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Old May 2nd, 2017, 12:48 PM   #1
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UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Hi everyone,

Now when we have done the extended #42 challenge, it would be nice to hear what you thought about it.

This round we only had 4 submissions, even with an extra month, which was lower than expected, compared to how many signed up.
It seems like time and bad/ wrong weather often are major factors if the players (me included) are able to make an entry or not.

Would it be worth having more extended challenges in the future, or do you prefer the regular one-month challenges? Maybe once a year we could have a 2-month challenge?

Feel free to comment.
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Remind me to help with the DVi FaceBook, Twitter and newsletter promotion for the next round. That should help get some more submissions.
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 09:24 PM   #3
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Hi Trond
I think it would be worth trying it again. I knew I wouldn't have time this round but would like to give it a try.

Gordon
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Old May 3rd, 2017, 03:06 AM   #4
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Hi to you all.

There are various reasons why I did not complete this round. I did shoot a lot for Uwol 42 though :)
1) The weather has changed between snow, wind and rain.
2) I got sick and had to go to hospital for a while.
3) My brother got sick and I have help him to take care of his kids (3 and 4 years old).
4) In the middle of editing, my computer crashed.

My thought is that in order to film nature and wildlife life, this is time consuming.
There are many things to match. Of course, you depend on good planning and knowledge about the nature and the creatures you want to record. Still, I mean, you depend on a good portion of luck, too.
Weather and light conditions, to be in the right place to the right, etc.
I think you can not build a nature or wildlife film, at the same terms as other films. You need time on your side.
With this backdrop, I think that 2 months is right, even though there were few participants in this round.

PS, I have order me a new computer though and my brother's illness has good predictions :)
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Old May 3rd, 2017, 03:19 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Remind me to help with the DVi FaceBook, Twitter and newsletter promotion for the next round. That should help get some more submissions.
Will do. I plan to post the sign up thread May 15 or 16.

Thanks for the comments, guys. Much appreciated!
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Old May 3rd, 2017, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

For quite a while now we've been talking about how UWOL needs to evolve.

Time is probably the biggest factor in whether I complete a film or not. I just don't have enough of it.
Weather is probably the second biggest factor. Iowa has been under constant clouds and rain for months on end. We are finally getting a break this weekend.

If the current challenge was only the month of March, I wouldn't have turned in an entry this round. I think I filmed only three time-lapse sequences the last month. If it was the month of April I would have. Timing is everything.

There's always been two parts to the UWOL challenge. Making a film based on a common theme and completing the film in a short amount of time.

I think the best part of UWOL is coming up with an idea that fits the theme and then seeing how everyone else interprets that theme. This challenge was a perfect example of that. Four films, each with different takes on the theme.

I think for me at least, I'd rather challenge myself to make a better film than to try and get something finished in a short amount of time. Even though I didn't shoot much that first month, I had time to work with a writer, tweak the script, audition voice artists, adjust the tone and delivery and get a more solid plan in my head than if I was trying get it finished in just a month.

Technology has grown so much since UWOL began. Sundance even had a film that was shot on an iPhone.
My goal in this round and future rounds is to try and tell a story. A longer time to craft that story and get the shots that support this story works better for me.
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Old May 3rd, 2017, 04:08 PM   #7
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

I wonder if it might be time for UWOL to broaden itself from a timed challenge to something a little more inclusive. I have, and I'm sure we all have, tons of watchable footage just sitting there waiting to be used. Wouldn't it be interesting to put this along with new footage to make a program? This of course violates the challenge rules, but look at the advantages.

1. A coherent and interesting story is much easier to do if you have some breadth of footage to write it to. What if Kevin had not been able to go to Utah in March? What if Matt had not gotten permission from the Dipper researcher? No video. But I'll bet that either of them could have put something together from stuff on hand, and use the fresh material as the climax.

2. Special moments don't happen twice and equipment changes. I, for one, have shots, especially close-ups, that look really good, should be seen, and just can't be duplicated with today's equipment, 4K or not.

