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Old December 10th, 2016, 11:06 AM   #16
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Lorinda brought up a very important point in saying that everything has a season, and that season passes. If you watch TV nature shows, you will remember that once upon a time, footage like ours was popular under the tutelage of people like Sir David Attenborough, where a show featuring short segments of individual species doing their thing was all the rage. When was the last time you watched one of these? Now if it isn't dangerous animals killing each other, it never gets to the screen. Unless it's animation. The most popular science programs today are animated. UWOLers haven't the money.

Does this mean we have lost our niche, and should just curl up and die? Not quite. There is a new niche that, if it isn't open yet, it could be, especially in the United States with our recent political antics, and the resultant assault about to be leashed on the environment. There are probably dozens of environmental and wildlife protection groups out there, in all countries, who have a message to get out. They are mostly not rich. I wonder if, as a group, UWOL could offer to donate, or film fresh, material that these organizations might want to place in their programs or advertising. Sort of like Getty Images for Nature non-profits, but at no charge.

It will be a hard sell. I've tried it. Believe it or not, it's hard to give your stuff away. Any good administrators in the group?
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Old December 10th, 2016, 12:42 PM   #17
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Steve,

My goal has always been to make a difference for nature and wildlife.
I've donated my footage to non profits before to help their cause and I'd be happy
to do something like this through UWOL.
If this is something others want to do I'd be happy to give towards it.
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Old December 10th, 2016, 04:14 PM   #18
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Hi Dale,
Great news about your son. It must be a huge relief for you.

On the subject of change: In recent years, there have been many threads & posts about how we could potentially change, or tweak the challenge to make it better. A lot of these have had some great suggestions as to how we can make this forum even better. We should embrace change. If nothing changes, things go stale & interest will be lost. There have been some very talented people, & continue to be some very talented people here on the UWOL forum. Pushing the limits of our abilities is what will keep the interest, & I believe attract interest to our community here.
Constructive criticism, I suspect, is what elevates decent films to great films. This of course can only happen in the production stage. Itís all well and good to suggest a bunch of things that could have been done better after the film was made, but imagine if we gave feedback on each otherís films & then were able to go back & re-do parts of our films based on the feedback we get. I wonder what each of us would come up with then? Of course this gets away from the whole ďcontestĒ type of thing we are used to. Iím just thinking it may be a way of working out where to go next.
While the round the world collaborative challenge never quite achieved what it set out to achieve, the idea itself was great, but maybe just needed some massaging. Perhaps we could look at something similar once again, but before we get too far down the road, really discuss ideas of what the finished piece should look like.
Lorinda had a very interesting idea earlier in this thread that I think could work, but again, I think we should take an idea like this, & fully discuss how to make it work for all.
I had a similar idea a while ago that suggested using the challenges as part of a longer film with the winning entries making up the final longer film. Of course, this would only work with enough pre-planning that each of the winning films jelled with the theme to became a sequence of the film. Maybe going back to what I suggested with the feedback, the winning films could be re-worked to elevate them over and above what made them the winning films & perhaps fit better with the overall theme for the full film. As Lorinda suggested, this could then be submitted to various film festivals. Everyone involved in the challenges, would be part of the collaboration to produce the film. It would be great to see everyone involved have a certain amount of input. There are so many different skills here that I see every round that together Iím sure we could make a short film worthy of recognition amongst those we look up to.
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Old December 11th, 2016, 05:40 AM   #19
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

When I put my name forward, it was with some apprehensiveness as the view from the outside was, to me at least, that this is a small clique where everybody seemed to know each other which might put off new people entering. I realise that this is not the case, however the perception is there, I have no idea how this could be overcome to lessen that perception.

I prefer the challenge where it still is a challenge to the videographer/film maker rather than almost forming a film company. It indeed was a challenge to me to produce an entry in such a short time, even though we had a month. it transpired that I had six days to film and a day and a bit to edit. I usually do that in reverse with editing time often stretching to two/three weeks.

A collaborative effort while attractive would, IMO prove to be an organisational and production nightmare, there'd be so many opinions, egos perhaps conflicts it might prove very difficult to maintain agreement and discipline to bring a project like that to fruition given the potential amount of personnel that might get involved. I couldn't see it, maybe i'm too narrow minded, who knows?

I think if the challenge is known beforehand then people will cherrypick,

I was surprised at how few films were entered compared to how many contributors to the UWOL thread there is! I know once I put myself forward I would enter something even if it was half done or whatever.

With reference to the rules etc. I thought it was pretty clear when voting ended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trond Saetre View Post
Judging:
Everyone who SIGNED UP for the UWOL40, can and is encouraged to vote for the winning film.

