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The UWOL Challenge
An organized competition for Under Water, Over Land videographers!


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Old October 7th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #16
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Well, I have to chime in and give some of my viewpoints in this thread. First of all I think it's very sad that we have come to a point where participants consider to quit. I think and hope there are room for everyone in this challenge!

Not everyone are able to go to far-away-and-difficult-to-reach-locations either. And I hope that we should all be able to show the diversity of nature even if it's in our own backyard, remember the winner in round 3, 'The Wild Within' by Rob Evans who showed us some spectacular scenes filmed in his garage.

I much agree with Meryem that this challenge should emphasize what mother nature has created of spectacular views, animals, landscapes and so on... but again I mean that there should also be room for those funny stories where human and animals interacting with each other. As Trond says "Only watching musk oxes, or kangaroos, or deers,... it would be boring after a while. We need some comedy, some serious stories, and of course the great moments out in the wild."

To me it is obvious that the rules for this challenge is ready for a revise. There should not be any doubt among participants what this challenge is about!

Ruth: Please don't quit this challenge because of the confusions that happend during this round! Your statements in this thread was very brave and strong, please stay and fight for your opinion. This way we can build a strong and reliable foundation wall for this challenge, which I'm sure will grow into a huge community within a few years!
I feel we are a kind of pioneers and from time to time things like this happen and will happen in the future. Remember this is not named to be a challenge for nothing....!!
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Old October 7th, 2007, 06:54 AM   #17
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Howdy my fellow participants :)

I'm not in this tread to argue or give my agreedment or disagreedment of any sort. I've been searching through our feedbacktreads and I can see we have different approaches and comments to how we feel about one and eachothers films - that's a good thing.

We're very polite and nice to eachother - that's a good thing :)

I reckon in such a forum like ours there will be discussions about different kinds and topics, and I hope for our own sake we will keep this in a propper manner - decent :)

Sometimes in disagreedments, if we let it go on and on and on, we'll never manage to stop, or someone's bound to get hurt - that's not a good thing.

When it comes to judging I leave it up to the ones who's running the show, Meryem and the judge. I think you're doing a wonderful job Meryem.
As many of us have said, and I feel this is in respect and to honor your (Meryem, Mat and Kevin) job; "This forum is the best in world - just one of a kind". Let's keep it that way.

Many of us have said; "I'm in this so I can improve my skills".
From your comments/feedback I've received on my films I've learned a lot.
For this I want to give everyone a big "thank you".

We've come a long way this last year and we're still breaking boundaries.
We're the uwol pioneers - that's a good thing.

Just a last pray from me:
If anyone wants to leave the uwol competition, that's finaly up to one and eachother to decide, but please don't leave because of any sort of disagreedment concerning the judges etc. It's not worth it.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 08:57 AM   #18
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I have just returned from Holidays and read the news about being a co winner with Bruce. I would have liked to have shared my excitement with you all however, the controversy surrounding the decision has left me with mixed feelings.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Bruce - I really did enjoy Cinco. Please also pass on my regards to Mike "Eastwood" on a great acting job.

Per, Geir & John Robertson, I have very similar feelings to those you have raised, and hope UWOL is not tarnished in any way from recent events. Ruth, I think Geir's closing comments are so true.

Meryem, I believe your last post in this thread explained the situation very well and I personally would encourage you to leave things as they are. I also hope you remain on track with the big picture for UWOL. It sounds very exciting for 2008 & beyond.

You really have created something very special in UWOL - something you and the boys should be really proud of.

Thanks also for your vote in UWOL #5.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #19
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Given all the discussion over the past 24 hours, I want to respond and clarify my comments. Although I have participated so far in all 5 of the UWOL contests, I havenít felt as if I understood the contest criteria, beyond trying to develop a theme. If this thread helps clarifies that, itís worth the discussion.

