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The UWOL Challenge
An organized competition for Under Water, Over Land videographers!


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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:19 PM   #16
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First of all, getting a message across in 30 to 60 seconds will make anyone a better filmmaker.
It's hard enough to do it in three minutes. But 30 seconds teaches you what is important. So whether you aspire to do this for a living or just wanna make better vacation videos, the PSA theme is going to teach you how to tighten up your work to what is only necessary and cut out the fluff.

Secondly, if these places didn't exist, a lot of the places I film, wouldn't exist. These people fight every day to save the places I want to film. Often times they are fighting an uphill battle that they don't often win. They operate on minimal funding and depend on donations to give them the tools they need to protect natural areas here in Iowa.

Indian Creek Nature Center has to figure out how to come up with over $300k to buy a piece of natural Iowa called Prairie Ridge from being developed into million dollar homes. If they can't do it, then that land is gone forever. I'll never again see wild turkeys gathered near the creek that flows through the property, or the woodland wildflowers that grow there. I'll won't be able to sit in a spot so quiet that I can hear a maple leaf hit the ground, or the wind whistling over the wings of the birds that call the ridge home. It'll all be bulldozed away and one more piece of the Iowa that was will be gone.

I think it's a great theme. I think it's a chance to give back. If you don't give back, then there may not be anything left for you to take.

Wilderness is my church. There is no other place that touches my soul and recharges my spirit.

I've already contacted two non-profits in my area, The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation had been instrumental in protecting a lot of Iowa's natural areas. They also work closely with other national organizations to identify and protect areas of Iowa that are quickly disappearing.

Twelve minutes after getting the theme, they were already emailing me saying they were very interested.

Shortly after that I was contacted by another organization Prariewoods who was very interested as well.

They ended their email by saying "Thanks for thinking of us!" These are the people that fight every day to try and protect the natural Iowa so that I can share with you the beauty of Iowa in my UWOL films.

It's not about making this a business thing. The way I look at this is that the people who fight to protect the natural areas of Iowa need the best tools they can find to convince the people that can make a difference. They're not going to put up just anything so that I can be judged in this challenge. This challenge is about making me a better filmmaker. I'll know if I met that challenge when they say we'd like to put this up on our website. That's because it will be a good film. If it's a good film then that means I've become a better filmmaker in the process.

I think the twist is that extra something I need to push myself to go the extra mile to make as good of a film as I possibly can. I don't think it's intended to turn us into "pros". For me, it's about making a film good enough that an organization trying to preserve something is willing to say this is what we represent and what we are fighting for. If they felt that way about my film then THAT gives me goose bumps!
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Old August 1st, 2008, 01:11 PM   #17
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Well, I have to say that my first thought is that I am not even close to skilled enough to create a professional PSA. Not for wildlife. I will either have to come up with a sudden brainstorm or sit this one out. This is a hobby. Finding an organization might be a little to far beyond my comfort level.

I know that there are some birds over on the coast that need some protection, but I just can't spare the time to spend a few days over there trying to capture video on Government land.

And Disney certainly doesn't need my help to support their Animal Kingdom efforts. Even though the efforts are worth contributing to.

Too much for me, I think. We'll see.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 04:42 PM   #18
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Jeez Meryem,
I work 9 to 14 hour days at my real job 6 days a week. No time for something like this.
Can you say "Great White".

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Old August 1st, 2008, 06:07 PM   #19
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first,



Remember the uwol theme is OUTDOORS, not just wildlife!!! I am a wildlife photographer, not a movie maker, not an advertising agency.

Professionally all I do is event videographer and the odd promo.

From what I have seen everyone from this group has the skills to do this!!!!!!!

Most have more skills than I by a fair amount.

I contacted an organization this morning after oking my theme with Meryem. They are reved up about the idea. To the point they want me to do a ten minute piece to put on a ctv special (they do ten minute or less films on local or cultural activities). We will see about that one. I am also contacting a station in another province that runs all wildlife and hunting films, I suspect I might get in that door as well, but perhaps not in the 30 days. If nothing else It can be used by the organization as a dvd promo.

AND Remember Meryem said a useful dvd to be used is good too!!!!!


So the news is, Don't Panic friends!!!!

what doesn't kill ya only makes you better!@!! Or is it more cautious????


dale guthormsen
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Old August 1st, 2008, 06:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
Professionally all I do is event videographer and the odd promo.
Dale, that's the thing...many of us do not do anything professionally.
To you, it may not be a big deal to contact stangers and pitch an idea, but to some of us it is....
And, like Steve, I work a different job, 50-60 hours a week. Plus I have family obligations. So I only have evenings and some weekends for this hobby.
Even if I wanted to do this, I'm not going to promise some organisation a PSA and then have to go back hat in hand and say, "Sorry, I got busy at my "real" job and well, you're out of luck."

Give me theme and let me run, make something, good or bad and show it to my peers...super, that's fun and I learn a lot....
Give me a job assignment that goes beyone a video based on a theme, well I'm not interested.
Don't take me wrong, I don't make the rules and it's not my game...so I'm not upset, just dissapointed that I'm not in a position to play.

I hope it works out well for you. I can't wait to see what people come up with.

Bob
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Old August 1st, 2008, 06:49 PM   #21
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I can see Bob's point and I'm sure there are some first timers who are thinking "why didn't I wait till next round!!!"

I'm doing this to learn more about the craft, but having fun is essential. I'm not in it for the competition, just to learn.

So.. I'll just ignore the judging part:

"The theme, then, is PSA (Public Service Announcement) - a 30 - second (or 1-minute) commercial spot that you produce, shoot, edit, and deliver for a planet- or people-friendly organization in your area, typically considered, but not restricted to, a non-profit do-gooding agency."

