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Old October 1st, 2008, 09:52 AM   #1
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UWOL #11 Theme Announcement...Home Sweet Home!

This guest theme is brought to you by our two-time UWOL winner Marj Atkins, who volunteered to spare you from anymore of my nutty ideas. Thanks, Marj!

And now without further ado, in Marj's own words, straight from South Africa to your little corner of the planet...

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The theme for this UWOL challenge round is

HABITAT

Choose any one indigenous biome or habitat type in your area and give us a very simple overview of its character and make-up.

This is an opportunity to apply Brant Backlund’s wonderful insight and advice and give us an interesting story about some of the fauna and flora (and other things) found in your chosen habitat and how they inter-relate.

See:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/uwol-chal...g-process.html
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/uwol-chal...-uwol-9-a.html

To raise the bar this round you must include a narration or voice-over. You do not have to do it personally if you cringe at the sound of your own voice, it does not have to be long and it does not require sophisticated equipment - simply use your camera mike to record your story if necessary.

Entries will be judged on excellence of presentation, story line and how the theme is implemented.

Have fun!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #2
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nice theme...

thanks Marj and Meryem
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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Yep.....very nice indeedy! hhhmmm I wonder what habitat Markus will pick ;-)
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:44 AM   #4
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Yep.....very nice indeedy! hhhmmm I wonder what habitat Markus will pick ;-)
not the Baltic Sea... I will come up with something new...
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:48 AM   #5
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Interesting.
Now... it´s time to twist the brain and try to find some good idea.

Good luck, everyone!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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Ike blew our habitats away. Hey, maybe that could be a story.

Now if I can just get my wife to do the narration.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 04:39 PM   #7
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Meryem,

This what i was hoping for, something broad reaching, Now the trick will be to narrow it down to make it into three minutes!!!!


Everyone has habitat, great idea!!!

Can't wait to see some the presentations!!
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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I think these last two challenges are having the effect of weeding out those interested in merely trying their hand at making pretty images of nature, both flora and fauna or outdoor sporting activity, from those who are interest in educational/documentary style presentations.

I for one, looked forward to these challenges as an opportunity just to go out an sit somewhere, and record what was there and hopefully communing with nature a bit in the process, while trying to fit it all into the theme of the moment. It was actually quite a learning experience for me, as, frankly, my view of nature before becoming involved with UWOL usually was framed by a car window...

The latest naration component requirement actually expects me to know something about what I am filming, which, in turn, means actual time consuming research.... eeeeeck ! I don't think I can bear that burden, so I think I will bow out gracefully, and watch your presentations..
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 05:09 PM   #9
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Chris, how about finding a person who does know what they're talking about and film them talking about a habitat..... I'm personally chatting to a mushroom man tomorrow and bird man ( my pa, in fact ) on saturday!!

;-)
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 05:18 PM   #10
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The VO requirement doesn't say anything about being scientific or educational or research-based or anything...in fact, Marj's primary mandate says "it doesn't have to be long"

...meaning you can say whatever the heck you feel like, about whatever the heck you want to shoot. Feel free to set it to pretty music.

My daughter caught a beetle and stuck it in a jar yesterday, and I thought to myself, "hmm, a habitat," and have been thinking about ways that I can explore the boxwood beetle in a jar visually.

So my VO would be something along the lines of, "Here is a beetle in a jar."

That tells the story. That's about all you'd need to do to fulfill the requirement.

No need to make this sound harder than it is...
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 01:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
The VO requirement doesn't say anything about being scientific or educational or research-based or anything...in fact, Marj's primary mandate says "it doesn't have to be long"

...meaning you can say whatever the heck you feel like, about whatever the heck you want to shoot. Feel free to set it to pretty music.

My daughter caught a beetle and stuck it in a jar yesterday, and I thought to myself, "hmm, a habitat," and have been thinking about ways that I can explore the boxwood beetle in a jar visually.

So my VO would be something along the lines of, "Here is a beetle in a jar."

That tells the story. That's about all you'd need to do to fulfill the requirement.

No need to make this sound harder than it is...
Word!


