UWOL #9 Among the Prairie Bells Steve Siegel - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old June 28th, 2008, 03:06 AM   #16
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Hi Steve,

Congratulations on a wonderful entry!

I enjoyed this entry throughout, in particular;

- the start with the singing bird on the fence post as the title appeared - just beautiful.
- the narration flowed beautifully with the various scenes - which you captured nicely with a good selection of wide establishing type shots, followed by some nice close ups.
- you also were very smooth with some of the action shots. Lovely to watch and admire.
- the wonderful variety of scenes you captured - with al of them supporting your story nicely.

The ending with the wagon wheels and the out of focus birds flying by was just perfect.

The quality of the footage was a bit soft. Whether this is a compression issue, I don't know however, with such a wonderfully pieced together entry - this was not too much of an issue for me.

Steve all in all a very nice entry and certainly one of my favorites.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #17
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Well Steve...I've got to say this was one well done video.
Beginning, middle and end....all there. Nice.

And I learned a few things, that's for sure.

Excellent shots, I loved the Blue bird close up. And I never new what a Bob-O-link looked like, thanks for that.

The closing shot...wow! Well, no need to repeat what everyone else said.

So many good videos this challenge...I'm going to have to step up my game next time.

Bob T.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #18
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What a great film Steve. I think you have some of the best sequences in this film we have seen since the start of UWOL !! This was a great little film covering some fantastic behaviour and with many levels of detail which I hark on about every round to people and this is such a good example of how to do it right. Different types of shot, different types of angle and different speeds all allow you to step into the moment with your chosen species.....fab and very pro indeed!!! The standard of the shooting was also very high indeed.

I would now be saying this is the winner of everything I've seen....BUT two things let this down somewhat. Firstly the compression in the video and secondly the VO only came out of one speaker and wasn't recorded in great quality. Don't get me wrong the VO was really well delievered, as were the visuals but viewing of the film was descreased because of these production issue.

That said I still feel this is a very strong entry and if you don't get in the top 3 I'll eat my tripod!

Oh out of interest, what camera were you shooting on Steve?

Edit: I don't watch the higher res versions of peoples films until after I've commented so it's all level playing field. But now I've had I think I'll watch the vimeo version for an extra treat :-)
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #19
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Great intro, with the bird singing - and the grouse dance was fantastic, he could out-dance me any day. And I've never actually seen a bluebird outside of a Disney movie, and whaddya know, he looks just like a European robin spray-painted blue!

The grebe's mating rituals were something special, and very well captured - excellent!

The whole film flows really well, and as well as excellent bird footage you also managed to capture their sounds well, and that makes all the difference. The closing shot was just perfect, and the music fitted well.

Tiny, tiny complaint about the voiceover, it seemed to come out of my right speaker only and could be a bit hard to hear at times, but that is minor stuff.

Really well done.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #20
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Hey Matt and Mike;
Eek! I didn't realize. I record the voice over in stereo, but the only cable I have to put it into my computer is a mono cable. It only comes out of my right speaker too, but I didn't think that was a problem. I guess it is. I'll buy a new cable PDQ. Thanks. The sound quality on my computer is very good, however. Can't explain why you should have trouble hearing it. Was the Vimeo version also difficult to hear?

Mat, I'm using a Canon XL H1 with a 70-300mm zoom. I agree with you. Compression is a real problem. Any time you take a 20 GB movie down to 60MB there has to be issues, especially if lots of effects have been put into the film. I know that we have it set up this way to level the playing field for people who have dial-up connections, etc. But with recent new codecs that provide huge quality with tiny files (like DivX, and it's free download Dr. DivX) might it not be possible to let everyone have Sorenson Squeeze looking movies?
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Old June 28th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #21
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Hey Steve,

The sound does seem slightly better on Vimeo. Now that I think about it, the levels are probably fine, it's just that one ear is getting a mix of ambient sound/music and the other is getting just the ambient sound/music - so the non-voiceover tracks seem to "win".

It's a minor issue - it doesn't detract from a fantastic video.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #22
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That was really enjoyable Steve. The courtship dance, walking on water. Amazing.

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Old June 29th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #23
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Nice opening scene the silhouetted bird singing a short burst of his song, I guess you used a orange filter to get that orange glow effect .
Now I can see where the American Indians got one of their dances from, the Sharp Tailed Grouse
I like the shallow depth of field showing just the Mountain blue bird and his mate,
the Grebe courtship sequence was magic I have seen it a few times but had the cam with me.
The closing shot shallow depth of field with the flock of birds flying past with the old plough in the foreground, again was this done with a filter or an overlay?
Nice short.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 03:39 AM   #24
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Hi Steve
Another top notch entry from you
stunning visuals well thought out documented and produced
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Old July 1st, 2008, 03:48 PM   #25
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Hi Ron,
No, there was no filter on that sunrise shot. It was an extremely foggy morning. They view is about 30-45 degrees from the rising sun. My camcorder is set to shoot a bit warm, but no filter.
The last scene was an overlay of three subjects, a sunset, the plow, and string of shorebirds flying over a lake.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 04:19 AM   #26
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Steve, that was stunning!
I think this is one of your best videos so far!
Everything was great, the framing, the VO, the music...
It was fun to see those 2 birds running on the water near the end of your video.

Thank you for sharing, and teaching me something new.
Keep up your good work.
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