Deadline for voting:
Sunday, November 6, midnight wherever you are........................

I also think a month is long enough to film and edit a 4 minute entry
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Old December 11th, 2016, 09:31 AM   #20
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
I prefer the challenge where it still is a challenge to the videographer/film maker rather than almost forming a film company. I was surprised at how few films were entered compared to how many contributors to the UWOL thread there is! I know once I put myself forward I would enter something even if it was half done or whatever.
The main goal of the UWOL Challenge has always been to be a challenge for each and everyone of us to improve ourselves as film makers, while at the same time be a "contest". That's why the feedback is a very important part of the UWOL Challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
I was surprised at how few films were entered compared to how many contributors to the UWOL thread there is! I know once I put myself forward I would enter something even if it was half done or whatever.
You and me both. Often around 20 signups and only a handful submitted films. Would have been interesting to know why people aren't able to submit a film. Not enough time, the theme is too difficult?... Can be many reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
...the view from the outside was, to me at least, that this is a small clique where everybody seemed to know each other which might put off new people entering. I realise that this is not the case, however the perception is there, I have no idea how this could be overcome to lessen that perception...
Very understandable that it can appear that way, as many of us have been participating since the beginning of UWOL. Some of us have become really good friends, and unfortunately some come, participate in a couple challenges and silently disappear again.
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Old December 11th, 2016, 09:42 AM   #21
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce Comer View Post
Constructive criticism, I suspect, is what elevates decent films to great films. This of course can only happen in the production stage. It’s all well and good to suggest a bunch of things that could have been done better after the film was made, but imagine if we gave feedback on each other’s films & then were able to go back & re-do parts of our films based on the feedback we get. I wonder what each of us would come up with then?
Maybe we could try out a challenge or two where we have some feedback in the middle of the challenge, in addition to the regular feedback process after publishing the final films?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce Comer View Post
Lorinda had a very interesting idea earlier in this thread that I think could work, but again, I think we should take an idea like this, & fully discuss how to make it work for all.
I had a similar idea a while ago that suggested using the challenges as part of a longer film with the winning entries making up the final longer film. Of course, this would only work with enough pre-planning that each of the winning films jelled with the theme to became a sequence of the film.
I'd like to hear some thoughts about this. Like Bryce and Lorinda, I believe it can be a good idea and worth . What do you say, ladies and gentlemen? Any interest in trying this out?
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Old December 11th, 2016, 09:49 AM   #22
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Rob,

Glad you took the chance and found out that we don't bite! :)
I can certainly see how it could be tough for someone to jump into the middle of UWOL not knowing anyone when some of us have known each other for a decade. I think if it's possible we need some kind of outreach to show other filmmakers we aren't a bunch of snobbish gear heads.

It is sad that I've seen a lot of other forums become nothing but pixel peepers and great snobs.
Funny that I saw a comparison of images taken with an iPhone 7 and a RED camera and they weren't that different.

I think one of the main goals of UWOL besides challenging ourselves is to learn how to craft a story. It's probably the number one problem I have is crafting a tale. Luckily I have a lot of great people here to help me.

One thing I've gotten a lot of feedback on is lack of natural sound in my films. So that's on my list of goals for 2017 is to trey and being in more sounds of nature. When you get the same feedback over and over I think it's important that you listen to it and give it a try.

I can tell you my number one reason for not submitting entries and that's I tend to laser focus on an idea and when I see I can't accomplish it, I can't flush my brain to try and come up with Plan B. I'm getting better at it. I had to come up with a Plan C I think it was for the postcard theme. Not really what I wanted to do but another goal for 2017 is not to miss a submission.

Collaboration is hard. I tried it once with a few horror filmmakers here in Iowa. It never really got off the ground. People were worried if it made money who would get it, who would keep the awards if we entered it into film festivals, who gets credit? It went on and on.

The best that we could do was that we shot a film and each filmmaker was given the footage to edit the film how they wanted. Every film had to have the Iowa Filmmakers Guild at the beginning then after that, it was whatever you wanted to do.

Another thing we did was to take one script and shot three different films. Each filmmaker had their own actors etc but they had to follow the script. That's the best we could do without egos and all the other stuff getting in the way.

UWOL is still as valid today as it was ten years ago. There a re a lot of films I've made that would never have been made if it hadn't been for UWOL. I have five Gold Eddy awards and three Silver Eddy awards from the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival that are all from UWOL films I've made.I even have a gold award from the Iowa Motion Picture Association for a UWOL film. None of that would have happened without UWOL.

