UWOL #9 - 'Black Swans' - Paul Mailath at DVinfo.net

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Old June 23rd, 2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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UWOL #9 - 'Black Swans' - Paul Mailath

Well, after my 'hide experience' I decided to just move stealthily along the foreshore to get close to some swans. Moving stealthily in swamp while wearing gumboots and carrying a camera is an acquired talent - unfortunately I haven't acquired it yet.

Still I got some footage and happily made my way on to dry land trying to ignore the 'thrulp, thrulp' of my boots as I extracted them from the mud with every step.

I originally had no narration, just music and perhaps I should have stuck with that but I came across a poem that appealed to my sense of humour - it's a tad on the absurd side - so I threw it in. (I sincerely hope it doesn't offend anyone)

This was all shot on the Canon XH-A1 with the Raynox 1.8 teleconverter.

http://www.vimeo.com/1200856

One thing I'd really like to know is how much raw footage do you guys usually start with?
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Last edited by Paul Mailath; June 24th, 2008 at 01:26 AM.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 11:18 PM   #2
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Paul,
Your swan footage is great, nicely framed and shot. But your narrative is completely wonderful. Never in all my life would I have expected a discourse on Zeus and Dido and at UWOL. Now I have to stop reviewing the entries, because all I can think about is Lady G'diva on a horse. A forty centimeter schlong? Is that what you said? I don't know what's in that Aussie beer, but I've GOT to have some. Totally teriffic. Can't wait for your next entry.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #3
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Paul,

Very nice footage of the swans!! Ihe music was gentle and well suited. I found the peom intriguing and intertaining. Did you read it and record it? The quality of the audio was awesome. I personally have real trouble with audio voice overs. How did you get it so nice??


Very very nice!!
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #4
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Hi Paul:

Mesmerizing... and completely captivating. I thought your poem reading brought a lot to it so I'm glad you kept it in. This is excellent. I also liked how everything seemed to be in grays which made the black swans really stand out. Then just a touch of color at the end with your credits. WAY COOL. I was completely taken by this!

Cat
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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I like your narration Paul. Unique words to go with a unique animal. Kind of speaks for them since they don't speak for themselves. And thank you for this because until your entry, I never knew you could order swans in jet black with red trim. Always thought we were limited to white with orange trim. Guess those are the US models.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:12 AM   #6
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Watched your video a few times Paul.Glad you decided to go with the poem in the naration,as I think it adds greatly to the overall video.Nice entry Paul
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:58 AM   #7
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And the music was cool too !
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Old June 26th, 2008, 03:07 AM   #8
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Nice one PaulÖ well done. I, personally, donít like the design of the titles and it was a bit hard to read in the small window. But that was the one thing I would complain about, I liked you film, that would have been nice with close ups but I fell I donít miss them in this film. The poem was nice, worked well with the film.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #9
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Hi Paul.

I like this entry a lot.

A lovely subject! Extremely photogenic with its bold contrast to the colour of the surrounding water.

I believed we had and escaped Australian black swan living happily on a lake near us but she doesnít have the white plumage on her primary feathers so now I am not so sure.

Shame about the twigs and sticks in the shot but as a fellow uwol-er who had hide problems I can sympathise.

Lovely music and a great poem well read.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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What can I say...absolutely wonderful, great images,excellent music and the vo well well how can you beat that.

So far one of my picks to be in the top films this round.

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Old June 26th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #11
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Black swans....now, those are cool! I didnít know they existed; you gave us a wonderfully long look at them and their activity.

You asked about the amount of raw footage people acquire. Might we assume that to get those beautiful shots you stayed in your blind and in the swamp for a *few* hours with the camera running? :)
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Old June 27th, 2008, 01:24 AM   #12
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A while ago I heard that a black swan was a metaphor for something that could not exist, now I know I was wrong! Beautiful film Paul and I learned something from your narrating too. Some minor flaws in composition and level of horizon on a couple of clips but that is minor.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #13
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thanks guys - I'm happy that I'm improving

Yes the word was indeed schlong - an Americanism I believe (he's a US poet) - it was really out of left field which is why it appealed to me

Audio wise I just use a small desk mike (with a home made pop filter) and then spend time in Adobe soundbooth cleaning it up.

My alternate narration was going to be about the philosophical theories that surround the late discovery of the black swan (that which cannot exist) starting from the Roman 'rara avis - a rare bird in the land and very much like a black swan'

I'm really interested in your comment Per Johan regarding composition - tell me more! I don't really understand composition so I'd love to see what I did or didn't do in order to get a grasp on the concept. (BTW we are still working on the short film, your footage is in there and I did the narration in my version of a Finnish accent!)

great to be part of UWOL and I learn so much from all of your videos (even if I don't feel competent to comment on most of them).
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Last edited by Paul Mailath; June 27th, 2008 at 09:20 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #14
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Paul,

That was great. I've seen those swans on lakes near the road out to Williamtown airport at Newcastle, NSW. I liked the thought that it might've been normal white swans covered in coal dust, but that's probably just a bit fanciful on my part! It was good to see a little more of them than the glimpse I normally get.

I think the shots through the branches looked well, they gave good depth to the image. Lovely images of the swans.

I did notice that the commentary was only on the right channel - was that deliberate? Either way, it was a great commentary definitely something different from the norm.

And the 40cm schlong... great, I now feel inadequate next to a black swan!! I really did laugh out loud at that bit. You've made my day!
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Old June 28th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #15
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Well done, Paul!

Great shots of a very pretty animal. I enjoyed it!

I think the poem was a stroke of genuis...good move. And your voice is excellent for the job.

I also had to go back and listen again...and yep, that's what you said :)

Good work!

Bob
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