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The UWOL Challenge (our newest contest)
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 04:53 PM   #16
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Does Glacier NP have restrictions or fees for shooting on site as well (like Yosemite)?
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 05:01 PM   #17
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Yes. While in theory ALL National Parks share the same restrictions and fees, how they are implemented and applied is the real question. My initial position is that this film is being created for this contest and as such is non-commercial. I wonder how a backcountry ranger would view me using my Z1 on a jib? I'd like to get this issue out of the way and documented as such to avoid problems.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 05:42 PM   #18
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Wow Chris,
I just looked at your film on Vimeo & i must say that was some really nice footage! Like everyone, i loved the opening shot. Text was a bit too quick for me too, maybe you need to add 15 seconds for me! :)
I too like the ken Burns effects on the photos, but personally like to see a little less movement in them. I find with this effect, less is more. My opinion only of course, but maybe you could try it & see what you think.
Wow the bacteria were cool too! How did you get that footage? So many talented people here in this forum!!
Really looking forward to seeing this when it is finished!
There's never enough hours in the day!
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 06:45 PM   #19
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You haver some awesome footage and I think you have some real good infortmation coming too!! I love the glacieal comparison! Can't wait to see how you make out after a couple more visits there to add to the repretoire of footage and hopefully more animals and birds to add to its depth!!
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 07:05 PM   #20
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Bryce: Thank you for your comments on the motion and timing in the stills. I have done a few slide shows, and have often thought that like excessive zooming and wild transitions for a newbie moviemaker, the excess of motion in slide show might be off putting for many. I genuinely appreciate your observations in that regard. Overall I fully agree, and in defense can only say that I was rushing this piece to try and get it up, and over-rushed many aspects. The good news is that by pushing us a little now, we will be better prepared later. I will certainly evaluate with great care the degree and speed of motion in my stills.... and of course go watch a few Ken Burns films once again. All the comments have been welcomed and I will heed them all.

Dale: I really hope to capture some good footage this summer and fall. I doubt I will ever match some of your awesome bird footage, but you and others with your unique talents here have certainly inspired me to reach higher in my own endeavors.

USGS's website is rich in glacial comparisons and wonderful photographs of that in the public domain, and I plan to have a not insignificant segment devoted to that and their disappearance. (Geologists are for the most part very computer savvy folks and the USGS website is a veritable treasure trove of all kinds of geological information and images.) For example, the Park had around 150 glaciers in 1850. By 2030 it may have none. A sad note for a Park named for its glaciers, no?

I am at the moment "poor" in my quantity of HDV images from Glacier, and hope to spend significant time there this year remedying that. Wish me luck and I will study the work of the others here to help train my eye and try and capture images worthy of this challenge to edit into my next posts here.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #21
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I like the scope in this film, lots of different elements and am looking forward to seeing how you put it all together. With talking heads, photographs and footage there will be alot to keep the viewer interested.
With regards to the Photographs, I think less movement works better. That may be just my opinion, but slow moves seem to hold the eye more.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #22
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The beginning is excellent, particularly the microscope shots.
I also like the historical material and photos.
The nature is breathtaking.
I hope you will use the same music in the final version.

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Old February 27th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #23
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Well, Iím late enough to your thread itís difficult to say anything about your footage that hasnít already been said other than- Wow, I really enjoyed it. Here are a couple of very nit-picky points. The ďbacteriaĒ in the clip were actually protozoans. It didnít matter because it worked. Stromatolites are certainly cyanobacteria. I wasnít aware any had ever been assigned to genus Cyanobacter. Now I have to go look it up. I love things like this that make me rethink things I thought I knew. The goat clip was precious. At the end where it looks back at the hikers I half expected it to run up or down the rock face. Common names for plants can be very interesting. Around here we call genus Nolina ďbear grassĒ. Itís also not a grass but an agave. Bears will eat the roots if very hungry. Will you be mentioning Waterton Lakes and the International Peace Park? A very good first showing. Canít wait for more.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #24
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Mihali: Thank you for your comments, as well as your observations. I am hoping to expand this significantly by the time of the next posting which will allow me to demonstrate some of the ideas others such as yourself have expressed.

Finn-Erik: I am delighted my "placeholder" was enjoyable for you. The music has received pretty good approval and their is a strong liklihood it will be at least a part of my final soundtrack. Also, of necessity there will be a lot of historical material so many stills.

