UWOL #7 ”Whispers of Winter” by Kevin J Railsback at DVinfo.net

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 02:09 PM   #1
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UWOL #7 ”Whispers of Winter” by Kevin J Railsback

You know, sometimes I really get irked with Meryem. As the day of announcing the theme gets closer, I spend a lot of time looking around and thinking ok, if the theme is this, then I can do this shot and do this. If the theme is about this, then I can go over here and do this and this.

Then the theme is announced and all my pre-planned shots go out the door!

I've had a shot I've wanted to do since UWOl#4 and every time a new challenge approaches I figure out ways to do it if the theme would work for the shot.

Well, Meryem strikes again and comes up with "Adventure." Doesn't she realize that I live in Iowa? Where I live it's either corn fields or factories. We have no mountains, no hills even.

But there is one cool thing that I know of ( well, I think it's cool, you may think otherwise ) and that my friends is skunk cabbage! Yeah, now I see I've got your attention! :) Attending a dull party? Bring up skunk cabbage and you'll find yourself the center of attention! :)

The thing I find so cool about skunk cabbage is that it has the rare ability to generate heat to warm the air around it. So, while there's still snow on the ground and other plants haven't even begun to think about coming up, skunk cabbage is generating enough heat to melt the snow and ice around it and grow in some very hostile conditions.

Skunk cabbage is rare around here. In the middle of the state there's a patch with a dozen or so plants. In the Northeast part of the state there's a patch of three or four plants. But, maybe ten miles from my house is a hanging bog that has hundreds of plants.

In most years the skunk cabbage is already popping up melting the snow and turning the landscape around the bog green.

In most years.

Not this year, we've had so much snow and ice that unless those little skunkies have flame throwers down there with them, they ain't poppin up until 4th of July!!

My adventure was going to be about the search for Spring. We've been having all these snowfalls etc and I though busting through all that in search of this small island of green in a sea of white would have been a good adventure.

So, I sat and waited and waited and waited. The snow kept falling and falling and falling.

So what was I going to do? I was looking around the internet one day and I stumbled across a quote about every artists project should be an adventure of the soul. So, I sat and looked at what I had already shot waiting for the skunkies to pop up and listened to the music I planned on using. I listened and listened and I thought back about the pure silence and solitude in the trees as the snow fell so silently.

As I watched and listened, I realized that nature had placed the adventure at my feet and I didn't even realize it. It was an adventure of the soul.

I've had long talks with Meryem and Mat about filmmaking. I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably not really a filmmaker at all. A filmmaker tells a story. If you go back and watch the films from past challenges as well as the ones that we'll be watching this weekend, you'll see they have a story.

I was watching Per's when he put up his link and not only does he have great footage, but he tells a story. THAT is a filmmaker.

I don't know what the heck you'd call me because even if I start out trying to tell a story it always gets left behind when I go out and shoot.

I can't sit down and plot out a list of shots or figure out a beginning, middle and end. Well, I can but I've never been able to see it to completion.

So, this is my adventure. It doesn't tell you a story, it doesn't take you on an adventure in the traditional sense. I'm sure you'll look at it and say, yep, some nice shots but not really an adventure now is it?

But for me, it takes my soul on an adventurous journey. A place where only my heart can travel. I hope it stirs some feelings in your soul as well.

Here's a link to a larger QuickTime H.264 version:

http://www.silverphoenixllc.com/movi...rsofwinter.mov
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:11 PM   #2
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it's because i can read minds! as i develop these themes, i think to myself, "how can i really screw up kevin's plans??"

and that way, i know i have something really good!

a beautiful film, my friend, but then, you already know that i think that your films are not about stories but are more profound than that...they are all about manifesting the love you have for this beautiful planet. you're right, you're not a filmmaker, you're more of a magician and a visionary, transforming the mundane into something beautiful and touching.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:22 PM   #3
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Yeah, but you still irk me! :)
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
I'm sure you'll look at it and say, yep, some nice shots but not really an adventure now is it?
No, I'm going to say those are some great! shots....sure, maybe not an obvious story, but great, great shots....

