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Old February 18th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #1
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Thompson - ?!Gardens!? - UWOL long form

Hi guys
Well this really is a rush for me to stay in the long form but I'm determined to stay in the running and ramp things up for the next Phase.

This film will explore what our modern gardens mean to our wildlife, ourselves and our children. It will visit many different types of garden, looking at both the positive and negative impact of how people keep their gardens, the species they attract and how they could help us to see the world differently and reconnect with the natural world.

My full outline/pitch is attached to this thread and the video link can be found below. - A lot of its padding but hey it keeps me in the race for the moment.

This is something I feel quite strongly about and I think there will be a lot in the film that everyone will be able to understand and connect too. At the same time I'm hoping it will inspire people to consider the true value of their gardens as a close connection to the natural world.

However I am feeling a little insecure about its potential scope with other folks fronting such amazing wildlife from such remote and amazing natural locations. SO my biggest area for feedback would be based around this. I do have a number of more unusual garden species that I plan to cover and I will attempt to really get intimate with some of our more usual suspects.......SO, what do you guys think ?

Many thanks
Attached Files
File Type: doc Mat_Thompson_LF_phase1_pitch.doc (14.0 KB, 174 views)

Last edited by Mat Thompson; February 19th, 2009 at 06:26 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:32 PM   #2
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Hi Matt,
I love the idea, ever since you first started talking about it, i've thought it would be great. It's so close to home, & if you can show what can be done in a garden, then maybe people may change their gardens to attract wildlife too. This would be the best compliment you could get. I'm sure you will make a great film with this idea, & i hope you do stick with it, as i for one would love to watch it.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #3
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Hi Mat:

I think your topic choice is excellent, intriguing and topical. It is so easy (for me anyway) to focus on the large scale: the devastating effects of clearing the worlds tropical rain and Boreal forests for agriculture or wood product. I don't think it really occurred to me that the choices I make as an individual on how I keep a garden can have such an impact on the local natural community, for good or bad. I for one am interested in what you are able to point out in your documentary.

This is a challenging topic to pull off, but you certainly have the skills to do it and I'm looking forward to what's in store for us.

Reading your story board a thought came to mind. Ages ago when I was in school I remember reading that if for example, you have 4 adjacent tracks of land (draw a square with 4 quadrants) slated for development and each track will preserve a small portion as natural habitat. It is exponentially better for the native species to locate the preserved portions of natural habitat from each track so that they combine into one large plot, than if each preserved portion were isolated within each track.

Does this apply in some ways to what you are doing? It came to mind while reading the "oasis" part of your storyboard.

All the best in your endeavor.

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Old February 19th, 2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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Some real nice shots, I particularly like the birds and the crane shots!!! Wish I had one of those!!!

I know it is all rough, but I hope you get some good bird sounds!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old February 20th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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What an excellent idea for an Uwol Long Form film, Mat.
Liked the shots very much.
Do you use a jib?

Best of luck.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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I think your plan can be very nice and interesting to watch. There's a changing wildlife even in small gardens. I know your ability to do macro shots which I think you should include some of in your film. And of course human interaction with birds (birdfeeders) is nice too. And perhaps shots of fox and maybe a badger which often not so welcome, could be nice to watch.
- Per Johan
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Old February 24th, 2009, 09:11 PM   #7
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Like everyone I liked the jib/crane "moving camera" shots. I'm still learning with mine and any camera movement now catches my eye as a learning experience. Jib OR dolly.

The birds were nice, and the dew on the grasses and the little bug was splendid.

If this is a placeholder I cannot wait to see what you bring us next.

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Old February 25th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #8
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Hi Mat!
I think it looks good. As I stated before, I really love this topic. I liked the part of the video where you contrast the manicured hedge and the untidy downed wood. Perhaps you could do a small series of these and overemphasize the contrast through soundtrack. Give the tidy bits the ďSilent SpringĒ soundtrack and the untidy bits the Dawn Chorus of birds and insects soundtrack. Itís kind of a vulgar trick but I think it might work. Donít feel insecure about your location! I think itís going to turn out to be way more ďexoticĒ than most viewers ever suspect. I also love the macro work.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 08:31 AM   #9
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Hi Matt,

Like you I feel that my piece lacks "the exotic" of some of the locations, however I am sure there is a lot of interesting wildlife in our gardens. I think your idea of getting the more unusual featured is good and there is plenty of potential for macro work. Your shots are good, as is the story.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 03:50 AM   #10
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Exploring the garden is a good idea. You are good at words: "...see the world differently and reconnect with the natural world". That is a strength for the film!

