UWOL #8 - Curse of the Bitou - Paul Mailath at DVinfo.net

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Old April 17th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #1
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UWOL #8 - Curse of the Bitou - Paul Mailath

removed till monday.....

"-)
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Last edited by Paul Mailath; April 18th, 2008 at 04:11 PM.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:38 AM   #2
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I was getting concerned - couldn't find the edit button and then it dawned on me....

Okay Curse of the Bitou

http://www.vimeo.com/896374

my aim is to become a better/competent camera operator, editor, everything. If I can improve on my last effort I'm pretty happy.

I wasn't sure wnat to do at first and one of the local rangers came up with this idea. After wading through the bureaucracy I got it done.

Initially I was going to reshoot the whole thing because I saw so many mistakes but then I realised that my viewpoint is subjective and I need others to point out the mistakes for them to be 'real' - if that makes sense.

This is a fantastic way to learn and I'm thrilled to have finished a 2nd one. To anyone out there who has something that 'isn't quite good enough' - it's not about that, just upload it and learn from your mistakes, I'm making lots of mistakes and learning lots.

I'm actually going to approach the rangers again and shoot a 10 or 15 minute version that they can use to get volunteer help for the problem - OMG! I'm turning green!
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Last edited by Paul Mailath; April 21st, 2008 at 07:42 PM.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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Paul,

Nice Job, it is an fine documentary on invasive species. well edited and my favoritw shot is the rack focus at the end.

Look forward to seeing more of your work.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:53 PM   #4
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I really like it....mostly because you taught me about something new. It was interesting and never boring.

Maybe you used the zoom out/in a little to much, but heck, I'm no expert. I thought most of the shots were very good.

Voice over was very easy to understand.

Bob T.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 04:29 PM   #5
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Hi Paul,

I like what you came up with. Nice story. It made me learn something new. Thank you!
As Dale, I think the favorite was the rack focus at the end. Very cool!
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:34 AM   #6
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Paul… nicely done.
Good subject and I you executed the theme nice. Maybe you are using the zoom a bi to much, I would suggest you to, instead of using the zoom, move the camera in different angles.

Example: the part with the gate. Wide shot on the area (like you did), new angle with the forest in the background and the sign in foreground (not in focus), shift focus from background to sign.

Or if you like the zooming… try to use a remote control via the LanC connection. Then you would get rid of the little wobbles that you get when you start pressing down the zoom bottom.

Maybe you could have been in the picture at some point, like in the beginning to establish the story and the do the VO.

Over al a nice film… good job
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 04:41 AM   #7
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Hi Paul,
Nice one mate! I agree totally with you as far as this competition being a great place to learn, i certainly have learnt lots hanging around here! Ok, not sure if the file i downloaded of your film is ok or not, but i had no VO or text to tell me what was going on, is this right? As far as you camera work goes, i have the same camera as you do so may be able to offer some help. I noticed that there tended to be a bit of hiss in your audio, this may either be due to your levels being set to auto, or perhaps you have them in manual but have them up a bit high. Check that, & then, remember, when the camera's rolling, try to be as quiet as you can, i did pick up a bit of noise from the operator. If you have a good mic, be sure to at least mount it in a good holder that isolates it from the camera, or better still, have the mic on a separate stand altogether. The shots you got were really nice, but remember one thing, when you go to place your finger on the zoom button, or turn that zoom ring on the lens, ask yourself, do i need to? Try to frame your shots up before you role, when it comes to zooming, less is nearly always more.
Great work,

Bryce
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:09 AM   #8
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Good documentary. It easily kept my attention for the full three minutes.

The voiceover was a little uneven when you start in at 1:34 with "It's a contant battle" being louder. And you probably need to invest in a Pop filter (or make one). Minor nitpicking, but we are here to help each other.

It took me a second to really catch the theme, but once I saw it, it made perfect sense.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:52 AM   #9
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They say you should learn something new everyday....today is covered for me. Very informative excelent VO...a few pops here and there but still excellent.

The over zooming has been mentioned and I do agree...to me it's always the same thing "to zoom or not to zoom that is the question"

Very infomative and enjoyable.

Brian
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:58 AM   #10
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Go easy on the zooms and the long pans. Mix up a bit more of the wide shots with the close-ups (and check your focus with the peaking!). I would also suggest using a polarizer to enhance the sky. There were a few shots where the exposure was off (the NSW sign on the truck at :24 was at least 1 stop under). Good use of natural sound, but you need to ride the mix a bit better.

I would have liked to see an interview with a park official.

