UWOL#9 Trent Life - by Russ Holland at DVinfo.net

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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #1
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UWOL#9 Trent Life - by Russ Holland

http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen..._trentlife.mov

This is my first entry to the UWOL challenge, and I'm rather pleased how it's turned out. Since my youngest had an accident a couple of weeks ago, I've not been able to get out to where I wanted to go, but wasn't going to give up and take a dip with the sharks...

The film was shot entirely on our Trent and Mersey canal; a place where I often walk to the school and stop to look at all the birds and wildlife that lives there. Not all of it appears in my film, they were rather shy on the day, but I managed to whittle down an afternoon's footage into 10 mins, then pick the best of the best of what I had left to come up with the finished product, Trent Life.

It inspired me to want to produce a series of films showing life on the canal, possibly a year in the (wild) life of. I'd give each 'family' names, and relate to their activities through story and narration, and show how the seasons changing affect their habitat...

Anyway, I hope you enjoy Trent Life, it is the second wildlife film I've made, and definately not the last.

Best wishes,


Russ
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #2
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I like the subject of following life in one spot and shot whatís going in, but I miss a VO. I would like to get some info about how they stay alive, food, predators and so on. Something to wrap the film to a solid story, even if you donít like you voice, most of the time the viewer do. And with training you will get more comfortable and better. I think that a VO brings more to a story.
Nice done
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Old June 25th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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Russ....Nice first entry...keep 'em coming!

Nice, pretty area there. Liked the shots of the canal. I too would have liked to hear a little narration about the place, maybe some history.

Some nice close shots of the birdlife along the canal. I particulary liked the two birds working together to build a nest.

Looking forward to your next one.

Bob T.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #4
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Russ, congrats with a well done first entry. I liked it alot! Second about the lack of narration. I think this could have enhanged this a lot.
In particular I liked the scenes about the moorhen, nice to look at how they cooperate at the nest.
Great entry, keep up your good work!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #5
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Russ:

Welcome friend! What a lovely piece. Just completely happy all the way through. Very solid filming and the choice of music was perfect for setting the relaxing, happy go lucky mood. I so enjoyed this, Thank you! I had a chuckle at your credits though! Hats off to anyone who can read them as the zipped by. Other than that no critical comment to be had!

Cato
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Old June 26th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments and feedback so far, for my first entry, I'm glad it's making people happy.

http://www.vimeo.com/1231722

This is a Vimeo version, to save the long download times of the .mov.

BTW, can anyone tell me why my film takes ages before it starts to play, and others I watch seem to play as they download?

Thanks again!

oh, the credits...
TRENT LIFE
Filmed on Trent & Mersey Canal, Burton on Trent
Music by Britt Warren available on eStockMusic.com
Film produced by Russ Holland for UWOL Challenge #9
©2008 Russ Holland

If anyone's interested :)


Russ
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Old June 26th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #7
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Russ:

Saw your film, and loved your presentation style, imagery, and composition techniques !
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:46 PM   #8
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Hi Russ,
Really enjoyed your film. Good range of shots, and loved the closeups of mallard ducklings - good stuff. I guess one of the real benefits of a canal environment is the ability to get close to wildlife, and that must help somewhat!! I thought the moorhen sequence was hilarious, as I instantly pictured a Johnny Morris voiceover:

Husband:"Here you go wifey, got some lovely green stuff for the nest!"
Wife:"It's not the spiky stuff again is it? You know what I told you last time - no spiky stuff.."
Husband: " Naaaah, got some great advice off a coupla sparrows who were drinking down the lock.... dirt cheap too, the errrr hooky bits hold it together..."
Wife: "Hooky bits?"

Maybe next round huh ;-) Nice effort, good first challenge, look forward to seeing more of your stuff!!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Evans View Post
a Johnny Morris voiceover:
that's not the guy who used to do the comedic voices for the animals on screen - that was a while back, I used to enjoy that.

good film Russ - everyone seems to have a lot of wildlife together this time, I enjoyed it
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:27 AM   #10
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Hi Russ,

Great first UWOL entry!

Watching the beautiful shots, combined with a great choice of music, I was thinking what a great place to live. I love the life along the river approach you took, and I really enjoyed watching your solid camera work (some nice smooth tracking of the birdlife) and very sharp images. I think it might have been nice to hear some of the ambient noises - as well as the birds themselves as I think it would have given it the atmosphere I think it needed. Maybe the same sort of approach that Mat took in his entry (The Heath) might work well and might me worth considering for your future life along the river films. I didn't like the sparrows shot, followed by a bird on a lawn as it seemed to come from something else and take us away from the river/canal (I'm nit picking here Russ) theme.

The addition of the barges cruising along was very nice and really added to story I believe you were trying to convey - which I thought you did well. Maybe some people working away in the background, with some wildlife included would be a nice addition. Boy, there are so many options when working in such a setting.

As your first or second nature film, I can certainly understand why you are pleased with the outcome! Congratulations is all I can say.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paul Mailath View Post
that's not the guy who used to do the comedic voices for the animals on screen - that was a while back, I used to enjoy that.
Paul yes thats the chap, have some incredibly vivid memories of watching it as a very tiny kid. In fact probably part of the reason I'm doing UWOL ;-)

Little bit of info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Magic
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Old June 28th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #12
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Russ,

Welcome to UWOL!

You remind me just how good the VX2100e really was, and make me miss it a bit. But I've made my choice to go HD, and must suffer it! Did you use any sort of telephoto adapter? I recall the 12x lens always left me a little bit short.

I loved the extreme close ups of the mallard chicks. I'm a sucker for baby birds of any sort but these guys just take the biscuit.

There was a really good tracking shot at around 1:40, where one moorhen brings a twig to the other one for the nest - that was really good. I keep saying it, but I do struggle when trying to track wildlife like that. That sequence is just lovely.

Overall, some good, solid camerawork and lots of great sequences and shots.

Like Rob, Johnny Morris is probably the sole reason why I love wildlife so much.

...And that's wonderful, because I now can't get the Animal magic theme out of my head!
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Old June 28th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #13
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Hi Mike

Thanks for your comments, I can't bring myself to make the move to HD, I just love my VX2100. I've not used any adaptor for this film, I wish I could have got closer, but the 12x has to suffice.

Those mallard chicks really are cute, got loads of footage of them but had to remember this is a 3 minute film! To get those shots I was lying on my belly hanging precariously over the waters edge; one slip and I'd be cameraless... But you do what has to be done to get the shot!

Johnny Morris... A true wildlife great. Johnny Kingdom got me into wildlife only a year or so ago, not to everyone's taste though, but in his own little way he was enough to get me filming the great outdoors.

Best wishes,

Russ
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Old June 28th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #14
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Russ,
Well done on taking the plunge with your first uwol challenge.
I know little of the Trent and Mersey Canal, it starts near Runcorn and finishes some 90 miles at a junction with the River Trent in Derbyshire.
Your video showed what might be seen along this watercourse and as many have said, you caught a nice sequence with the moorhens getting a nest together
For your second WL film it was well put together.

I hope your daughter is getting better.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 06:57 PM   #15
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Good solid first entry Russ, I liked the shot selection and the editing was quite smooth. VO would have livened it up some, but it went well with the music.

Nice work.
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