3. I used to find it difficult to film for a challenge inside of a date constraint because most of my interesting footage was obtained on vacations that did not fit into the time requirements. How many times can you film and re-film scenes near your home without being bored to death with it all? So I would kind of fudge the colors so fall leaves looked more like spring ones, and change the stories to get mountains and seashore into adjacent clips. In short, I cheated. But after a while the manipulation didn't work any more and wasn't fun.

4. So why not an occasional challenge where you can use anything you have? No more worrying about
getting sick, or meeting your boss's sudden deadline so you can't get out to film. Instead of weeks of filming and hours of editing, it would be weeks of editing and hours of filming. Amazing stuff will result, and rule #11 will fly free.
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Old May 4th, 2017, 03:14 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
4. So why not an occasional challenge where you can use anything you have? No more worrying about
getting sick, or meeting your boss's sudden deadline so you can't get out to film. Instead of weeks of filming and hours of editing, it would be weeks of editing and hours of filming. Amazing stuff will result, and rule #11 will fly free.
This we can do in a future challenge.

Based on comments so far, I can say that we will have more 2-month challenges in the future. Probably 1 or maybe even two times a year.
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Old May 7th, 2017, 06:12 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

I find the challenge of working with a short timeframe helps - sure, I am now effectively retired, or at least long term unemployed having just turned 62! But other things get in the way - my wife works, needs the car, so that limits my mobility for filming, but two months does give time for a more structured approach, as Kevin says, a more developed story structure, better music and effects, etc. and gives some flexibility for variations in weather and subject availability.

I like the idea of maybe a couple of times a year having the two part challenges, with feedback after a month on story and ideas, still leaving a month for production, with the remainder sticking to the one month tradition.

There is also a strong argument for using existing footage to tell a better story, under a different format perhaps every now and again.
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Old May 7th, 2017, 03:59 PM   #10
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

I would like to say that I really enjoyed the extended timeframe. I think that I would have completed a few more challenges had I more time. Even though I am now "retired", I still have a lot of obligations that take up time. Plus, I live in downtown Atlanta, GA., IN THE CITY! It takes me quite awhile to get out into the field. Two months is so much better. Also, I echo Steve's idea about using existing footage. I have often said that we should do a few videos on the footage we already have. Damn, I'll bet we all got some great stuff sitting there on the hard drive just waiting to be resurrected. Just my thoughts. Bob
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Old May 11th, 2017, 04:51 PM   #11
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

I agree with the others -- I absolutely prefer the 2-month period. Since I'm guessing most of us have other obligations like family, job, etc., the extra time allows us to not feel stressed for time. There are only a handful of weekends each month to plan, shoot, and then edit a project. Bad weather can knock out a weekend and almost end someone's chances of shooting unless they can find time during the week.

I would be able to participate much more if all of the Challenges were longer.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 12:03 AM   #12
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Even though I didn't complete, I did like to longer timeframe - now that the competition has closed all that work I had has dried up! - murphy's law.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 03:53 AM   #13
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

Thanks for all the comments. Seems like we probably should have the 2-month challenges more often.

Interesting compared to the early days of UWOL, when there were 6 challenges a year, and each challenge was only 3 weeks. Back then we had a lot more submissions compared to the numbers of signups, than what we have had the last years. (There are of course many reasons for this, and time, or lack of time, being just one of the causes)

Based on your feeeback, the June challenge will be extended to a June-July challenge.

Another question:
How do you think of the optional week of feedback in the middle of the extended challenge?
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Old May 12th, 2017, 05:41 AM   #14
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

I think if I had more to offer it would have been easier to get some feedback tonsee if I was headed in the right direction.
I think mid challenge feedback is good.
I also think people can utilize it if they don't really have solid idea that people can help flesh out.
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Old May 16th, 2017, 06:12 AM   #15
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Re: UWOL42 - Evaluation of the extended timeframe

My biggest issue is normally being indecisive about how I'll use the theme and the film I'll make. In some ways the extra time won't help that aspect. But it does give more options for weather, and working around other commitments. Definitely worth having some longer rounds, although the shorter ones are still viable it would seem.
And the mid-round feedback is a good idea to try and get us to show progress, or be spurred on by others at the half way mark. As well as tweaking our idea and making changes. The only downside is then the end result is less of a surprise, but hopefully it helps build the entries to a higher level when they're submitted.
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