Mike: What can I say other than you caught me. I think I'll still stay with that microscope view clip, but we'll keep it our little secret, ok? Your comment on Cyanobacter got me curious as well, some time ago I had been told that and just a quick review of literature strongly suggests, as did you very kindly, that it is wrong. Now I will have to dig deeper for the genus of this fossilized cyanobacteria. I'll credit you as my scientific fact checker. (grin) Thanks. Oh and, yes Waterton and the Canadian/American Peace Park status will be included in the final version, as will something about the Park's status as a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. (While I enjoy each of the Park hotels for a different reason, the Prince of Wales Hotel is the most scenic and awe inspiring to me, so I will definitely find a place for it in the final version.)
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 05:58 AM   #25
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Not much that I can add to what has already been said. I was thinking while watching the opening pan, that the only way I could do such long pans reasonably smoothly would be to pan across a photo, and then you said that is what you had done. The bear grass reminds me of the Asphodelus spp found in Mediterannean areas.

I look forward to learning more - both about the Park and about how you are filming it.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 11:16 PM   #26
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Annie: It is so much fun to hear the feedback in this contest. It is instructive, constructive and at the same time confirming. A lot of what we know and do is the same, but it's nice sometimes to know you are not out here mucking through something wondering "does anyone else do this"? (Like the stitched panorama photo pan).

I love sharing this place, which is very special to me, with others. I hope I can do it justice. You and others have heightened my need/desire to include birds in this film as best I can.

That said, a sad sidenote may be in order here. I have been visiting this park since the late 1950's and seen many changes. This sidenote chronicles one of the saddest to me.

There is a sizeable lake in the park known as Lake McDonald that drains into a larger drainage that flows into a very large inland lake about 30 miles away known as Flathead Lake. For years Flathead Lake was home to a species of landlocked Kokanee salmon, that spawned in the waters near Lake McDonald in the fall. Bald eagles from every corner of the region would come...every fall, like clockwork... literally hundreds of them, to feed on the dying fish. It was a sight to behold the eagles dropping into the water to bring out large fish to eat.

Then.......along came man's better idea. I may get some of this wrong as it happened after I moved away to go to college in the late 60's...so I bear correcting from anyone more knowledgeable.... but in an effort to improve certain fishing in Flathead lake, a species of freshwater shrimp (Mysis) was introduced into Flathead lake to encourage that desired fish's size and number. Those shrimp also fed on the plankton that the Kokanee fry lived on.. . the double whammy...The shrimp in turn vastly increased the population of those "desired" fish ... but those were also fish that ate the salmon fry, already less due to the competition for food.. and did so to the point the salmon became extinct in this ecosystem. So....The eagles come no more. Otherwise I would have some fabulous footage to share of the Eagle's salmon feast! But now it exists only in my mind.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; March 4th, 2009 at 12:47 AM.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #27
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Hey Chris
Wow when this piece first started I was blown away by the BIG feel it had. You have some stunning shots and put it with some great music. I really like that bacterial stuff as well, how was this done? Is it CG?

What struck me straight away though from your plan is you go back SO far through time, but then the bulk of what your story is about is humanity. I find this a little strange in structure. If its a human story of this area then I would intro the park in a much wider way. A 'brief' natural history of this place could take hours in itself and maybe isnt even necessary with the bulk of the story you are telling. Maybe as you build things up I will change my mind about this but it struck me straight away so I felt it was well worth noting in a critique.

Great stuff fella, I'm going to be very interested where you take this. My choice would be make the human story 1 section and tell the natural history throughout the rest...but then thats just me!
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Old March 5th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #28
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Mat... thanks. Actually your comments about the scope being a little much including geology got me thinking, and you have an excellent point. I think I will still work it up as best I can, but in the final edit, it may get cut to be the start of a separate short, not included in this film. Thanks for the honest perspective.

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Old April 26th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #29
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Wow... this challenage has really taken me all over the map.... mostly tracking down old historical photographs.... from Montana - West Glacier, MT(The Park Archives), Helena, MT (State Archives), Bozeman MT (Museum of the Rockies) - LA (The Autry museum), and Minnesota (State Archives - Great Northern RY Archives)... I will be visiting the Park at the end of May and will spend several days with the archivist.

Whew... I really did not realize the breadth of where this would take me, but am looking forward to it all. It has been great fun, and greatly illuminating. The journey has eclipsed the destination in many ways.

I really haven't explored yet the possibilities with the USGS folks... maybe later on. I think the right connection there could be real gold in terms of the glacial disappearance aspects and comparison photographs.

For the time being, I think the suggestion of abandoning the ancient geological (non-glacial) aspect of the Park is a good one and do not plan to include that in this work presently. Maybe a stand alone production at a later time - yet, I do find it fascinating - the fact that the only fossils at the surface are billions of years old.

Doing the DVC Challenge and this have proved a little more than I banked on, but I will have another placeholder up for the 2nd go around.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 01:54 AM   #30
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Well, I uploaded my 2nd submission tonight to the UWOL site and to vimeo. As soon as I have the vimeo link I will post it here in this thread.


{edit} Vimeo file here : http://vimeo.com/4643439

PS. If you have the time, please view the HD Vimeo version, it really is pretty important for some of the stills to be meaningful.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; May 15th, 2009 at 01:07 AM.
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