UWOL #9: Wildlife of Meyer Pond by Victor Wilcox at DVinfo.net

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Old June 23rd, 2008, 07:57 AM   #1
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UWOL #9: Wildlife of Meyer Pond by Victor Wilcox

We work kept me from getting out where Iíd hope to shoot, so it was back to my old standby, the pond at Meyer Park. I try my best to keep use camera angles, which hide the fact that Iím shooting in a public park. There are soccer fields and a parking lot within view of the pond. Still, the wildlife here is amazing. The bird population seems to change daily and the nutria population is booming. Just wish I could have gotten shoots of the red-shouldered pair this time. Man, was it hot! The temperatureís been running around 95 degrees (F) and 95% humidity. That makes it great to get back in side.

Again, I used my Sony HVR-A1U. Most shoots were taken using my 2X teleconverter. I bumped up the contrast by about 15% in Premiere Pro CS3. This is my first time to submit and MP4. Premiere started crashing when I try to use the QuickTime codec.

Iíve posted the HD versions on my web site:
Vic Wilcox, http://wilcoxvideoproductions.com/Default.aspx
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Old June 24th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #2
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Hi Victor,

I just tried to view your HD version however, the playback is very "juddery", for want of a better word.

I certainly agree with your comments regarding the variety of wildlife at this pond - especially since it sounds as if it is very close to a fairly well built up area!

Some comments;

- the opening shots of the dragonfly were a bit too long for me.

- the opening scene of the pond embankment didn't seem right. Maybe a wide angle establishing shot of the pond, as in the the first shot of the heron may have been better? A shot which would emphasize the location better would have been a better choice.

- a polarizing filter would have removed much of the water glare

- maybe some movement of the video camera from time to time, ie panning, zoom in/out, etc just to break things up a bit.

Loved the music, which I found very uplifting and it felt right for so many mother and baby nature shots. I also likes your video transitions and the variety in your entry. The heron shots looked were nice and I think you did reasonably well to hide the fact you were filming at a public pond (from memory).

Well done Victor, sounds like your going through a heat wave over there. Hope your coping with it well.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #3
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I really liked the dragon fly and thought that it would have been a better establishing shot over the bugs, just a smoother progression from the clouds, dragon fly, waterlife. Just a thought.
Very nicely done, I liked the background music! I liked the close up on the Nutreas?? or are they musk rats???
Nice cross section of wildlife.

Very much enjoyed your efforts!!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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Victor, that's a lot of footage. My kind of style. I think I would have opened with the wide shot of the Egret, but that's what makes the world go around - differences. Great entry, I enjoyed it.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #5
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Hey Victor:

That was pure fun! I love the music and it just made you smile the whole way through. The beaver were so cute and the heron... wow, that is some park! Except that you could hear voices in the background, you would otherwise never know you were in the city! Nice entry and a lot of fun.

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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:09 AM   #6
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Nice film Victor. I donít like the music, itís something about it that makes it a bit cheese. The shot on the Dragonfly was nice, I like that way you edit it with the stick ďemptyĒ and then the dragonfly arrives, nice. The beaver kids was cute, it looked like they wasnít shy.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 05:28 AM   #7
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Hi Victor

This was a wildlife theme and thatís exactly what you gave us. Tons of it!

My favourite shot was the dragonfly arriving on the branch. Itís a classic but still looks brilliant every time and it was nice to see the black vultures in there too!

I would probably have recorded some ambient sounds without peoples voices and had those playing under most shots, not because I want to remove the people from the setting (this is clearly an area in surrounded by people) but because I felt there was something going on just out of shot and I wanted to know what it was, which I found a little distracting.

Other than that a great piece!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 05:34 AM   #8
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Some good shots in your piece Victor. As others have said the dragonfly coming into perch was very nice. Some other stuff didn't feel very 'wild' to me but I know this can be difficult. The editing to me seemed not to follow much in terms of order, simply a nice selection of images to music.

Good stuff.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:00 PM   #9
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Nutria? Thatís a new one on me--I was about to comment on the cute muskrats! :) They were my favorite part of the video, and until I read your post I was wondering how on earth you got that close to them.

How nice that there is wildlife right there in a public park and that there seems to be peaceful coexistence.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #10
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This is a fine demonstration of your shooting capabilities, and your editing style. Many of us had a hard time really finding wild life in this challenge, due to various reasons, and finding it where you could find it was the only way to go. I found the piece soothing and relaxing.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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Second what has been said to your film. Many nice and stunning scenes, wish for a better story!
- Per Johan
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:01 PM   #12
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A lot of wildlife at that little pond in a park. I like the way you juxtapose dark and light areas in the same scene. I especially enjoyed the baby nutria, and wonder if it would have been effective to tone down the music and bring up the childrens' voices in that part.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 11:39 PM   #13
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Amazing how we can find wildlife on our doorsteps.Your "stand by" Meyer pond is proof of that.With the voices in the background I am led to believe that this little pond has its fair share of visitors.Nice entry...keep them comming.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #14
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Wow, Victor - this is the "standby"? I wish my main location would brnig up wildlife like the Meyer Pond.

The dragon fly was a great shot, if maybe a touch long - but beautifully framed and with great depth.

Loved the "mummy and kiddies" shot with the mini beaver lookalikes (is this the "nutria" talked about? Not many of them around here!) though the water was a bit too sparkly and distracting somtimes. The little ones are just too sweet.

The red eared terrepin was good, but hard to get an impression of scale. I had a pet one many years ago (that's probably illegal now!) that never grew beyond about 2 inches across, but I believe they can grow quite large.

Loved the synchronized swimming ducks at 1:25-ish, and I see you stole one of my herons! getting the foilage in the foreground was good, and added a real feeling of depth, something I need to try harder at.

All in all, that's one busy pond. Very good.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #15
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Victor...Good one!

I also liked the dragon fly...
An amazing amount animals for a pond, very cool!
It's a shame you couldn't get closer to some of the birds, but what can you do.

I liked the use of focus in your transitions...
And...I must say, I actually liked hearing the excited voices of children in the background...Kind of added a sense of "discovery" or something.

Keep it up!

Bob T.
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