I'll look for a local cause and produce a TVC that would appeal to me, I might even stretch the boundaries and do it on something like coal mining or power stations & pollution or what about the local progress association (that's a people friendly organisation)

The judging is pretty irrelevant to me (sorry guys) what I value is your comments on my efforts - so I'll do 'my' version of the theme.

One thing I think we do need to agree on is finding Grant and gaffertaping his mouth shut so he cant come up with any more 'great' ideas :-))

don't not get involved because you don't like the theme, just modify the theme , unless you're really that concerned about the judging (sorry to be subversive)
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Old August 1st, 2008, 07:53 PM   #22
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Ok, the "Live Nude Furry Creatures" title joke was interesting...I obviously still need some time to adjust to this group... :-)

At first I too was somewhat crestfallen that it wasn't just a theme to pursue, however, due to my interest in maybe making filmmaking a career, I know that this is the kind of thing I personally need to do more of. Build my reel, get "business" skills in terms of dealing with clients, etc...

So, we'll see how it all works out but yeah, I ought to do this.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:12 PM   #23
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Well I was very excited about UWOL X - knowing I was heading to New Zealand in 3 days (for 10 days) and would be able to capture some amazing scenery. However, given the different approach this time round, it isn't going to leave me with the time when I get back, to commit (to the standard I would like) to this challenge. So I must unfortunately head over to the shark tank and see you all next time round.

Good luck everyone.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:54 PM   #24
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David,


I see your problem about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!!! However a theme of traveling to other parts of the natural world could be a great business advert for inspiring others to appreciate the atural world!!! Bet a travel agency would bite on that!!!


If I only submitted videos to a standard I desire, I would publish nothing, ever.


Again you guys could do something even if you do not compete for the "Big Cash Prize".
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 12:26 AM   #25
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Hi Dale,

Thanks for your comments however, based on the requirements that Meryem has posted, I am under the impression that the approach you suggested wouldn't qualify. I say this as there would be no "qualifying organisation", for want of a better word - no agreement with an entity to show my commercial on their web site or the like, etc.

If it was simply a theme where we all shoot a 30 second commercial which portrays a message about the planet, wildlife, etc - without the requirement to have an arrangement with some organisation or entity, I would agree with your suggestion to film something. In fact, many ideas are already coming to mind. I just wouldn't be able (in two weeks), when I get back from our holiday, to coordinate something with a local entity.

Reading your post Dale, it sounds like you have something which you sound very passionate about. I think that's the thing that UWOL X will ultimately embody - "passion".
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 12:39 AM   #26
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I think just making a 30 sec video is a challenge all by itself....Now I have a local organization I am thinking of ...However I dont know if they have a web site to broadcast the video ( television is way out of my league ) If they dont have a web site I may have to help them create one...failing that I might have to do it on a DVD for them to use in fundraising presentations...would that still qualify?
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 05:42 AM   #27
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About a month ago I made a save the planet, 30 second commercial for a competition , with my video club, the theme pollution/waste/recycling.
The 30-second short, I did in a week as I had a lot of footage to fall back on.

LIVE NUDE FURRY CREATURES?

I think this is a great idea, after a bit of google and a few calls I came up with a few.
But our outlets here in the UK are very limited no small TV outlets we did have, BBC one-minute movies, (just found out their not accepting any more movies) and Channel 4 FourDocs but they are for 3minute Docs videos.

The 3 big national charities donít have video on their web sites, Iíve looked through a lot of smaller Trusts etc. not found one that supports video
I will still go ahead and make a video and see if I can pull a rabbit out of my hat ☺.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 06:38 AM   #28
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Seeing as this is basically what Nick and I do professionally (even If we are very new to the business) this should be an ok one for us. Only thing that worries me is the 30 second aspect. Not much to get a serious message across. Time to think outside the box a bit in terms of the films style.

As for contacting organisations best thing to do is to grab an email address and send off a quick introduction. Most wildlife, conservation and outdoors type organisations are strapped for cash so a bit of free video publicity will normally be jumped at even if you cant promise a compleation date or even comit to finishing the thin at all. remember this is something we are doing voluntarily and no contracts will be signed so time to meet the people doing good in your comunity and see if you can help them out.


Let the adventure begin.


Ps. Love the twist on the theme. Makes a plesant change from just shooting pretty pictures to match a word.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 07:26 AM   #29
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Meryem, what can I say... You did it again!

Interesting theme and concept. But it will be hard, very hard!
Not a clue what to do yet, but I hope I'll come up with something...

GOOD LUCK everyone!
And remember rule #11, have FUN!
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 10:24 AM   #30
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I would have to agree with what Bob and Paul are saying. Like Bob, I also have a full time job and the film making is a hobby. I get a kick out of trying to meet the theme of the competition and seeing what I can do with it and learning something new through trial and error and everyone's comments and suggestions. My first entry was trying my hand at timing music changes with scenery changes along with depth of field shots. My second entry was trying my hand at using a macro lens for the first time. Though poorly executed I did learn something and it was fun doing it. I was really looking forward to this "X" go around but I find myself slightly lost. I've looked to see what organizations are locally to me and although I just started sofar I have not found any. Like Paul I want this to be fun and I may just put a 30 second PSA together and if it does not qualify for the contest do to the rules at least I made an effort to participate and still get to learn something.

Hopefully, if I cannot meet the competition rules I would be allowed to post a link and all you kind people could still honor me with your comments and suggestions. But I have not fully given up yet.

The best of luck to all of you.

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