That being said (and sorry to be so critical), I understand that you chose a topic that is not the easiest (bushes are not the most photogenic of plants). The length of the piece was good enough to hold my interest and the voice-over was clear and informative. Thank you for sharing!

(by the way, we have a different sort of "Bush" problem here in the US--no less difficult to get rid of ;-)
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:09 AM   #11
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Paul,

I really enjoyed that, very informative. Yet another introduced species that creates problems in your beautiful country, and yet another reason why I fully agree with your quarantine regulations. (I end up shouting at the TV if I ever watch Border Security!)

I find myself wanting to see a follow-up, showing the aerial spraying in action (lots of great aerial footage), and further footage after the operation is over, but that's just wishful thinking.

I agree with some of the other comments regarding the zooms. I also like the very last shot showing the plant in macro.

In 8 years of Aussie holidays, mainly in NSW, I've yet to come across the Bitou. I must keep my eyes peeled next time, and I will curse it with you!
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 07:14 PM   #12
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thanks to everyone for your replies and please don't hesitate to be critical.

I'm looking for critique - "A critical examination or estimate of a work of literature or art; a critical dissertation or essay; a careful and thorough analysis of any subject; a criticism; as, Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason."

...a careful and thorough analysis - there's nothing negative about that. I hesitate to comment of critique other work because I don't feel I have the 'film experience' behind me and also because I'm concerned that people will take it the wrong way - I'm way too old and ugly to be bothered with that myself.

Let me comment/critique my own work:
the initial zooms were supposed to show the problem 'growing' and certainly didn't work. A couple of you commented on the idea of reframing and using focus to emphasise - that would have worked a lot better.

The voiceover was done with a crappy desk mike which will at least have a pop filter fitted (I do voiceover work - you would think I'd know better) and it is reasonably smooth up to .33. then there are differences in level and it is hesitant in parts and not good. The problem was - ad libbing - If I had taken the time to write down what I was going to say and done a couple of takes it would have been much better.

I didn't notice the exposure but it was under in places. The long pans didn't work and would have been better as different reframed shots (I've got to get over this hangup about moving image=moving camera)

When I mention the Golden wattle, I should have actually had one in frame

I think the fade to white worked when I moved to the transformed bush - again reframed shots would have worked better than long pans. The rack focus worked well (I was supprised since I didn't use the LEX, just the camera)

The music worked reasonably well - it was the same music from cinescore but altered to be more muted in the beginning and lighter 'brighter' for the original bush - with some bird sounds thrown in for good measure.

It would have improved with an interview with a ranger and even some footage of the workers (I'm going back to see it I can do that.

I hesitate to get in front of the camera because I'm used to being there and I don't want this to be about me in any way.

The arial spraying got rained out!!!

But it's WAY better than my last and that's what I'm after - continual improvement.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:36 PM   #13
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I'll just hammer a little more on the over-use of zooming out...it is always very tempting to do in landscape shots...but unless you are focused on something very small (and typically human) in the environment that you are trying to show in relation to the "largeness" of the greater landscape, it is usually not that effective. I think it is a good rule of thumb to just cut out the zoom entirely and then add it back in when you feel comfortable with your skill set--because by then you will have found other, more effective ways to put your shots together visually, anyway.

You have a nice voice for VO, but I would back off on the content a little and slow it down a mite. It sounds slightly rushed to me.

I applaud you (and anyone else...) who uses UWOL fearlessly, to learn to improve your shooting style and technique. It's why we are here, to learn and make friends and get better at this...

oh and, RULE #11...can't forget that...
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 10:38 PM   #14
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Paul:

Interesting how we have introduced things in years past thinking it was the right thing, and now we are fighting it-- not nice to fool with mother nature, as an old margarine commercial use to say here.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 03:15 AM   #15
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Hi again Paul,
Well i just read all the other posts to your film, & decided that i must have a dud file, as i certainly didn't have a V/O. I just downloaded it again, only to still have the same thing, no V/O?????? I started to play around, figuring it must have been something in my setup, & sure enough, it was the 3.5mm headphone stereo jack was not contacting properly with the socket on my laptop, once that was sorted, i heard for the first time, the wonderful voice over everyone has been talking about in this thread. I then saw your film in a totally different light. It was very informative, & made a heck of a lot more sense with that extra bit of audio. Interesting though, how for me the things that i mentioned in my first post, were very obvious, but with the V/O, had less of an impact. Just goes to show, that it is always good practice to watch your onwn work with & without sound.
With all that said, i found the V/O on this entry really round this out, & made it even better than the first time i watched it.

Regards,

Bryce
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