The main reason I wrote yesterday was because, in opening this thread, Meryem said for her a video is successful by its focus on a wow moment, rather than a story. I have a difference of opinion, and felt compelled to respond. I have always been interested in nature, and this has led me to a desire to conserve it. I left academia because there was too much focus on abstract ideas, so I became involved in various media trying to popularize issues of wildlife and its conservation. Sometimes I have been frustrated by what I see in the nature film industry that beautiful footage can substitute for narrative. The most popular tv shows, like Meerkat Manor, show that whether the characters are people or animals, a story is what attracts people. I have focused my videos for this contest around narrative content, also trying where possible to inject humor, since people are more likely to listen to a serious message if it's leavened with laughter. If this approach was going to be actively discouraged, I felt it would no longer be appropriate for me to participate in the contest.

Today, Meryem responded by saying spectacle and story should go side by side. So I am relieved that we donít need to give up story, and am happy to hear she is looking for both. Then it is my challenge to find how to blend a fast paced humorous story with beautiful footage.

Meryem's additional comment yesterday- "you want humans, DVC has humans"- still concerns me, since I always include people in my video, either literally or in the narration (except the water theme, which I had planned to do along those lines but ran out of time). Robin has been acting for many years, but these video productions have engaged her in a new way, and she has really been enjoying it. This contest has been so much fun for both of us, I donít want to change our formula. In fact, this summer, we made a demo video similar in content to the ones weíve done here for UWOL, for a show here in the US- Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader. She received two calls from the network asking her to audition. Ultimately she didnít do it since it would have interfered with school, but I can honestly say the skills we both developed in this contest allowed her that potential opportunity, which is great.

I appreciate the support of those of you who have responded positively to me on this thread, and in private email. Iíve also really appreciated feedback on my films, which has helped me in developing new ideas and techniques. I am sorry that my comments yesterday were largely construed as a discouragement at not winning. The comment I made here about judging was just because the list of films selected by Bob was different than the final winners, so I was not clear on how winners are selected. I appreciate the clarification from Meryem about the importance of procedures. For any of you who have watched all my films, you can see that in spite of never getting official recognition, I have persisted in my approach, since I feel positive about what Robin and I are doing together. I would hope you would know that is far more important to me than winning the contest. When we can give each other support, encouragement, and advice, we all win.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #20
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When I chose the UWOL #2 theme, RECREATION, I received a bit of flak for choosing an implicitly human-oriented theme, including from the eventual contest winner.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=87863

The current issue in question is my prejudice against the appearance of humans in videos.

The record of films in the Winner's Circle, the majority of which explore human interactions with nature and animals, speaks for itself.
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Old October 8th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #21
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Meryem's post #13 in the thread she linked to clearly shows that there are room both for humans and for animals in the Challenge.

And I believe her statement there pretty much puts this discussion about humans or not, to an end.

Let us now look forward to the future challenges, and remember rule nr 11: HAVE FUN everyone!



Meryem:
When concidering this comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
The runners-up issue .. ..
It was one I mentioned because we have been kicking around the idea of adding space for mentioning runners-up in the website, for acknowledging those films formally, and it would be strange to have one Challenge where these contributions went unacknowledged.
I think we might want to change the text in the last part of rule 9 to say something like:
"...The guest judge is required to select runner-ups, and will also have the opportunity to give honorable mentions and to select additional finalists, at his or her discretion"

Last edited by Trond Saetre; October 8th, 2007 at 10:28 AM. Reason: added text in last sentence
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Old October 8th, 2007, 10:28 AM   #22
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on a side note, as i'm flipping through the Winner's Circle and the list of runners-up, i'm awed by how many amazing moments have been brought to life by the Challenge....if i had to confess to my favorite moment in the entire series--not necessarily my favorite film, that would be flat-out too hard to pin down, but my favorite moment, the one that touched, moved, and inspired me above all others, the one that hung in the air like a tiny sparkling gemstone, it would be....

geir singing to us from his red canoe...
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Old October 8th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
to clarify a few points and answer a few valid concerns:

This comment:
"A great UWOL film is one that takes you to faraway places and makes you feel that you're already there while you're sitting at your desktop" seems to have triggered a few misunderstandings....