Your garden looks to be a good habitat for many wild animals.

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Old March 1st, 2009, 01:03 PM   #11
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Hi Mat, finally I have some time to check out a couple of the long-form videos, starting with yours. :)
Nice footage you have. And I think your project can turn out really interesting, and different from what most of the others have. Nice to see that someone is actually focusing on what is close to us all the time... our own back yard.
Go for it!
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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Mat, very nice. I especially liked the macro at the end. Also some good shots of birds. There was one clip where you showed the old house and some hedges, it immediately reminded me of the TV show that is on now in the USA called "Treasures of the Trust". It looks like a garden that was turned over to the Trust for the enjoyment of all. Good job. Bob
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Old April 15th, 2009, 03:55 AM   #13
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Your topic is both interesting and relevant and has a lot of potential. You have some nice footage -even if it was rushed together, but at this stage, nothing really concrete to comment on, especially without the story line.

Something that I feel is missing from your outline is the solution to the problem. Itís good to expose the problem - even better to present an equally attractive alternative.

(Iím not sure people are going to be persuaded very easily to rip up their expensive paving/decking simply to accommodate wildlife - which would be first prize of course. Iím also not sure, even if people are made aware of the issue, if wildlife will outweigh fashion and ease of upkeep in importance when it comes to choosing a garden design, unless equally attractive and easy-to-maintain alternatives are presented. Fortunately there are a number of very attractive, yet simple, solutions for much of this without having to destroy the look of the garden design . . . just getting folk to make the effort before they start - thatís the real issue.)

I am looking forward to seeing your next submission.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #14
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Hi everyone.

Ok, well I've started to gather some pace now through Phase 2 and I'm really starting to think I can pull this off :-) !!! I have some solid sequences beginning to take shape, interviews organised for the next few weeks and a much clearer overall view of the plot/script/story. I have updated my document (see below), although I'm in progress of writing more into it, so its still incomplete.

My footage is narrated, so it should give you a better flavour of my ideas and how they are going to relate into my story.

Please read the document before watching the footage, or the video isn't going to make as much sense out of context.

As always, PULL IT TO as harsh as you like, thats what helps us to improve afterall! - Oh and sorry for my ramblling narration (1st take with no notes) , I hope its at least a little bit informative :-/

Phase 2 - Uwol LongForm on Vimeo

Many thanks
Attached Files
File Type: doc Mat_Thompson_LF_phase2_pitch +shooting _notes.doc (21.5 KB, 169 views)

Last edited by Mat Thompson; May 14th, 2009 at 12:06 PM.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 10:26 PM   #15
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Hey Mat:

The concept and theme of your piece is fascinating, and I think a topic only someone with your caliber of film making can pull off. I have read your word doc, which most definitely clues us in as to where you are going with this. Your cinematography is masterful, from infra-red-to slow mo-to time-lapse, you are working yourself into a nature photographer at its best. Well done. If you can clue me in, how can you keep a video going for 48 hours for a time lapse, and keep the lighting perfect as well as have a sense of THE 48 hours the prim roses will open. I would love to know things like this.

We live in very different climates and terrain than you, but I can't help but bring all this into my own backyard with a heightened sense of what I might be doing for our wildlife. We live in a dry climate in rugged terrain. Ponds only exist during the spring runoff, where wildlife does explode (the ever-evasive frogs and salamanders!). We have a small garden we have planted in an abandoned ex-dog pen that was fenced. The fencing helped keep the bunnies and the deer out, although the grass hoppers can come through and strip everything in one night. I've never thought of our garden in terms of helping wildlife. I've only thought of it as a healthy, low budget attempt at sustainable living. I think your video is going to turn the way I see my little garden upside down.

As far as pulling this apart? This is way to early in the game for that! All we have to "work on" is snippets of state-of-the-art and masterfully crafted cinematography that have yet to take shape into the documentary this work is destined for!

All the best,

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