Outdoor based film competition
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Old September 18th, 2008, 06:51 AM   #15
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Marj, congradulations. I watched Freeme several times. The beat, tempo and message blended so well. Such a good cause and such a great way to advertise it. Interesting note about watching all of the entries was that I was blown over by the different types of organizations out there. Thanks to all of you for doing such a great job while I, on the other hand, had to visit the dreaded Shark Tank. Bob
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