Chris, don’t make it harder than it is. Tells us what we don’t se in the frame, for how long have it been dry, are you expecting rain/snow, Temperature. Tell us stuff that you know about the habitat that we can’t se in the frame.
The things you think when you se them “oh, it s hole in the ground, maybe a rabbit hole… no, I think it is a fox hole” or like Rob, interview someone…
I know it sound hard to make a VO, but after you first one, you will see the difference between the film with and without.
Make it easy for you… just tell us about the area you are filming in, I don’t know anything about Elk Grove, CA… but I what to know more!
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 12:30 PM   #12
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I will check out the local preserve here, where I have shot before to see if I can put together something, still, and perhaps I can even come up with some VO information from the information center.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that UWOL Challenge seems to be in a transition at this point. The films have been getting better and better, more professional, and more informative. I think Meryem's two recent challenges have raised the bar on content and message, which is probably a good thing in the growth of the Challenge, but it must be expected that in raising that bar some of us will drop off the competition. I will be curious as to how good a turn out occurs on this challenge with the added required element or elements... I am not afraid of the "documentary" format, by the way, and I am, in fact, entered with Chris Swanberg into the new DVInfo documentary challenge starting this month. But my feeling about UWOL Challenge was that it was like a little vacation every time I participated in it, so being "pinned" down a bit by requirements makes it more like work...

That said, I will try to have an entry....
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 01:29 PM   #13
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Hi Chris: I understand your point. I've been struggling with this very issue. But the part of your point that is missing is that as the players improve, they also need more challenges or else they drop off on the top end as well. The need to serve the players doesn't only flow one direction.

I have always thrown out one theme each year that was intended to push the players, to make it something other than a vacation. That's five vacations a year and one real challenge. Let me repeat that. ONE hard theme a year. Last year, it was NIGHT, and this year it was PSA. I already have one in mind for next year, if this thing even lasts that long.

And let's be clear: I didn't make this theme. This isn't "my" challenge. I received it in a Word document and cut and pasted it into the theme announcement. Marj floated one other theme besides HABITAT, and I asked her to re-consider it on the grounds that it could only work in certain parts of the world and not in others. But other than making sure that it is applicable internationally, I'm not responsible for the content, that is entirely PLAYER-DRIVEN--and the only reason that I let it be player-driven was because everyone was so annoyed with me last round. Let the players take back some authority over the Challenge, what a great idea, that should let them feel like they have some input.

So I think the perspective that UWOL is moving in a specific direction is misguided. I did my thing for the year, and I'm done. I don't know how many times I have to say this for it to finally be heard.

I don't know why ONE hard theme out of six, announced in my loudest, most braying voice, of the six chosen annually seems to have pushed so many buttons and incited so much mistrust. Must be Pluto entering Capricorn, that's the only logical explanation--
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 02:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
I don't know why ONE hard theme out of six, announced in my loudest, most braying voice, of the six chosen annually seems to have pushed so many buttons and incited so much mistrust. Must be Pluto entering Capricorn, that's the only logical explanation--
Since I was one of the "incited", let me give you a polite and respectful answer to that question...if I may.

A difficult theme is not a problem, at least for me. In fact, I think "Night" would have been fun, had I been involved back then.
But when a challenge contains a change in submission requirements, that go beyond the content and format of the video, I had a problem with that.
The last challenge had a fine theme, "PSA", but it also included the added requirement of finding and making a business agreement with an organization.
I'm here to improve my video skills, and that business arrangement, IMO, had nothing to do with the video itself or why I am here.

Now as for this challenge, I think it's a good one. I think the theme, including the VO, fall well within the idea of these challenges, the art of making video.
I wish I had signed up...
(But, being a stubborn SOB, and still peeved at not being able to do all six, I didn't).

So carry on, good luck to you all and I can't wait to see the entries...

BTW Meryem, funny you brought up the bug in a jar. When the theme was announced Oliver and I were talking about a gold fish in bowl...

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Old October 3rd, 2008, 03:27 PM   #15
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Bob, you can still shoot a Habitat film. There's nothing saying you can't go for it! It's just a non-judged entry is all.
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