UWOL #6 "In a Rut" by Gordon Hoffman at DVinfo.net

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Old November 20th, 2007, 09:13 PM   #1
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UWOL #6 "In a Rut" by Gordon Hoffman

Well this turned out harder to do than I expected. Somewhat because of the weather. A lot of footage lost because of the wind shaking things. I was hoping for some snow too.
I used three different cameras, an XL1, a Sony HC3 and a Sony PC110.
Other than three shots everything was shot after sunset and before sunrise. Some was hand held which I seldom do. The Sonyís where used in nightshot mode. Some of the time they where set up on trails with an IR lens on a spotlight.
I really had to push things when editing to brighten things up. I knew it would be hard to compress when grainy and I played around with it some but didnít have much luck. I rushed the audio and it shows. Anyway this has been interesting.


Gordon Hoffman
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Old November 21st, 2007, 06:20 AM   #2
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Hi Gordon,

Just read your comments in your opening and feel things worked out very well in terms of picture quality and sound. I also felt you managed camera shake very well too, and captured some very nice scenes.

Great use of the theme and very educational. Your voice over sounded great and I certainly learned a lot about the white tailed deer. Can't believe how close they come to you - as I always thought of deer as very shy. At 1:04, it looks like the deer is almost touching you. It's interesting/ironic to see the deer fence at 1:50 - which I assume the deer are able to manage with ease?

Nice entry Gordon - your editing seems to have fixed the issues you raised.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:13 AM   #3
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this is really ambitious, gordon, shooting a large land animal at night. really bold effort. i always enjoy your entries because you really get out there and, when you're shooting animals, you really seem able to get in their world.

one thing i noticed and liked about this particular entry is that you seem to have given your V.O. a little more space than in the last one, and works to good effect, to let the image do the talking. we're shooters way before we're voice people, and it is an art that requires development, like any other--you shooters who take this on are gutsy. one thing that would be a good addition is to try and adopt a little bit of persona--you've got such a great regional accent (to my yankee ears...) that it would be cool to milk that in some way. experiment a little with developing a persona for the voice.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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Hi Gordon:

You pulled this off very well indeed. It's interesting to read opening comments to find how many difficulties people ran into making their film, only to be impressed as to how well the films turn out in the end. Another true spirit of UWOL... getting out there where the wildlife is. And of course, the sad reality that us humans just don't have a clue we are part of an entire picture, sharing this planet with millions of other diverse creatures. I'm sorry to see the road kill. So sadly, I see it often.

Nice film Gordon, well done.

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Old November 21st, 2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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I really enjoyed your film, and learned a lot from your great narration.

It was also fun to see what someone else did with the Sony nightshot function, which I had hardly used before this film. It gave some interesting effects.

The section about roadkill was sad but important- and added a lot to the story you told.

Great job, really interesting to watch.

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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:20 PM   #6
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You definitely took on the challenge in a big way. Videoing deer at night is tuff tuff stuff!! Inspite of the darkish footage I really enjoyed it. I think it was a great effort!! I always prefer seeing wildlife, it is just so hard to get great footage, particularly at night and such a narrow window!!!

thanks for sharing
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:01 PM   #7
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Hi Gordon.
I just have to say I like your film very much.
Your storytelling is great in both showing in pictures and narating.
Both educational and entertaining at the same time.
It seems like you're pretty close to the animals or using long lens?
In our country the deer is very shy animals and not so easy to film without long lenses. I myself had a few shots of a deer, but did leave it out because it didn't fit my story. Also I just had the lights from my car so the clips were not of best quality.
I can imagine it was a great effort to shoot this film?

Wish you all the best.
Geir Inge
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Old November 21st, 2007, 09:48 PM   #8
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David - Thanks. The post you see 1:50 are actaully just marker so the high speed snowplow operators know where the edge of the road is.

Meryem - I have a accent? Wow! I was afraid I had left to much space. I agree with you that I rather shoot than talk. Thanks much appreciated.

Cat - Thanks. The thing was I wasn't sure what to do until I got some of the shots on the last friday and saturday. I got some nice footage through the day but the night stuff was slow coming. Unfortunately with the deer rut on they are moving around a lot and they are often hit on the roads.

Ruth - Thanks. The Sony nightshot function can be handy at times. When I called it In a Rut I was referring to both the deer which at this time of year are and the people who seem to forget they are traveling through areas with wildlife that's more active than usual.

Dale - Wildlife is my thing. I guess I just don't have the creativity that some of the other here do to try something different. Thanks alot.

Geir Inge - As the deer are rutting right now makes it a bit easier to work them. Sometimes they pass by close and other times a long lens is a neccesity. We also have a fair number of deer right now having had a number of mild winter lately. Thank you.

Thanks everyone.

Gordon Hoffman
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 02:42 AM   #9
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Gordon, great film and story. I was hoping for some real rut roaring but maybe it was difficult to get?
Anyway as the others have already said a great entry. Your narrating is very good and nice to listen to.
- Per Johan
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 02:46 AM   #10
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I was also very impressed with the footage you had with the night shots from the Sony camera. Were the other shots you had that weren't done with night shot, done long after sun down, or long before sunrise? They were very good quality! I too loved your VO it was very well paced & very informative.
Thanks for sharing this with us.

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Old November 22nd, 2007, 06:51 AM   #11
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Hi Gorden

Nice piece. Some interesting shots in there. I was hoping for a bit of rutting action with the name of your piece but in 3 weeks I know only to well its difficult to drop onto sometimes. Some of your editing could do with a bit more thought as to shot ordering and some levels of detail in the shots would add another dimension to your work. VO was top notch fella, as Meryem said the right balance while still letting things breathe. The film on the whole felt a little open ended and needed tying together more with something....a single premise or some conclusion.

Great work, one of the best.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 09:10 AM   #12
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Everything I wanted to say has already been said. I will just add that I am still seeing in my head the deers crossing the road through the traffic. Can someone do something please?

And a technical note. I think you didnt't deinterlace your movie. If it really is the case, you should do it for 2 reasons:
1) it is visually more pleasant to see a deinterlaced movie on a computer.
2) it may reduce the file size as it helps the compression process.

Oh yes, I enjoyed this movie...
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 07:48 AM   #13
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Per Johan - Thanks. These deer only make low grunts, whines and bleats. Not very vocal.

Bryce - I used the XL1 gained up to +12 from between about 20 minutes to 40 minutes after sunset. I then lightened it up in post alot. Thanks for your comments.

Matt - Night also really resricts how far you can see and shoot video. As far as detail goes nightshot mode is not very good for that. Thanks, always appreaciate your comments.

Benjamin - People are in to big a rush now days and not paying enough attention. I know I have an issue with compression. There's got to be a problem with what I have been using. I tried checking deinterlacing, changed field order and nothing changed when outputted. It still looked the same. I have to invest in something decent. Thanks.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 09:33 AM   #14
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Gordon, I learned something from your film. Thank you!
VO was great! And I like the story.
I'm impressed how you manage to find those deers.
Good job making this one.
I agree with Mat's comment about the editing/sequencing of the shots, but that's only a detail.
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