UWOL #5-"That's What I am" by Chris Barcellos at DVinfo.net

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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #1
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UWOL #5-"That's What I am" by Chris Barcellos

Shot at local zoos with the HV20. Music composed Using Sony Acid Music Studio, and Orchestral Series. Titles done with Sony Vegas 8's new Pro titler.

Chris J. Barcellos
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:55 AM   #2
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Chris, this was so touching that I was almost falling into tears!

It's so sad to view wild animals condemed to a life in a small cage, I can almost view they sorrow in their eyes. Your narrating support the sadness, and as I said this was real hard for me to watch!

Top entry Chris and I wish authorities which decide to build places like this could view your entry and think again...

Thanks for sharing
- Per Johan
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Old September 26th, 2007, 03:44 AM   #3
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Hi Chris,

I really feel you have such a wonderful theme here - and like Per, it really does make me very sad to revisit these type of scenes.

The sadness in your voice, and the background music certainly added to the overall mood.

I think some slow motion movements of the tiger's head and the pacing wolf would have taken me over the edge and brought a tear to my eye.

Very touching story and one I wish I had thought of.

Thanks for sharing this with us Chris.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 06:17 AM   #4
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Chris, you made a very good video.
I really like the story. And like Per said, it's almost as if you can see the sadness in the animals eyes.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 06:38 AM   #5
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Good video Chris,always a sad thing to see a wild animal in a cage.I suppose however that is the only way you would have got to film the Tiger looking straight at you like that.On a whole this video worked for me I cant wait to show it to my family tonight.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 06:56 AM   #6
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Nice video Chris. I have always had mixed feelings about zoos. Most animals look miserable. On the other hand zoos have preserved some species and given us the opportunity to view animals that most of us would never have a chance to see.
videos: http://vimeo.com/channels/3523
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Old September 26th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #7
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Hey Chris

A well written, heart felt piece. I'm certainly not a fan of zoo's unless they are making a 'valuable' contribution to replenishing the wildlife we seem to be destroying at a rate of knots. I once went to a zoo and saw a 'Condor' enclosure. I mean this bird is a pure symbol of freedom and there it is sitting in a enclosure hardly big enough for it to even take flight!

Some of your shots had focus and motion issues. To get a better feeling of the sadness still mounted shots with very slow creeping zooms would have worked well.

Thanks for bring a great entry and sentiment to uwol.

Last edited by Mat Thompson; September 26th, 2007 at 09:55 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #8
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Well, this did bring me to tears. I thought you pegged everything to pull the emotion out of us. And sadness is such a powerful emotion! And the music you composed yourself was perfect.

The only thing I can think of to critique is the effects with the titling in the beginning. Stick to one effect, like the first one which includes the stretch. It's powerful as it is without adding a different effect to each title. Effects are to add dimension to the feeling... not to show that you can do them. But if I am needling you on this.... then it only means you have entered a superb film!

Well done.

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Old September 26th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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Hey all:

Thanks for taking time to look at film, and commenting, I will be trying to do same for you.

This one just kind of developed. Originally, I was just shooting footage of animals at various venues here in the area. Looking for some sort of angle. Made a standard "look how pretty the animals are 3 minute film", but kept seeing the a cage bars, and the eyes of the animals. They seem to be bored to despair.

To be fair, these facilities indicate that many of these animals were actually saved from bad situations. My understanding about the tigers (there were actually a pair at the Folsom Zoo) for instance, was that it was saved from a "private" ownership situation.

The oryx (antlered animals) were at PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) in southern Sacramento County, at a facility dedicated to Amanda Blake (aka "Kitty" on Gunsmoke) who was a big animal rights supporter.

Mostly, the tiger looked all cuddly, and tame as in the first shot. But when I knelt down to get a shot of it in its enclosure, a little girl had walked up behind me with her father to look at the tiger to. For a brief few seconds that I show on the shot, the tiger seemed to go into hunting or protective mode, and went into what I interpreted as a "ready to pounce" crouch, and came forward toward me and the little girl. The tigers eyes seemed pretty intense at that moment, giving me the feel that there was danger in the animal.... As quickly as it came, that seemed to disappear. Of course, that is the paradox of the whole thing... if left in it own world, that "cat" would be hunting down most of the other animals that is in captivity with it and in some rare situations that have been documented in literature and film, humans.

Re: Titling, per Catherine. Yeap, I couldn't help playing with the new titler in Vegas 8 a bit- probably a bit overdone....

Re: Camera movement and focus issues, per Mat-- shot these mostly with a mono pod, so I expected some movement. It is actually quite difficult to set up a tripod at these places because of the way best angles move as the animals move. Tiger "pouncing" was a bit out of focus, as I couldn't follow very well with the HV20. It was a key scene in the theme, though, so I weighed its importance and decided not to cut it.
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #10
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This was a well shot and edited film, and very thought provoking. As a lifelong animal lover, I empathize with the points you raise. At the same time, zoos are one of the few institutions now dedicated to protecting animals in the wild. And one of the few places most people see animals any more. So I have mixed feelings about them, though that detracts nothing from your message, very powerful, and one that needs to be told. Thanks.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #11
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I agree with everything positive folks have said here. I found it to be a very insightful, thought provoking, and sympathetic to the animals' confinement kind of presentation.

A zoo is one of those public venues where they prefer you NOT use a tripod, can interfere with other peoples movement and access so your use of the monopod was the best you could do. I don't get as nitpicky about that sort of thing as others may but try to put myself in your situation and ask what would I have to put up with in the way of limitations.

Considering that, I think your cinematic treatment was well done. You might have been able to minimize bars more but I feel your inclusion of them helped make your point.

I enjoyed very much watching this one and will send you some private questions about the HV20 and workflow as I am beginning to look at this one.
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Old September 28th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #12
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I liked the naration from the animals perspective!!! great idea.

What was that redish animal??

I definitely enjoyed your presentation. I will show it to my students next week!!

Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old September 29th, 2007, 04:36 AM   #13
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Hi Chris.
Well what can i say, I'm a sensitive kind you know and you shouldn't play with my emotions like that :)

It's a great plot/storyline and it tell us that we - the greatest mammal of all, maybe we're not that great at all.

Your editing skills and how you put together each shot is great and so are your choice of music. It gives your film an extra touch of sadness, I think.
I would have liked more closeup of the tigers eyes though and a bit longer shot maybe? But your story and how you put it all together is just fine.
But there's one thing I want to mention. So many of the UWOL compeeters seems to have forgotten to use their benefit of our 60 mb limit. Your VO would have been better if you where closer to 60 mb in compression.

Wish you all the best.
Geir Inge
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