UWOL #5 "On the Rocks: The American Pika" by Jason Sovey at DVinfo.net

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Old September 25th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #1
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UWOL #5 "On the Rocks: The American Pika" by Jason Sovey

My first UWOL entry... I chose Pika as my subject, since they're a relatively obscure critter. They're quite fun to watch, but the problem is that they're not always active. After several hikes to their territory, I only got 1.5 minutes of shaky hand-held footage. (By the time I got my tripod set up, they were gone.) So I decided to give up.

I was actually writing my "Shark Tank resignation", and then I thought I'd see what I could do with editing. I had a lot of other great footage shot while I was in the area.

So even though the Pika footage isn't the quality that I wanted, I guess I was lucky to get any at all.

http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...ontherocks.mpg

Last edited by Jason Sovey; September 25th, 2007 at 02:31 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 02:15 AM   #2
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I thought that the meerkats I was trying to film were hard to catch,but the pika seem a whole lot more difficult to catch on film.Im going to do a search on the net about those guys they sure look interesting.BTW the orange street rod looked like a wild mammal.Was fun video to watch I loved seeing annimals that we dont have here.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #3
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Jason, loved your film about the Pika. I'm happy that you decided to do an entry instead of swimming in the tank!
This seem to be a hard one to catch on film but I think you did great. Your narrating could be a bit loader but that is minor.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 06:23 AM   #4
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Hi Jason

Well the crop in this round is just great and this adds another great one to it! A well written, nicely paced and nicely edited together story about this little guy. I've actually seen these in Lake Louise Canada and its nice to know some more about them so thanks!

Its a shame your Pika shots were hand held, I can only think the positioning and quick nature made it difficult to rig your tripod but I think this would have strengthened the piece greatly. The VO was good but you need to dip the music for your VO because in places it became a touch drowned out. I also found your use of zooms a bit off putting in places.

Great first uwol fella and great subject, I think I'll go and read some more about these fellas now!
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Old September 26th, 2007, 09:24 AM   #5
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Like Mat said, using a tripod would have improved the video, but I know how hard it is to carry a tripod around when hiking. (and to set it up in time before the animals dissappear again).
All in all, I liked your film.
The scenery is amazing.

Thanks for sharing.
Stay with us in the future challenges!!
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Old September 26th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #6
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Jason:

Well done friend! I am impressed that you rallied in the end and pulled an excellent film out in the end. I personally love Pikas! They fall in the category of simply too cute. Your clip was informative and interesting. Your music selection was good and amusing at times, like when we finally see the Pika for the first time and the music was a bit dramatic but associated with such a cute little face.

Next time, turn up the volume to your narration relative to the background music and maybe try a one-leg support that is always on your camera for those required instant set up and shoots.

Well done and welcome to the uwol family!

Cat
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Old September 26th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #7
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Jason. Nice job on a hard to track subject ....
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Old September 26th, 2007, 06:08 PM   #8
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Hi Jason,
This was a really interesting subject - on an animal I had never heard of.
I can just imagine how difficult this animal would have been to film however, you did this very well - particularly, without a tripod!
Thanks for sharing this Jason, your documetary approach worked very well and I really enjoyed watching it.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #9
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i love these. we have them in the Colorado Rockies. they used to be everywhere above tree line. but i see fewer and fewer pika as the years go by. good idea to get some footage of the pika while you can...great topic!

(i can never comment on quality in these threads, since i also judge the first pass-through...my own entries are always non-competitive...)
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Old September 27th, 2007, 03:41 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the replies. This is the first time I've gotten feedback on something from anyone other than family. I appreciate the critique.

If I hadn't waited until the last minute to edit, I would have broken the editing session up a little. It's easy for me to get 'tunnel vision' when focused on something for a long time. But thanks to everyone here, I can see some of the details I overlooked. I guess that's what the term 'fresh-eyes' implies.

Cheers!
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Old September 28th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #11
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Hi Jason,

I liked the way your narration really told a story, and you used supporting footage well to enhance the flow. As others have said, the pika footage would have been better if not so shaky, but I understand they are fast and elusive creatures. I also liked the way you made the parallel between threats they can escape from, like hawks, and ones they can't, like global warming. A powerful message to your movie, which I appreciate. Great job.

Ruth
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Old September 29th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #12
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Hi Jason.
You've picked a cute little fellow in this one.
Great animal and you've also got a great storyline and mix between polution and habitat. Something I've learned a lot of from your film.
Filming animals in the wild we at some times have to comprimise. I get it was not easy with a tripod on those rocks, eh? But still I would like to see some more steady clips. I've made myself a pillow/bag filled with beans wich I have under my camera at difficult places. You can make one yourself, just try it out :)
Great choice of music and VO was fine.

Wish you all the best.
Geir Inge
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Old October 2nd, 2007, 09:26 PM   #13
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Jason - Nice job. I really like your storyline. They are an interesting little critter and can be a challenge to video.

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Old October 4th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #14
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Jason,

I am so glad you submitted the pika effort!! I have not ever seen one even when I was where they were supposed to be.
I really liked the use of the landscape to add depth to your film, definitely I will try some of that on my next one!!!

Yes the footage was a tad shakey but you captured the essence of the pika and its weariness which far outweighs the detraction of a bit of shake.

Great job!!
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