I'm feeling like such an amature around this stuff ;)
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:01 PM   #5
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Your grasp of space is incredible. Your videos are the only ones I watch over and over, and learn something each time. Thank you for giving this to us.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:20 PM   #6
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Kevin, I recently built a kitchen for a very nice woman a few towns over. She made me brownies once a week. That was nice. She gave me praise and complemented every nook and cranny. That was even nicer. But on the night she invited my wife and I over for the holidays, and I watched the glow she had while IN her kitchen, with her friends - well that was the nicest of all.

Your film takes me back decades. My parents are still together, and both are alive. All of my family is still in one place, and everyone is happy. I'm looking out over the lake at the geese flying by, in the snowfall. I can smell my mom's dinner. I can feel the wet brown leaves under my boots as I enter the house. I can feel the pure cold of the crisp clean air of winter. And I'm really sad that place is gone. I got that, and so much more, all in your three minutes.

For you, tonight, I am the woman from a few towns over, and I am standing in YOUR kitchen. Still think you're not a filmmaker? Still think you didn't tell a story? Or that you're not an artist?

I write a lot, but I'm not a writer. I teach a lot, but I'm not a teacher. I draw beautiful things, but I'm not an artist. I race professionally, but I'm not a pro. And don't even get me started on videography..

Shake it off kid. You're a filmmaker. And you're damn good.












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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:38 PM   #7
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Shake it off kid. You're a filmmaker. And you're damn good.
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Dearest Kevin and friend...

Any film that is so beautiful and moving, so deeply riveting and awesome to behold is a masterpiece. Eric couldn't have said it better. Your work places me on a mountain top with dreams... I am nothing but alive with an adventure of the soul. Your talent is awesome. Thank you.

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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:47 PM   #8
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That was inspiring, it reminded me of what it was like to live where it snows. And just think of each snowflake, on the adventure of its almost unfathomably short lifetime. Nicely done!
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 10:21 PM   #9
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Damn, you guys are choking me up!

You don't know how much it means to hear that from people who have both a love of nature and capturing it for others to see.

Not sure if you realize it but whether you've been involved in UWOL since #1 or if you just threw your hat in the ring with this challenge, YOU are my teacher.

I file away the waves crashing on the rocks, the koi swimming in the big fountain, ( that's for you Cat! :) ) the call of the raven, the flight of the kingfisher, the bond between horse and rider. You expand my vision and stretch my imagination. You inspire me with your creativity and the many ways you approach the same themes and come up with something different from everyone else.

We have become an incredible family here and like any son or daughter, I try to make my family proud.

I was telling Meryem how I go from time to time to a meeting of local filmmakers. I always feel so out of place like I don't belong. But here, I feel at home.

You give me the freedom to be able to express how I feel when I'm out in nature. There's no words you can use to describe how that feels.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:59 AM   #10
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Kevin, as always visual stunning cinemaphotography. I like your "framing" very well. Although it was not any story but more a visual journey through winterscenery, I was very moved of this piece. The music substantiated the pictures very well. In my view, this is how winterscenery is and you showed us it in a fabulous way Kevin!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 02:09 AM   #11
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Kevin:

Stunning piece. Too beautiful for me. Last shot just killed me.. I will study this film closely... want to see stuff like that come out of my camera someday...
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:48 AM   #12
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Wonderful!!!

hi Kevin


When you can see it ,It`s now ned for many word!!!!!!!

Great-film



VJV.

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Old February 24th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #13
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Oh wow:...Every time I enter this UWOL competition I learn something.IMO this is not just a video,this is art.I tend to go out with my camera and try to capture everything too fast,I edit the same way...from you I hope to have learned Patience,there can be no other way to have captured such stunning images. Great work Kevin
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:05 PM   #14
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I'll echo some of the sentiments here, that was simply beautiful. The use of DOF, the slow vertical pans and transitions were all perfect, the motion throughout - you have a great ability to see things in frames. Thanks for creating and sharing it with us ;-)
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Old February 25th, 2008, 06:26 AM   #15
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Hello…
I love the framing… the calm feeling thro the film… really nice. Not much of a story, but sometime you don’t need one, but for uc7 I think one will be necessary. Still thins is a beautiful film, time-laps, slowmo, it got everything visually. Maybe you could have used some natural sound from the creek… something to get a closer feeling.

Beautiful film Kevin…

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