And Chris, you make a great point, too, about how one person's back yard is another person's exotic locale, but I think I was thinking somewhat symbolically about the spirit of the contest, rather than referencing the actual, literal locations. .....


Probably what I need to do is take myself out of the equation entirely, find a volunteer who is willing to join our team and take on the task of working with and finding the judges--someone who is not me, so that players don't confuse my running of the contest with my opinion about it. I try to keep those two things quite separate, but apparently there is a disturbing perception that they're too close. (This would DQ you from actually participating competitively, though you would be free to post non-competitively ....). Any takers? Send me a private e-mail if you're interested, and we can discuss.....

Please keep in mind that this is a work-in-progress, I'm far from feeling that I've perfected this...and every Challenge seems to bring about a new set of holes that need plugged.

Meryem:

My point, is probably the same as your view. Because most of us are shooting in places familiar to ourselves, we have the task of making a film of that familiar place fresh and from a different point of view than others who have gone before us. I think that is the real challenge before us in these contests. Because there has been less definition about where that might take us, there has been a wide variety of approaches to each theme you have announced. In every one of the contests, the winning and runner up entries have demonstrated great technical skills coupled with a wonderful vision of the subject of the day. I am dissapointed, nor am I complaining. I am, rather, grateful that you have taken on the thankless task of organizing this contest.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #24
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My response

I'm finally ready to respond to all of this. I was "stunned" by this announcement, 4 contests with ONE winner and suddenly we have "judging issues" and TWO first place winners. My initial feeling was that despite disclaimers Meryem had essentially invalidated the judges decision.

I came within a hair of withdrawing my entry totally.

I also vowed to never participate in UWOL or post in these forums again.

After a few days mulling all this over I've come to the conclusion that Meryem is likely doing the fairest thing possible. I have a hunch what one judging issue may have been and if my guess is right it would be a definite invalidating issue.

So despite my initial feelings, I accept Meryem's solution. I was never in this for the "winning". David, hearty congratulations on being a co-winner. Your entry was well worthy of being judged "the ONE" first place winner. I appreciate your mentioning mixed feelings but let go of them, I've let go of mine. We both get to claim a first place award, and we both get to play with some new toys.

I'm in this for the experience, the learning, the interchange of ideas, and the mutual encouragement we give each other. And the extended friendship.

This ends any controversy on this event
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Old October 9th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #25
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Glad to hear it Bruce !!

Also, in my post just before Bruces, I meant to say : "I am not dissapointed". I see I dropped the "not", though I think that was clear with the "nor" conjunction.
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Old October 9th, 2007, 02:11 PM   #26
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Bruce,
good to hear from you and that you're still in this community! I was very afraid about your reaction to this.
I think we all have learned something from this round. Let's look forward for next round, we are both still in the free t-shirt contension after all. That have been my aim since Meryem annonced this :-)

Have a nice day Bruce!
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Old October 9th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #27
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It's a work in progress guys and gals. I try to view the films even though I'm not a participant. Why? Because I feel as a moderator it's a conflict of interest. Not that I could ever win one of these, but on the odd chance I did, I feel it would look wrong.

I am inspired by the variety of work that can be around a central theme. To Ruth, don't change a thing. Everyone brings their own style and interpretation to the table.

As others have mentioned, the challenge is not to win, but to challenge ones self to create with the best of their abilities and resources.

As to locale, I would offer up one of my favorite Meryem quotes...

Quote:
"This is adventure folks, and where there's a camera involved, there's adventure in your own back yard."
I hope all will continue to participate and further their abilities. Sometimes money shots are there, and other times they aren't.

Let's close this thread for now, and let folks reflect a while. If we need to re-open it, we can.

Thanks,

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