UWOL #4 - "A Rivers Design" by Mat Thompson at DVinfo.net

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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:32 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
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UWOL #4 - "A Rivers Design" by Mat Thompson

Hi people. Well here we are again :-)

This was the first film that I've physically written. It also had a fully narrated script but a mixture of not enough time and being not sure you'd all want to here me droning on meant I trimmed to entry and exit...hope I made the right choice. Anyway...This was great fun to put together and Aber falls in North Wales was amazing and quite a spiritual experience. I think I could have done 3 minutes on this alone.

My piece is an attempt to show how the 'design' of animals, in this case 3 birds changes along the life of a river according to its environment and food stuffs.The middle stage was going to be the Kingfisher however after the first days shoot the nest was raided by something and I was left with only a few useable shots.....so the Heron became my reserve. It was also to show how the rivers journey changes in energy, gradient and outlook, playing its part in the overall water cycle.

Well guys....looking foward to your critiques.


My film can be downloaded at http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...versdesign.mov
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Old July 24th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #2
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Hi Mat:

This is elegant and beautiful, stunning camera work and diverse. You just get swept away (no pun intended!) and you keep us moving effortlessly from one episode to the next. It is a fabulous piece and certainly addresses the topic "water".

I don't think I picked up on what you intended for us to "see" in the film with the 3 sets of birds, etc. but in the end do you think that matters much? I didn't need to follow that storyline to fully enjoy it, to get lost in it.

This is a wonderful entry, thanks Mat.

Cat Russell

P.S. I'm glad you didn't end up in the hospital over this one!
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Old July 24th, 2007, 12:56 PM   #3
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first, what kind of shore bird is that black and white bird?? It is like our marbles gadwit, but in a tux!!! I think the music is great and it is very nice to say the least!!

I very much enjoyed it!!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old July 24th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #4
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Awesome as usual! The rainbow at the waterfall is a million dollar shot! Well maybe a million pound shot in your case. :)

I didn't the gist of the film until your closing narration. Then it was clear what you were trying to say. So the message was there, I just had a bit of trouble hearing it at first.

Thought the music was fine. Not sure why you were worried about it. The third piece was my least favorite and if any that would be the one I'd replace. Course, that one was probably your favorite. :)

No worries on your narration. It worked fine. Clear and concise.

It's amazing how much adaptation there is all because of how the water flows through the land.

Awesome job as always!
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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:19 PM   #5
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Yes the waterfalls, I loved it Mat nice work.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #6
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Mat, nice job, but I think that you did the wrong choice by not keep the voice over during the film. I would have loved to hear that you explain how the bird life changes by the river and to the delta. I think that narratoring you film is the difference between “home made” films and production films. You film are in the top area…

Markus Nord
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Old July 26th, 2007, 06:42 AM   #7
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Hi Mat.
Some great shots you got there and I just loved the Dipper.
In fact it’s the national bird of Norway. Beautiful falls with the rainbow showing up.
Your narration was nicely done and so is your editing. Great colors!
I’ve seen on TV the flood going on at southern parts of England; I hope you’re doing fine and not suffering from it?

Geir Inge
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Old July 26th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #8
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Hi Mat,
a great and stunning film as always. I liked your close up shoots of the birds. The waterfall was stunning. The narrating was fine.
- Per Johan
Vimeo Site and Stock Footage Library at Pond5
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #9
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Hi Mat,
Yes, this is a great entry - as yours always are.
I know how difficult it can be to get these shots, particularly the Dipper and Avocets. The Dipper on the rock was a classic shot (colour, clarity, composition) and combined with the water fall and fast running water, it set the journey up nicely.
I believe the three phases you were trying to convey may have worked better if they were not intentionally seperated. Instead, it may have been better to simply let them flow with each other.
I always enjoy your work and this entry was right up there.
Well done on an excellent entry.
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Old July 27th, 2007, 09:44 AM   #10
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Hey Mat,
Great film, and a real story there. The shots of the dipper ( One of my fave birds of all time!! ) were stunning, I was REALLY hoping we'd see it swim past on the UW shot at some point though :-( next time huh?

Oh and the heron, when it flies off, it's just having a poop really isnt it ;-) Gwan, admit it! Clever editing there.

I was a little distracted by the intro shots ( after the title), they were all very well composed I kinda felt the short fades put me off a bit, they just felt kinda ...... snatchy if you know what i mean, but this could be down purely to my own perspective ;-)

Overall i really liked it, great pace,composition and colour. Nice!


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Old July 27th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #11
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Mat you have a beautiful speaking voice, perfect for narration...I wanted to hear you speak throughout...there is something soothing in your tone, quality and the writing you use. My only criticism would be more Mat.

Superior filming and editing. Lovely shots of the birds (the first one looks as if it were putting on stocking or something). It would have been sweet to hear the sound of the heron's wings as it took off.

By the way I think you film its self had a beautiful voice as well.

Thank you for the outstanding piece.

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Old July 30th, 2007, 05:04 AM   #12
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Hi guys and thanks for the feedback. I'm still having PC/Broadband probs....so its taken a while to get back to you.

Cat - Many thanks, maybe the narration would have helped.

Dale- Its the Avocet....cool looking birds huh!

Kevin - Many thanks Mr Railsback 'awesome' from you is always very welcome :) Interesting about not getting it until the end, although I didn't intend it to be that way....I like films that do!

Markus - Well I still have my script so who knows I may voiceover another version and see how it compares....could make an interesting comparison.

Geir - Yeah I saw that in my research, great bird, full of character huh!

Per - Many thanks, 'stunning' from you is a big pat on the back :)

David - Interesting thought and I think with the narration I probably wouldn't have editing such a definitive changeover....again If I do another version I will certainly keep your point in mind.

Rob - LOL...yeah I know exactly what you mean, I gave about 25secs to the waterfall but I had so many great shots and left out loads of corkers...I knew I was still trying to get to many in with little 'breathing space', interesting you picked up on this! - Good eye on the Heron ;-) !

Jeff - Many thanks fella, thats a real boost for considering more in the way of narration....and I think I'll definately lay a full narration track on this piece in the next few weeks. I know what you mean about the Dipper, that stretch,preen thing was just fab to watch and its little wings show just how sub-aquatic this little fella is....very peguin like. I must say I do love this bird now and I'll certainly be trying to track down a few more!

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Old July 30th, 2007, 05:25 AM   #13
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Matt, nice water locations, plant reflected shots with heron and Avocet’s feeding.
sorry to hear that the kingfishers were missing, same at my little rivers nest holes washed out by the floods.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #14
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Mat, what can I say... Your film is one of my top 3!!

You really nailed it this time. Well done!
I learned a lot from your editing.
The film spoke for itself, so the narration in the beginning and end was perfect.

I'm looking forward to see more of your future films.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:32 PM   #15
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I really liked the footage, especially underwater. It flowed very smoothly, just like the river.

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