UWOL 11 - Amazonia by Rob Evans at DVinfo.net

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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:33 PM   #1
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UWOL 11 - Amazonia by Rob Evans

Last winter I took a walk around Burnham Beeches - a large area of protected woodland nearby - they've filmed a lot of medieval stuff there over the years, i think "Robin Hood -prince of theives" was one of them!!!

Anyway, I was fascinated by the wood ant mounds, and so i thought to use them for a future UWOL.

Uwol 11 came round and I was struggling to fit the time in. We went back to the Beeches for a walk, and this time I took the sony A1, which has a useful telemacro function. I found the mounds bristling with activity everywhere, and as usual got thoroughly captivated!!
I shot as much footage as i could in about an hour and a half, which allowed me to form the end result. TBH it's very much a product that has been shoe-horned into the theme, which given enough time would not be my choice - I would love to re-explore this habitat at a later date with more time and preparation, I just learnt so much.

Information wise, i dug most of my research up on the internet, which is where I learnt more about their behaviour, and tied it into the patterns that I observed. The aspect of naration really did make me think more about this, in a good way.

In case you are wondering about the title - Amazonia = land of the Amazons, the feared female warriors. Quite apt, i thought ;)
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:29 PM   #2
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Rob:

This is an excellent presentation. Stunning, fascinating, captivating. This was a perfect mini documentary. Your choice of music fit the subject matter and enhanced the visuals. Your voice-over was flawless. This is up there with Mat's UWOL 9 documentary with the wildlife theme. And you both sound alike! ;-).

A film par excellence.

Thank you,

Cat

p.s. when is your baby due? I have no feel for time and how much of it has slipped away since you announced this wonderful news!
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 03:24 AM   #3
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Hi Cat, thanks for your kind words. I actually feel a bit of a fraud with this film, as It seems to have taken a lot less time and effort than some others!!! I only think it could have been better.....

The "new arrival" is due on 16th November, mum-to-be is doing very well, but shes starting to get very tired in the afternoons. Her social calendar is jam packed with coffee mornings and lunch dates - i think she's enjoying things ;-) I'll keep you updated!!
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:05 AM   #4
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Rob,

The last year or so I have become more interested insects as subjects, so watching this mini documentary was stimulating and inspiring for me, another reason to hurry the oncoming winter along!!

I thought the imagery was good and the flow was smooth throughout. A pleasure to watch and learn.

Most excellent!!

Boy have the levels of quality in uwol escalated this last year!!
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 01:37 PM   #5
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Rob,

Really enjoyed your film. I do like the documentary style of narration and fond it very informative. The images of the any behaviour were excellent. My only tiny criticism would be the music. Found it a tad repetitive.

Great stuff!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 03:57 AM   #6
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Hi Rob,

This was entertaining, and now I have learned something new as well. :)
You have a good and interesting story, and it is well delivered!
And the music fits very well to the pictures and VO.
Well done!!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #7
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ugh, I feel itchy now! I rather liked the musical selection - it added to the overall feeling of itchiness and drama.

Great film! One of the things that I most enjoy in this contest is an original take on a familiar subject. This is one of the most informative pieces in the contest. You really get down and dirty with these bugs.

The isolation shot on the ant larvae is killer!
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Old October 24th, 2008, 01:49 PM   #8
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Nice one Rob… well done!
This was a really good and informative film. I live the communication-shot with the lighted ring around the subject. The digital zoom in works well too, nice idea. If I would look at some negatives, you previous films have hade stunning photo and nice DOF, but with this one you didn’t and it was a bit over exposed in some shots. When you hade the shot at the nest half shadowed, half sun lighted, I think you hade a problem with the right exposure. Maybe choose between the two different lightings. But for the positive side you hade a nice story… and did tell it good…. Really good.

Cheers Rob

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Old October 24th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #9
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Tried the ant thing a bit a few challenges back, and I know how hard it is to shoot just the right angle. You did a great job. And narration is great too. I thought it was well done !
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Old October 25th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #10
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My first idea was also to make a film from an anthill. I am glad I not even tried. Your film is informative and interesting. You have managed to follow the busy ants at work, and you seem to understand these big-brained insects very well.



I had no video camera last year, but I made a stunning ant film with an Olympus mini mju compact camera. I hope you don't mind me adding a link to my first video project. A big fave outside contest. Shooting this film was so great fun that I just had to buy a proper video camera.


YouTube - Big ant walking on Norwegian wood
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Old October 25th, 2008, 09:16 PM   #11
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Thanks again Rob:

Watched your film again, fully enjoyed it. It is amazing what you have produced here.

Cat
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Old October 26th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #12
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Hey Rob

Great piece fella. I really liked the level of detail you brought to it. The highlighting made up for the slight lack of macro on the A1 although I'm amazed by the level you did achieve considering its a fixed lens camera. Overall I felt it needed more of a premise, something more to hang the sequence on and within the piece more of a rise and fall in tensions. That said I think these points would have just added a cherry to an already very nice cake.

Top notch.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #13
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Hi Rob,
Burnham Beeches home of Formica rufa an area not far from my home along with Black Park the pinewood good places to see those giant ants,

I liked the back ground music making it feel busy and little tense, then filming near those little critters I guess you would feel a little tense,
not nice having an army of them running up your trouser legs ☺

I like the use of highlighting the ants, the story line was full of information
With good VO and well-shot film.


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Old October 28th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #14
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Rob that was very professional, like something you would watch on Discovery or something. Really interesting, entertaining and informative, the perfect UWOL piece. I thought the music was perfect, the pacing of the cuts were fun, and the cinematography was excellent...I have no critiques.

Jeff
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:12 PM   #15
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Rob,

Wow!, that was amazing. Although my skin was itching watching it. :)

I thought it was well thought out and executed. Had some really great shots.

I'd love to see a longer piece done on these guys!
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