Entry 12 - UWOL #7 - "Floating Through Heaven" by Carl Middleton at DVinfo.net

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Old February 22nd, 2008, 08:16 PM   #1
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Entry 12 - UWOL #7 - "Floating Through Heaven" by Carl Middleton

Okay, taking liberties with what an adventure may be, my arm was definitely numb after this one.

I shot everything in the film inside Fort Clinch State Park, in northeast FL, US. I wanted to show the different ecosystems, and decided on a walking tour of the place. The catch? The adventure? I shot it all with my Z1 on a Steadicam J R. I have very limited steadicam experience, so it was definitely a unique experience for me. Not a single handheld or tripod shot! :) That includes a few full telephotos you'll see. I wanted to see what I could manage without taking it off the steadicam.

So, moral of the story? I need a lot more practice with said steadicam. :)

Carl
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #2
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You know Carl, I liked the bit of movement in the forward motion shots.
To me it gave it more of a feeling of someone actually walking through the woods etc. To have it flawless would have made it seem to artificial to me.

Great color and choice of shots! Wanna trade? we have eight more inches of snow on the way tomorrow!

Loved the shot of the gull in the gorgeous orange light. The green duckweed in the pond was beautiful too. Well, it looked like duckweed, maybe it was something else. :-)

I think you did a great job and if this is what you can do without a lot of practice then I have no doubt you're going to nail future shots exactly how you want them.

The music transitions were a bit jarring for me but other than that I really enjoyed it!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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Except for keeping the horizen level in a few shots, I think you did a fine job with the steady cam...(I've to get me one of those)...

Colors were beautiful as Kevin said....The green pond, the blue ocean...nice.
Liked the shot with leaves up close to the camera about 2 minutes in....

And yes, the first music change was kind of sudden...out of place...

Nice job....I learned a few things from you.

Bob
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Old February 24th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #4
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wow, i feel like i'm riding around in that glider all over again! heh. just kidding.

i'm always tickled to see the shooters using the Challenge as a learning environment to practice new skills and learn new stuff...seems like you really worked that steadicam muscle a bit. that's quite a bit of ground you covered. some nice shots. i would like to have it move a little less, but then again, i have a weak stomach for motion. just mixing the shots up a bit with some stationary or tripod moves would give it variety. but you've got lots of pretty stuff here, great use of natural lighting.

and my feeling is that all wide angle landscape shots should be tripod-mounted, period. even the slightest shake on a WA landscape shot can wreck it. you can have great lighting and shot composition and then bobble, bobble, you can see the inexperience behind the wheel....i shoot a lot on a monopod, and i get wobble, but you have to be ruthless in editing that stuff out, in the post-production end of things.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 04:11 AM   #5
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Carl, that's a nice piece and a complete different environment from where I live! As others mentioned the moves can most certainly be improved.
Overall an nice film to watch, keep up your good work!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 07:04 AM   #6
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Hey Carl,dont think you did bad at all with the steady cam,I must get one of them.I think Meryem nailed it on the head when she said a few shots from a tripod would have added to the overall feel.however I realise you were out playing with a new toy....I know the feeling..Keep up the good work
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Old February 25th, 2008, 07:15 AM   #7
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Hi
As a training film for you to learn about shooting steady this was good. As a film, it didn’t work for me… Meryem wrote some good things and I would like to say, shooting steady, rail or jib, I think that you need an end, something to come to. Moving along a trail, following a creek, following a person… but that is just me, I think that you can do same amazing things with a steady cam… keep training and this will be great.

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Old February 25th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your kind words - and yes there were definitely times when I knew better than to use the steadicam and did it anyways. ;)

I've been slammed at work these last few days - my first challenge fell perfectly right before the reason I almost couldn't enter! Time to start watching films in the middle of the night ;)

C
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Old February 25th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #9
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Karl,

I think you did all right with your steady cam, particularly knowing you just started using it. Which one do you use??

I would have liked you to hold that setting sun picture a little longer, perhaps held it into the credits!!!

you have some cool moving shots to be certain!!!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #10
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Carl, I like your film.
Thanks for taking me on a tour in the woods and on the beach. Great colors.

I agree with what has been said about the landscape shots should have been with tripod instead of the steadicam. But only one way to get better, and that's to practice, which you did here.
I'm sure your steadycam skills will improve in the near future.

The sunset shot in the end is a great ending!
Thanks for sharing!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #11
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Carl:

Nice demontration of your rigs capabilities. Some good evidence of what will be coming out of the set up in the future.

I'm doing a film where I need a long steady cam shot, and I have some questions:

1. Do you have photos of rig as you shot with it.

2. Did you use external monitor

3. Did you shoot in auto focus, and if so, was it set to react slowly.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 06:51 PM   #12
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Hey Carl:

This was a very smooth execution! Need more practice? It looked good to me! I felt like I was just... well, floating through heaven... have I heard that name before?

Nice job,

Cat
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #13
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Awww! Thanks guys! I still haven't really gotten time to do my watching duties (maybe tomorrow? 12 hour editing session (the paid stuff) kept me busy today. I just got home. urgh.) Deadlines are fun!

The rig was just a Z1 with standard setup, no external monitor, 100% manual everything, on a steadicam J R. pretty basic. :) I wish I had used AF on some shots, I really screwed up a few shots you guys never saw. :) You'll see it far too close in the blooper reel that I really need to do, in my copious spare time. :)

Thank you again for all the kind words. I think I need some sleep now - deadlines a looming tomorrow! Anyone in the Carolinas, Mid Atlantic (Baltimore, Washington DC, etc), Southern California, South Central (TX) or Pacific Northwest US areas - watch for Carrier and Bryant AC commercials this spring - I'm slaving over the local dealer tags right now. ;)

C
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Old February 26th, 2008, 12:08 AM   #14
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Hi Carl,

Well I think you did very well with the new toy - which I can see as having some great applications in the great outdoors (although I think it is better for filming moving objects).

I also don't know enough about using a steadicam but get the impression some auto control on the camera could make things more manageable - which you mention.

Chasing a lizard along the ground, or following a quick moving animal, etc would be ideal for the steadicam however, landscapes and anything with a horizon may be difficult. Nonetheless, I can see you capturing some really interesting footage with the new toy.

Good luck with the new ads Carl. Sounds very exciting.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #15
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Nice colors in this one, another of the more relaxing films to watch. I know how it is getting used to a steadicam, I have had a merlin for about 3 months and I'm still learning the basics myself. It's harder outside if there is any wind at all, since your camera behaves like a rudder and the wind steers you all over the place.
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