UWOL #6 "A Roof Top Vigil" by David Gemmell at DVinfo.net

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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:53 AM   #1
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UWOL #6 "A Roof Top Vigil" by David Gemmell

"A Roof Top Vigil" is a short film about something we can all relate to - waiting long hours for the right shots to appear, particularly where nature subjects are involved. Dad & I waited for many hours to capture the shots I have shown - with the wait more attributable to the lack of possums in our area, as the possum is quite an easy subject to film.

Almost all of the shots were captured on our roof - after my wife Sue located a possum at the rear of our house, where part of the roof is flat. I used Canon XLH1 along with 20x, 6x HD Lens and also Canon 100-400mm f4-5.6 for close up shots.

I had very little time to put this entry together however, I am quiet happy with the outcome.

I have not used any narration as I want the viewer to think about, and relate to each situation and just let the whole thing flow - which I think is my overall style anyway.

I hope I managed to take you all up onto the roof, where you can feel the silence/anticipation, and also the joy of watching nature, at a time when most of us are tucked up in bed.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #2
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well, for a guy who nearly ended up in the tank, i was pleasantly surprised--this turned out great! the possum footage is great, excellent close-ups and the moody music showcased your possum well and fit the mood of waiting.

the trick of integrating your process of sitting (and sitting and sitting) and waiting was perfect. the silhouetting gives the sort of Everyman effect that universalizes the waiting process (wasn't that me, waiting for a duck to take off, just the other night??)--it would have been a nice touch to see more of your camera gear, a bit more variety in your silhouette's poses, to get more of the process represented and to show that this process does, eventually, move along....

great detail in that possum's nose!
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Old November 20th, 2007, 01:22 PM   #3
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Another great entry David and still with that all important Aussie feel. I like the way you've based it around waiting for the posum...its a nice premise and carried well by the silouettes. I think the blacks needed crushing a bit more in those silouettes although this might have been your compression. You certainly compressed your piece....maybe too much, you had about 40mb to spare I think.

The posum shots were nice and there was a good mix of wide,mids and close ups. Some of the shots sat for too long. I know the little fella wasn't moving much but maybe you could have added the movement with a close up pan or a creeping zoom....just something to break the still!

I liked the way you used your credits/screen split although I wasn't taken by the design itself. Great choice of music.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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I thought this embodied the spirit of nature videography very well. It is a process of patient waiting, knowing you are in the right place, waiting for the right time.

As Meryem said, the silhouette gave some anonymity, so we could all feel a part of ourselves in your adventure.

The footage itself was really nice- I thought you did an outstanding job lighting the possum to get excellent night footage. There was a large variety of shots, too- as Mat said some motion might have been nice, but I'm impressed how much great footage you got in such a short time.

The music suits the mood you set, and I think as you said this piece was fine with no narration- just allowing us to soak up the experience as you did. Great job!

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Old November 20th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #5
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David firstly let me say I'm glad you didn't end up in the tank had that happened we would have all missed this wonderful piece of work. As others have said your opening truly shows a big part of all of our lives...sitting and waiting for that moment. Narration wasn't necessary for sure, your choice of music fit the mood you were setting.

Thanks for bringing this to us....I'll watch it more than once I can assure you.

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Old November 20th, 2007, 08:37 PM   #6
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Hi David:

This film took my breath away. I can't even point to one thing over another but the combination of everything... you in twilight on the roof of your house, such great footage of the possum, the music, the split screen credits... I don't know, I was taken by it.

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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:53 AM   #7
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Hello David
You always impresse me whid your film.I like the animal in the night,
ang you have a realy harmonic way to cut your film.So the overall
this is one of my favorit.



Weblink: http://web.mac.com/vidarjohannesveda...Bekkedrag.html
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:27 AM   #8
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David… nice to se you dry.

Good job on this one, I specially liked the close ups. It one shot that disturb the feeling a little bit, the one when you are zooming out a bit, then some more… I understand that you hade some touch time getting the photo to thins piece and that is a shot that you needed, maybe you could have tried a slow zoom out. I don’t mind that the object is “off frame” I the beginning of a shot, as long as it gets right in a smooth way. Sometime you need to life with the shot you got used them as they are…

Good job staying out of the tank… and this film was a good way of not getting wet.
Nicely done!

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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:44 AM   #9
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Thanks you all for such positive feedback.

I was just showing my wife the compression difference between the version I should have uploaded and the one I did upload. The colours are so much richer, along with the overall quality. The one I should have uploaded was also about 30mb in size - which makes it more frustrating. Anyway, next time I will be a bit more patient - rather than rushing things at the last minute.

Markus, yes I do agree with your comments regarding smooth pans. I had my Canon 100mm - 400mm zoom lens at the time - which requires you to push and pull the lens in and out to zoom. This can be difficult, when compared to stills lens which have a zoom ring. Having said this, I just put this lens on ebay and my new Sigma 120mm - 300mm f2.8 arrives in a few days (which has a zoom ring). So hopefully my jerky days of zooming still lens is about to come to an end.

I have really enjoyed watching all your entries - with only a few more to view and give feedback on.

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Old November 21st, 2007, 07:08 AM   #10
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Your video's are always one of the first 3 that I download.Glad you kept in the challenge.Its not just your video's that work for me,but the thought and ideas that go into them.What a bonus that you managed to film a wild animal at night.I had no such luck or skill this round
Great stuff David
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:44 PM   #11
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Real nice video!!

Opening shotwas outstanding!! (did it need a fiddle?)lol.

I loved the close ups of the possum
The music gave it a sense of serenity

Truly a pleasure to watch and enjoy. I would like a 30 minute version to throw on the big screen when I want to set down and go AHHhhhhh with a glass of Merlot.

I to am ever so glad you got this one in!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 03:05 AM   #12
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David, you have an very good eye for making nice graphic in your intro of the film. I liked this very much.
Watching you sitting there on the roof top waiting for something to happen was nicely done and the score substantiated the footage very well.
The close up of the Possum was nice, overall a very good piece.

Very well done!
- Per Johan
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 06:41 AM   #13
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Hi David.
Very moody and nice piece this one David.
The opening scene was awsome, you sitting on the roof top.
Very nice plot and then finally the Possum did show up.
Nicely done and your editing skills are over average I'll say.

Best wishes.
Geir Inge
Geir Inge B. Brekke
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 04:24 AM   #14
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As usual, a wonderful film from you. I especially think that this entry or yours is even more special considering, it was nothing like your original plan, not that too many others were, but for you, that was a matter totally out of your control. (Hope your sister is doing well by the way)
I loved the shots you had of the possum, & the way you put it all together was fantastic. It really was like watching a professional wildlife film the way you put it all together.
Although i have no trouble following the story i believe you are telling in your films as you tell it so well with your pictures, i would really like to hear you add a voice over to one of your films, just to hear your personal take on it, & hear the enthusiasm i believe you have for your passion.
No surprise for me to see another top quality film for this challenge from you.

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Old November 23rd, 2007, 08:55 AM   #15
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David, this was outstanding!
The nature and wildlife in Australia has always facinated me since I was a little kid. And I think I learned something new by watching your video.
You sitting on the roof, and the close up of the possum were my favorite shots.
Nice editing style you have. I like it.
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