UWOL #7 - "To Be So Free" by Chris Barcellos at DVinfo.net

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:54 PM   #1
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UWOL #7 - "To Be So Free" by Chris Barcellos

I shot this one with the FX1. 12x zoom not quite enough, so some shots were with a 1.7x extender attached, to try to get some reach. Had to deal with a lot of CA in those cases.... no good answer, except maybe a $1,200 Century Optics adapter....

Owl shot was a surprise I had not even anticipated. I was at a preserve for water fowl toward evening, when this short eared owl appeared to put on a show. A local bird watcher coming up on the scene proclaimed it was a "lifetime" bird for her. Not sure, but I think I was a bit lucky to get the shots.

Here is a Vimeo link: http://www.vimeo.com/720519
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Last edited by Chris Barcellos; February 24th, 2008 at 01:16 AM.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #2
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Since I added this thread, I added a vimeo link for the film above.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #3
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WOW! Nice shots on the owl, flying strait at you. Nice film Chris!
The voice over hade some distracting noise, but not really a problem (but something you could work on to the next challenge). I think that you could hade ended the film right there with the owl, maybe with a freezed frame when he was in the middle of the frame.

Good job!

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Old February 24th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #4
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Realy Nice

Hi Chris


A realy nice film you make here.You have allot of great clip
in this film.And I like your woice ower.

Nice-film.


VJV.


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Old February 24th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #5
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Chris,

I very much enjoyed you short!! No doubt the short eared owl is the star of the movie. I really enjoyed the sandhill crane footage as well. The Narative was good and added to the story, but for myself I would have enjoyed it as much without any!!! Some of the stationary shots were inspiring!!!
the weakest shot I thought was the geese, the silloutte was good but the actual images of the geese seemed rough (Pixelated??)
the choice of music was great, What theme did you use for it??

thanks ever so much for sharing!!!!!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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Chris,

Really good film! Nice choice of music and I thought you did a great job with the narration. Really like how your music swelled and along with your narration painted the picture as the cranes took flight. Very majestic.

Little shaky on the first bird talking off. It looks as it was fading in from black it had already left the ground so maybe take the shot from when you had the camera a little more stabilized. I think you could have had the same feeling losing that first two seconds or so and made the scene stronger. I think your narration though kind of went with a bird on the ground then taking flight so to have the bird already well into flight instead of seeing his feet coming up didn't go with the narration. I do think that shot though was stronger than the sandhills taking off in the next shot.

The owl was certainly the money shot. You had fantastic light for that as well.

I also agree that if you ended with the owl in flight toward the camera and the music swelling you would have ended the film on the highest note possible. Man that was a nice shot!!!

Music swells, owl flies toward the camera, magic hour light, fade to black, roll credits. Bada boom, bada bing!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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hey, we're all about the lucky events here, the happy surprise, the unanticipated coincidence of camera with an interesting subject.

that owl shot is fantastic! i don't know that i could have held the camera still, i'd have blown it. from over-excitement. it's a beauty, great lighting, nice framing. nice work capturing the moment, chris.

damn HDV codec is not that friendly to bird footage, in my opinion. lots of my bird footy had the double-wingspan issue that i'm seeing in some of yours. it breaks down on birds in flight frequently...which is a little disappointing.

i hear ya on the 12x zoom--bah! i shot mine with a shorty zoom, and it's definitely an exercise in frustration.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 12:26 PM   #8
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Wonderful film, Chris. That owl shot was electric. I could just hear you saying to yourself, "Keep coming, keep coming."

What were those birds in the big flock near the middle of the film? There were no trailing legs, like cranes, and the necks were too short to be waterfowl.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #9
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Loved the opening/build up before the first flight...set me up perfect for the rest....

Nice work....
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Old February 24th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #10
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Chris, I loved this film - it was pitch perfect. The music, narration, variety of shots and the concept - good stuff man! Particulary loved the shot of the owl on the side of the road - stunning!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:35 PM   #11
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Steve Siegel: " I could just hear you saying to yourself, "Keep coming, keep coming."

and.

"What were those birds in the big flock near the middle of the film? There were no trailing legs, like cranes, and the necks were too short to be waterfowl. "


Owl actually circled around area and came at me a couple of times. Almost the same type of "straffe", plopped into the weeds nearby. I'm guessing it was playing like a cat might.

Birds were actually geese that had been ran out of a field by a local farmer. I ran up the contrast for artistic effect, and that caused some detail to be blurred...

Meryem:

I've been out to this bird preserve many times, and never saw the owl before. I was lucky I was on tripod when it first appeared, and I shot more than three minutes of it flying and diving into the grass.

Dale: Geese were pushed in contrast and black levels for artistic effect. Music was the Movie Miracles theme from Sonic Fire Pro. First I produced a six minute length piece out of Sonic Fire pro, then I cut and rearranged passages to fit the action in the film.


Thanks to everyone for the comments, and kind words. In everyone of these things, I think I take a step forward. One of these days my limitation will get to primarily equipment.... What will I do then....
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #12
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Chris,
This was stunning footage! Especially the owl flying towards the camera was amazing. Great light you had there too.
And the ending sequence... Very good, loved the colors.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #13
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Hi Chris,

Wow, that owl shot was a lifetime event that will probably never present itself again - and in such beautiful light. Like Meryem mentioned, I think I would have shook with so much excitement at what was taking place before me!

Filming birds is so evocative and with the right music, I think it is all that is needed - so I probably agree with Dale's earlier comments regarding the VO. The vast array of birds that you captured was very impressive - although I would have tried to eliminate the shots with the cars in them.

The other issue Chris is keeping the camera steady. I think it is simply a must, especially filming flying birds. Having said that, you did a wonderful job.

Can't wait to hear what Mat thinks of your owl shot - as I don't think he was as lucky to have one that acted so well for the camera.

Nice entry Chris, and one I'm about to go and watch again.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #14
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Chris, liked your entry very much. As other already said the owl was the money shot in your film. How could you manage to be so calm in your recording when it was approaching you? That was awesome!
Crane shoots was nice too.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #15
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Like everyone said before, its great! :)
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