UWOL X Bad Lighting Costs by James McBoyle at DVinfo.net

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Old September 1st, 2008, 02:56 AM   #1
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UWOL X Bad Lighting Costs by James McBoyle

The Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign is affiliated to the Dark Skies group and is one of many such groups worldwide who are working to reduce the light pollution that affects the quality of the night sky. Rather than the problem that bad lighting causes, for wildlife from broken diurnal cycle to navigation hassles, or for people not getting to see the sky in all its glory, it was that this also wastes money that was the hook this was built around.

That I'd not even picked up a camcorder of any type until spring of this year made me worry about entering, and I'd have probably jumped into the shark tank happily just to keep from letting everyone see what I'd produced, but for some reason the people from ILPAC liked what I've done for them and will be putting it up on their website. An early version has already been shown at the recent European conference that was held in Vienna, something that caused no end of nervousness at the time, and the finished one will be used at the next one when it's held in Ireland.

The Vimeo page for this is here: 31_UWX_BadLightingCosts on Vimeo

If you are viewing the mpeg I uploaded, may I suggest using windows media player rather than quicktime, as for some reason I couldn't understand the time-lapse at the start doesn't play properly. I'm not sure how to fix that,(I'm using Vegas Movies Studio Platinum) and I'm surprised the player makes that much difference.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 11:24 AM   #2
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Hi James,

I think you did a good job with your video.
You clearly delivered the message.
Well done!
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Old September 1st, 2008, 12:55 PM   #3
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This is a very interesting PSA/commercial James, and certainly one that has made me aware of something that I did not know before. Living in a relatively large, young country, human habitation has not expanded to the degree that this is a problem although admittedly the electricity supply itself is a huge problem here.

Your written message is clear and to the point but because the text is a bit large it tends to obscure the view of the images that are meant to support the message. I feel that the text would have been better at a smaller size and running across the bottom of your screen so that the images could be clearly appreciated.

Some good night shotsbut I feel the scene accompanying the words - “not just astronomers...” - cuts off too quickly.

I certainly take my hat off to you for doing this as your first entry. Well done.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:52 AM   #4
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Hi James
Loved the time lapse in the establishing shot.In 1988 I flew to London from South Africa.The african continent was pitch black at night...Doing the same trip now so much more of the continent is lit up,granted nowhere near as bad as europe,but enough so to see a problem developing. good first entry...welcome to the UWOL family
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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Who would have guessed that there even is such an organization in Ireland?

Some pretty striking photography that illustrates the issue....I'd like to see the pan at 4 sec. and that tilt at around 9 sec. held a little longer, because it really illustrates the issue, the sky is kind of crazy-bright there. That's the annoying challenge of these shorter videos, how do you cram it all in (without appearing to be cramming it....) and still convey the message effectively.

It did make me log onto Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign - Home to find out more, so I guess that means it worked!

A brave player, for taking this on, in your first attempt at UWOL!

Welcome to UWOL...looking forward to great things under less stressful conditions!

Oliver's piano working to a very nice effect, once again...
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:34 PM   #6
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Firstly, thank you all for the welcome.

Trond - Thank you very much. I realise I have a huge amount to learn to get my filming to your standards, so that you were able to enjoy mine gives my hope I can one day get there.

Marj - Living in the capital city of Ireland there's so much light around that it can be easy to forget the night sky, thankfully where I live has a good view over the sea, and a correspondingly good view of the sky. I did wonder if the text would be too large, but I was also not sure if going with smaller text would work either. Next time I shall try out various sizes to see which one works. The timing of the clip you mention changed a few times in editing, and I now feel that it still pans a bit too quickly and that is what makes the text seem shorter, as all the clips work to the beat of Oliver's wonderful piano piece, again something I will make sure to remember for future films.

