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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:15 AM   #1
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UWOL # 7 Long Way Home

Adventure should be an easy enough topic to come up with an idea and shoot .For some strange reason the first two weeks of the challenge I had no idea as to what I would film. When I did come up with an idea I had to involve the family, who always willingly help out. However within the first half an hour on the first day out with the family and pets I became very frustrated. The dogs would not do anything that dogs out in the veld should do. My wife kept walking into my shots. I went out midday and it was extremely hot, humid and uncomfortable. I packed up and went home to sulk like a little boy. With about 3 hours before sunset I decided to give it another go. I took my daughters puppy out to a place in the veld where as a young man I had spent many hours riding my dirt bikes. Sitting watching the sun set and the puppy playing brought such a sense of calm and reminded me why I started playing with video in the first place.

The story is a very basic one. A family out having a picnic, when its time to leave one of the puppies is missing. The story is then about the dog trying to find its way home.
I was very fortunate in having Allison Crowe allowing me to use her song in this video.
Visit her web site at www.allisoncrowe.com. A very talented young lady.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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ah, those darn kids and animals and their arbitrary needs and behaviors, are always wrecking our shots! i know the feeling! but we love 'em!

i can't tell you how many times i've had to give up and enjoy the moment, thanks to their knack for distracting me from my original goals--this is sort of a film that's about that, isn't it? not an adventure--but a film about not having one, because love gets in the way. sweet closing shot of your daughter and dog sharing a tender moment.

i love that bit of music, very nostalgic and really sets the tone for the whole piece. it is always cool when we can include indie artists in our small endeavors....
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Old February 24th, 2008, 02:55 PM   #3
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John,

A very touching poignant film. A simple classic adventure but done very well.

If you wanted to make it more of a journey you could have had your daughter change clothes to add to the "time" it took for the puppy to find its way back home.

Beautiful music that really adds to the feeling of the film.

Great job!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #4
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Dog movies always win me over....can't help it.

I must say I was a little miffed that they drove off without the puppy....
That was the only part I found a little hard to believe...

Good stuff! :)

Bob
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Old February 25th, 2008, 06:55 AM   #5
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How leave without the dog?!?
You did a nice job on this one… a sad story with a good ending.

Markus
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #6
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Nicely done story!!

It always amazes me that some dogs can find their way home from anywhere. We had a home again english setter in the 80's

You did a nice job portraying that!!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #7
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Hi John,

You made a good film. Nice and interesting story.
Dogs really become close family members, and to drive back home without them... It must be a very hard thing to do. I found myself a little sad when I saw that, but equally happy when the dog finally found it's way back home.
The closing sequence is my favorite.

Well done!
Keep up the good work.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #8
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Having just recently lost my dog, this film had extra resonance for me. I thought it was wonderfully constructed, using the pieces of the picnic, and then filming from the dog's perspective. Putting the two halves together made for a genuine adventure- the determination of the puppy to get back home. And your dog is quite an actor- he seemed to portray very well his poignant "left behind" look. Not to mention your daughter did a great job on the joyous reunion :) Wonderful music, too- fit the piece perfectly.

Ruth
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Old February 25th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #9
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John, a very moving piece! Second what have been said by the others. You did very well in this round, keep up your good work!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 05:36 PM   #10
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John Dennis:

It's your best work. Awesomely put together from beginning to end. It was so tender. The music breaks right through the soul. The back and forth between one perspective (dog) and another (family), all so moving. And the camera work!!!! Now that was some shooting Trond would be proud of. I loved it. You can't watch it without tearing up a bit. You were on the same level as Kevin provoking that kind of emotion.

Thank you.

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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #11
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Thanks for the kind words and inspiration everyone. Every time I enter one of these Uwol contests I learn so much. Every time I download one of your video's I see that I am not alone in this learning experience .The best part is that the more the boundaries get pushed by all you film makers, the more it inspires me to learn more and try new things. I will get around to viewing everyone’s video, its just with my slow internet connection I only get to download about 6 or 7 video's a day.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 05:03 AM   #12
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Hi John,

Well that was quite an adventure for the little fella, and one you portrayed very well.

Some suggestions;

- the shot of the hang glider at dusk suggested the dog was lost overnight although, I don't think this is what you were trying to achieve. After the dusk shot, you went straight back to a midday scene? It may have been better to show the dusk shot at the very end - symbolising the long day.

- some slow mo of the dogs with such evocative music would have had a huge impact. I can just see the young girl (your daughter?) and the dog playing with the ball in slow mo with the loving bond coming through very strongly. Maybe a close up of the tears running down her face and the mother consoling her when the gravity of the situation hit.

- some shots of the dog walking down a distant path on the long haul home?

- then the return home with maybe the music building towards the grand finale of the girl and her dog back together.

Sorry John, might have gotten carried away a bit with the dramatic feedback but your premise was such a lovely one, and the music so powerful, I could see such a beautiful piece in my mind.

Actually, another nice effect would be to show some select scenes in the backgound (with the opacity turned down), so that the viewer sees shots of the dog heading home whilst we see background scenes of the dog and the girl playing together. This would have been nice also during those scenes at dusk.

These happy family shots do a lot for me and I really enjoyed watching and listening to your entry. All the best John.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #13
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Hi John.
Great storyline. I admire your pation, as I think you must have taken a lot of shots to get all those of the dog in different situations?
Your choice of music is great to this story and I think you have managed to capture some great scenes.
My girls loved this film and now they want a dog :)
Well, I'm not sure about the last, since we allready have a cat in house.
Great actors too.

Wish you all the best
Geir Inge
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Old February 27th, 2008, 08:08 AM   #14
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Great suggestions David...I just tend to shoot and edit too fast.If I would just slow down and give it some more thought.Every point you mentioned is valid and could have been used ..thank you
Geir Inge:
Are you sure its my video and not the fact that you took the kids out on a dog sled that makes them want a dog?Always enjoy your feed back thank you
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Old February 28th, 2008, 05:59 PM   #15
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Watching the simple joy of that dog running in the fields and looking at butterflys made my heart happy. Thanks for the enjoyable and well edited video. And, the music was terrific. Bob
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