Uwol X Arid Recovery by Nigel Kerby at DVinfo.net

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Old September 1st, 2008, 09:36 AM   #1
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Uwol X Arid Recovery by Nigel Kerby

I really enjoyed my first UWOL entry and would appreciate any feedback. At first I was a bit thrown by the theme, but came up with a plan to head to the Outback. I've been to the Arid Recovery reserve before as my brother and his family live nearby in the mining town of Roxby Downs. I was able to get a couple of days off work and drove 650km from Adelaide to get there! For those who haven't been, Australia is not a small place... There's one stretch of bitumen on the way up there where you won't see a single man-made structure (house, shop, petrol station, nothing) for 170km!

At short notice, I was able to organise access to the reserve (I had to report in and out each time I went through the locked gate) and spent three days filming.. Luckily it's an Aussie winter right now, so the temperatures were nice and cool (it's not a place you want to spend all day in when the summer temps are 45C+).

For those interested, some of the animals that I saw which ended up in the PSA included a wedge-tailed eagle (4th biggest eagle in the world) looking a tad bedraggled, a sleepy lizard (shingle-back lizard) and the nocturnal shots which I took with my HVR-A1P are the only species of small kangaroo that can make burrows called a burrowing bettong. These are one of the main species that the Arid Recovery Project is trying to re-introduce to the area, as so much of Australia's wildlife of that size has been decimated over the last century or so by feral cats and foxes or eaten out by introduced rabbits.

It looks like the 60 sec. spot will be added to their website in due course. I agree with Meryem, this theme was such a good excuse to get to a location like this.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 01:20 AM   #2
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Hi Nigel
Good first entry to UWOL contest.Stunning visuals of a place like no where else on earth...That part of the world might as well be on mars as it offers so much not seen anywhere else.Worthy organisation protecting a worthy piece of planet earth..Great video enjoyed watching it...cant wait to see more from you
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:16 AM   #3
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Hi Nigel - Welcome aboard - what a challenge to get started on!

It is always encouraging to hear about programs like this one - people putting things of value back into place.

Your concept for this PSA is very simple - text introducing the arid recovery program and a collage of images showing the denizens that now inhabit this recovered habitat. You certainly managed to find a good selection of very interesting species there so it is obviously working. You also have some really nice shots - I especially appreciate your footage of the lizards - nice low angles - worth getting down onto the ground to get shots like that. That one critter seemed to have a lot to say about it though! I particularly like the way you have used the logo at the end of the video and your choice of music.

Your message comes across quite clearly although I feel that the ‘where/when/what/why/who and how’ info, delivered verbally, that could have made this more complete and very interesting, is somehow missing. (I wanted to know more on seeing your images.)
One other small thing - be careful not to cut the image too quickly after a pan. Allow it a little standing time. My brain needed to settle on the fence a fraction longer after your vertical pan down.

Look forward to seeing more from your neck of the woods.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 10:55 AM   #4
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wow, what a great location to shoot...amazing diversity of animal life. I'd probably offer up feedback similar to Marj's -- I'd drop the opening titles and put it in voice, so that you get to interesting images faster and use that time to hold some of those shots...you have 12+ seconds out of a minute devoted to titles over black, and that's a pretty high percentage in a 1 minute piece. With a VO, you could probably even drop in a few more interesting bits of context about the place, with proper pacing, and still not take anything away from the diversity of shots. Especially at the point where you introduce the human in the night sequences. I would probably keep the night shots grouped together as a sequence, as well. The color contrast that results from inter-cutting these with the daytime shots is not as organic as it could be.

But you have some amazing animal shots and some marvelous macro shots, especially the snake -- the framing of the shot and the side lighting on his face are wonderful. Or is that just a close-up of the lizard? What kind of lizard is that, anyway? The shot where he hisses at the camera is pretty amazing, too, is that the same beastie?

Kudos for getting the harder Challenge round out of the way first! It only gets easier from here! And welcome to UWOL!
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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This is a very nice entry… well done! I love the close up on the lizard… nice.
Good job

Markus
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 03:00 PM   #6
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Nigel,

I think you got a winner here. It has a great spectrum of what your group is trying to prreserve!!

SOME GREAT IMAGES (I AM PARTIAL THE THE WEDGETAILED EAGLE).

the snake head was pretty awesome too!!!Great job!!
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 06:31 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

All the reptile shots were of the one species of sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa). I saw two different specimens while filming. As their name suggests, they are pretty slow moving and it's no problem to pick them up - their main line of defence is to open their mouth wide as you saw in one of the shots, but it doesn't take long before they just lose interest in you.

I was a bit torn about how much more info to include in the PSA. I guess I went with this simpler idea as the intention is for the spot to be included on their website where a 'visual postcard'/soft sell felt more appropriate and people can get the other info while at the website.

I also cringe at the thought of adding my voice to a spot like this (hate the sound of my voice on tape I guess). Do other people have that problem?
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 10:13 AM   #8
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Hi Nigel,

Welcome to the uwol family!
Hope to see more of your films. Stay with us!

You got some stunning shots there. The eagle is my favorite.
Hearing your own voice on video the first time usually sounds weird, but you will get used to it. We have all been more or less through it. :)
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Old September 4th, 2008, 07:34 AM   #9
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Hey Nigel,

Beautiful clear images...like others have said the lizard shots were really cool. I also thought your end titles were excellent against the sand backdrop and with the professional logo.

I loved the video...but I never been a fan of that "PSA" type music. I would to have liked to heard the didgeridoo and drums throughout...the synthesized portion with the modern beat and piano was a little distracting to me. This is only a suggestion, because I really enjoyed your picture. Just so you know there are always musicians out there who are willing to have their music heard for free as long as you promise to give a little credit.

Nice work...
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Old September 7th, 2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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Hi Nigel and well done on your uwolx video.

You have some great shots there, with beautiful colours.
You give us a variety of reptiles, birds, plants and animals showing what it's all about, still I would have liked a narrator giving me the message instead of text.

Not much more I can say, other than to wish you all the best and good luck.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #11
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I really nice piece Nigel and great more UWOL team Aussie members. Well introduced and with a nice selection of very Aussie shots that gave a good idea of species diversity. I think you were lacking some change of detail in your shots/edit. As it was I think you could have chopped about 10-12 seconds (mostly similar type repeated shots) OR changed them for added detail. With a piece like that isn't following any 'story' as such every shot should bring you something new and keep you wanting the next one.

That said this is a great entry and possibly top3 imo, so great first attempt! You certainly started on a toughie.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #12
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Hi Nigel,
Welcome to UWOL! I really enjoyed your entry! I agree with others that your shots of the animals were great, and I also really appreciated the bird footprints in the sand which match the logo. Really liked the time lapse to night, and then night shots of the burrowing kangaroos. I agree with Meryem that it may have been nice to have all night shots together, especially since it seemed that with the time lapse to night, you were telling us it was night now; and then when we were reintroducted to day, it was odd having night shots intermingled. (I also felt there was perhaps 1 too many shots of the kangaroo?)

I understand your approach to telling your story as a sort of visual postcard, and that people could get other info. from the website. I really enjoyed this approach, and in the context of the website, I, unlike others, feel that giving more info in the video may have been redundant/unnecessary. So, I don't think anything was missing by your not delivering more information by a VO or such. (I also HATE my voice on video and would almost always perfer subtitles over the sound of my voice!)


Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff! As much as I love creatures from the rocky mountains (where I live) it's so refreshing to see video of wildlife from other parts of the world!

Best,

Amelia
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