John - How the glow has grown is one thing I've noticed over the years. I have a minor interest in astronomy, so I was happy to be able to help ILPAC out. Typically the time-lapse shot was one of those almost-afterthought shots that came out of talking to my contact, and is one of the bits I'm (fairly) happy with

Meryem - Cramming everything in to a 30 second slot, while trying to keep the visual feeling the same as Oliver's music was one of the bigger challenges to editing this film. The other was everything else. :-) I have to say that, even with all the pressure I felt as a novice first-timer signing up to UWOL, this has been a fun learning experience. While I jealously look at the other entries and hope to raise myself to their standards I am very glad I took the first step in joining up with all the wonderful people that makes the UWOL community, and am looking forward to the next challenge.

Have fun,
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 02:27 PM   #7
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Some truly beautiful night shots!!

I would have never guessed such an organization even existed (I live way out in the country).

A fantastic first effort!!!

Look forward to seeing more of your work.
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 06:46 PM   #8
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Hi James,
I really enjoyed your piece. It did a great job of delivering the crucial information in a finessed manner. Loved the time-lapse in the beginning, great night shots, nice camera movement. Can't believe you so recently got a video camera! (You put me to shame, I was still working on focusing issues after 5 months of first camera purchase and didn't even know what time lapse was!)

I agree that the font could be smaller, but then again, perhaps if the video will be ultimately be downsized for viewing on their website, it may be just right.

Hope you had fun with the project and that you will have others to share.

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Old September 2nd, 2008, 09:12 PM   #9
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Hey James,

I have to say the more I watch it the more I like it. It has a very clear message and I really think the music lends a certain depth and ominous feeling to it...kind of like, if we don't do something soon we will be living in perpetual light.

Beautiful shots and like others have said that establishing shot was cool...how did you do that?

I enjoyed it.

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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:53 AM   #10
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Hi James and well done on delivering video for uwolX and welcome to uwol.

I didn't even know about this organization.
You deliver a very good PSA and good choice of music.
As my father is an hobby astronomer I know how importened, correct lightning is for him to look at the stars. It can even save tax and save you money, that's the sound I like to hear :) Great pictures but maybe slow down the tilt ?

Wish you all the best and good luck.
Geir Inge
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Visit me at: www.gibbfilm.no
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Old September 8th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #11
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Once more I have to thank everyone for their comments, and I really do have to thank Oliver for making his wonderful music available for use. There is so much meaning in each piece you can't help but be touched by them.

Dale - Thank you, I'm just glad I was able to get something done.

Amelia - Focussing is definitely a problem, luckily I got to do shots that mostly didn't need any dynamic change of focus, which helped a lot. :-)

Jeff - Luckily my camera, Sony's HVR HD1000, has the ability built-in to take shots at pre-determined intervals, so all I had to do was make sure it was a nice looking shot, start the timer off, and sit around talking and making sure no-one knocked into it for two hours. What I'd like to do at some point is make myself some sort of automatic panning system. With one of those I'd have been able to get a pan across the whole city as night fell rather than just having the static field of view.

Geir - I agree, the tilt was too fast really. Looking at it again it doesn't have the same feel as the other shots from that change of pace the tilt gives. It's something I'll have to re-visit for the group I did this for.

Have Fun,
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Old September 8th, 2008, 08:34 AM   #12
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Really nice James.. I would have like some of the shots a little smoother, but the message is clear and that’s what’s important.

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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #13
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Hi James

A strong message, voiced loud a clear. I think the shot you used to illustrate the light pollution was powerful and really seemed to 'burn' ! While the visual comparisons you drew at the end worked as well. I think you could have pushed this even further with some grading but what you had did the job.

A nice piece, short, sharp and clear !!! Great stuff
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Old September 11th, 2008, 04:44 AM   #14
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Hey James,
Nice entry - actually this was kinda one of my plans for the NIGHT challenge in november last year, but the skies were totally clear whenever I went out - strangely quite frustrating. The images were well composed and exposed, and the message was clearly given out. Well done for getting a film done on this round - it'll set you up well for the next one ;-)
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