UWOL #9 "The Heath" by Mat Thompson at DVinfo.net

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Old June 23rd, 2008, 06:05 PM   #1
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UWOL #9 "The Heath" by Mat Thompson

Hey guys.

Well here we are again. I have to say as filming experience go, this was one of my best to date. The Adder is a rare and beautiful creature and facinating to be around. As long as my movements werent to sharp they didn't mind my presence and apart from once when the female almost moved under my tripod I didn't feel bothered by them. It was all shot at my favorite reserve here in Essex.

The film was a little rushed towards the end of the edit but I think I did up the standard of the VO in both recording quality and delivery. This came out in the last critique somewhat so I was keen to improve on that side of things so I hope I managed to.

Anyway without further a do....rip it up people !!???

http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...9_theheath.mov
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 07:09 PM   #2
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Mat:

How come whenever you say, "rip it up people", you throw up something untouchable in excellence. This is a Mat Thompson par excellence. Narration, music, stunning filming, seamless transitions, and of course the subject matter.... it's your best! You are up there with Per in your wildlife filming! Very nicely done.

Cat
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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Matt,

what can I say other than, totally Awesome. Fabulous footage, dead clear, fantastic voice over, and I even like the music!!!!

you got a winner here!!
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 08:33 PM   #4
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Mat,
I know how hard it is to even find herps, let alone getting them engaged in interesting behaviors and keeping up with them. They don't take stage direction well. Your skill is showing. Keep it up, buddy.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 02:32 AM   #5
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Mat, a very nicely made and informative film you got here! Your editing is very good, with stunning close-ups of the viper! It's not easy to make interesting scenes for 3 minutes but I think you did well, maybe a bit rushed towards the end as you mention yourself!
And the VO was perfect this time. The music blended very well too!

This is one of your best entries, Mat!
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Old June 24th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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Mat - Great. Perfectly set up, really nice intro from the wider to the ground level, drew me in!
Shots were jaw - dropping throughout, particularly the fight and orgy scene (erm for want of a better word...) and you did a fantastic job with really smooth panning and follow.
VO was well paced, interesting and informative and tied closely to the action - definatley improved on this front.
The tiny, nit picky thing i will say is I didn't like the start. I guess i never like seeing the abrupt stop and start of landscape pans, I would have chosen to fade in one moving.
But hey, thats like a 0.005% crit in a great film. Nice one dude!!!
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Old June 24th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #7
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Hi Mat,

Yes, this certainly is a top class entry - which all your entries have been however, I think you have taken this one to a new level.

Some of the techniques you use work really nicely. I like the way you use the music along with your narration - and the way you move to each. Also loves the out of focus sunlight ending. Little things, but they just seem to give it that professional polish.

As always, very well researched and informative entry. Also, the story was very complete as opposed to having a single shot of a snake, and trying to put a story around it. I especially liked the fact you were able to capture the males fighting and also the attempted orgy - which I guess it was.

Technique was really professional, with smooth tracking of the subjects and also the variety of shots. Were you using a track at one stage, or was it just a short pan? Transitions worked very nice (the overlayed dissolve is my favourite) - although I was also surprised to open your entry to see the heath with no title. It may have worked better to use the same transition starting from black film, leading into the heath shot. This small critisism is really me trying to find something I would change - as I know you want constructive critisism in this forum (nit picking really).

Overall, I personally think this is your best entry to date and can't see how you could have improved on it. It is also one of my favourites in this round so far (with a few more to view).

Well done Mat, I know you put a lot of effort into your filming and I think you should be very pleased with this outcome.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #8
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Nice one fella!
In the beginning of this round I hade an idea about the Viper but throw it away. Your film was fantastic Mat, really nice. You voice is perfect for narrating, clear and smooth. Nice shot and a good variation of different angels and wide/close ups. I really liked the shots with one female and X males… maybe just the music, it’s something about it that is a bit disturbing.
Solid story with lots of info.
WELL DONE!
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Old June 25th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #9
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Hello Mat

Exselent work, and supricing to see how clouse you was the viper.
I have seen allot of this, but fare by so clouse as you was.
Must say you make a greit enter here.


VJV.

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Old June 26th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #10
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Outstanding...just like watching The Discovery Channel.

Not only are you far more talented than I, you're braver.
Being close was the only way to get the shots I saw...Wow.

And, as the others have said, it was technically very, very well done.

I have zero to offer as far as improvements.

Bob
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #11
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Great learning experience+Great images+Great science+Great narration= top flight nature film
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Old June 27th, 2008, 07:54 AM   #12
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Many thanks guys for all the kind words. I do feel that things are far more polished with this entry.

Thanks also for a kick up the a*se with the VO that a couple of you gave me in the last round. It made me nail it down much better this time. Thats exactly why I like critique, its a great platform on which to improve.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #13
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An almost spotless entry Mat.

Massive congratulations. You really showed off British nature with well pitched film. Thanks for that. There were some excellent shots and the narration was very good.

I look forward to seeing what you will treat us with next round.

Pete.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #14
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Mat,
The Adder as a subject can be hard enough to find let alone video, I spent time this spring at my local WL reserve failing what you have captured on video, so well done on that.
The short with the VO was well wrapped taking us into the heath with a short bit on the heaths plant/animal biodiversity.
Taking us to some great shots of male and female, and to capture the males fighting for dominance must have been a feel good factor, those mesmerising rust red eyes in the females close up V good shot
Then as the setting sun starts to cast long shadows, you take us for quick glance into last autumns dead leaves for a final view of a male adder setting down for the night love it all well done.


Ps. The Hares were from a Sth Oxfordshire Reserve While filming Barn Swallows and Red Kites.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #15
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Very very nice movie. I learned a lot about this adder and adders in general and really enjoyed the way you put the information across. Good clear images and nice use of music. Definitely a top contender.

(A small observation and question - that bird call seems to be in the background of all your movies - is it because these birds are actually present everywhere you go or do you add the call in afterwards? I think it is the pitch of that particular bird call that that always gets my attention.)
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