I'm looking forward to the January challenge and hope I come up with a good idea for a film.
As long as we are discussing how to make UWOL better, it will become better. It shows there are a lot of people passionate about it and we will figure it out!
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Old December 11th, 2016, 09:57 AM   #23
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

I just thought I'd throw this out here too.

Less than two minutes long and almost 6 million views.
I think it's a total package in half the length of a UWOL film
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Old December 11th, 2016, 02:39 PM   #24
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Nice film. Shows that films don't have to be very long to be good.
Same with UWOL, the 4 minutes is only a maximum limit. A one minute film can be better than a 4 minute.
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Old December 12th, 2016, 10:36 AM   #25
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Really, I'm touched and moved that UWOL exists at all ten years later.

I started it with the crazy belief that documenting the richness, diversity, and beauty of the planet was a way of paying homage to Mother Earth and showing her our goodwill. She needs all the love we can give her, especially when so many seem illogically bent on her destruction.

I'm with Lorinda that times change and everything has a season.

I'm not sure that I have any wisdom to add, as far as the contest.

I put a lot of energy into it, for three years, more than I would expect anyone else to exert. And I know that, in spite of our (many! heated!) discussions, the contest has brought some great films to life, enabled some life-long friendships, and sent a whole lot of love and good vibes out to the Great Spirit.

But I'm mostly just chiming in to say that I still hold that crazy belief. And I am glad that you all (UWOL!) do, too. That's the spirit of UWOL -- regardless of the amount of content the contest generates -- and I'm gratified that it still lives on.
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Old December 13th, 2016, 09:49 AM   #26
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Was just reading an article on how Minnesota is having problems getting painters to submit for their hunting and fishing stamps. So it's not just filmmaking.

Read another article about how filmmakers should stop suffering from GAS, Gear Acquisition Syndrome and actually start making films.
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Old December 14th, 2016, 02:08 AM   #27
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

I think the GAS syndrome is very true.

Planet Earth 11 has just been aired over here with great emphasis being given to the fact that the stunning footage was acquired using the latest technology, but a little bird has informed me there was quite a mixture of old footage used including converting some 16mm film.

Very often its not the tools you use but, how you use the tools!

Some of you are well aware that I have been toying with getting a drone or maybe a DJI osmo. Well maybe for the time being I am going to explore more some of the features of my existing camera to add value add diversity to my films, slomo, timelapse etc. Its all there just that I haven't explored them sufficiently.

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Old December 14th, 2016, 06:36 PM   #28
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Mick,

That's really welcome news. I have also been working with reviving old footage. Some of it has a different feel, and you can use various editing tools to bring out previously unrealized features. It's kind of like exploring a cave.
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Old December 16th, 2016, 02:20 AM   #29
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Dale it's good to hear your son is doing well and wish you all the best.

Times are changing, the same applies to us humans.
In today's modern society there are so many pieces to fit together.
Regarding wildlife films, it has always and will probably always be a small niche in the market.
This is very strange - because; Here in Norway it is just nature films and wilderness series, which are among those with the most viewers.
One may wonder, what is causing this?

Latest news is that my wife and I just bought a motorhome/RV (yeah, yeah, you do not have to rub it in, I know I'm getting older).
The goal is to travel more freely, while it will give room for new goals with respect to film locations.
I think Mick has affected me positively, by occasional mentioning his travels with a camper :)

As to Uwol? A network will always leave room for creativity and new ideas, this is up to the network's members to decide.
I think we can make many good movies for Mother Earth.
Both individually and in cooperation with others. Today's technology makes us capable of it.
Although previous collaboration has mended, one should not be afraid to try again.
I firmly believe that we have a huge unused potential here.
Just think of all the material we have gathered in these 10 years? It's priceless.

I do not go more into the theme than this and will conclude by saying:
You're a lovely bunch and see you next year.
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Old December 16th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #30
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Re: A Couple Thoughts

Nice to see so many participate in this discussion. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and ideas.
Based on this, I have a couple thoughts/ intentions for 2017:

1.
After the December challenge of 2017, we vote for the best of the 5 winning films of uwol 2017. This film will then be submitted to one or a few film festival(s).
Which festivals and also how to cover the costs involved, is to be determined later.


2.
Extend the March 2017 challenge to 2 months (theme release March 1 amd deadline April 30), and have some kind of feedback process for, say a week or so, about one month into the challenge.
Then at the final deadline, the temporary "half way" films are removed from vimeo as the players upload their final versions.
If this one is successful, I'd like to do it this way 1-2 times a year.


Thoughts and ideas for these suggestions are most welcome.
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