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Old February 28th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #16
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Hi Mike,
Yes i will certainly be including the "search" for the caribou into my plan as well as a lot of interviews with the biologists to fill my story with facts & to really help the viewer understand the life of the mountain caribou and the threats to their livelihood. At the end of the day my film will either be about the day to day lives of the mountain caribou throughout the year with accompanying shots & cutaways to interviews of the biologists talking about their particular habits etc, or if the shots of the caribou are few & far between then it will be based more on the interviews & the search, with the ending showing how we finally tracked them down and maybe do some stuff on how the herd has changed from the last time they were seen. Hopefully i will get enough to run with plan "A" but even if i have to go to plan "B" then i still think it will make for interesting viewing. I am really excited about this project even though i know it will be a long hard slog. There are so many species dissappearing from the planet every day & as long as humankind continues to eat up resources at the rate that we are currently, then in the not too distant future there will be very little left for any animal, us included.
Bryce
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Old February 28th, 2009, 01:32 AM   #17
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Bryce...

Simply beautiful footage in your initial clip here. Also nicely edited. I cannot wait to see more. The scenery reminds me of "home".

I know that in this initlal entry we all tended to rush things and throw things together to have it in before the deadline, so this comment may be one of those that you already know and will correct, but you had a 60 cycle hum in your voiceovers... If you need any audio help or the loan of any sound equipment when you get to that point let me know.

Nicely done my friend. I cannot wait to see more.

Chris

ps. The time lapse of the low cloud layer was awesome.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #18
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Thanks Chris for the kind words. It certainly was thrown together all at the last minute. As far as the audio goes, well, my voice overs are not normally any good anyway, but this one was particularly bad becuase a used the elcheapo $2 mic that i use for Skype. I normally record any voice over stuff with my Rode NGT 2 mic & it comes out sounding a lot better, it's just my voice & the diologue that's normally the problem. I am working on a script early on this time & plan on refining it over the course of the project so hopefully the diologue at least will be better. Unfortunately i can't do too much about my voice! I don't know much at all about the technical side of audio (or video for that matter) & i couldn't tell you why i have that hum, maybe it's just the cheap mic, but if you are offering help, i will gladly accept your offer. Maybe a little further down the track if i am having difficulties i will pm you if that's ok?
Thanks,
Bryce
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Old February 28th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #19
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Hi again Mike,
Yes you are right about that first pan accross the mountains being too fast. I thought it was too fast when i actually filmed it, & then never bothered to fix it in post during the rush to get it up on the internet. Hopefully for the next instalment i can get some nicer shots that are more refined. I really like the idea of this long form project as it allows us time to do things over if needed to get just the shot we want.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old February 28th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #20
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Hi again all,
One thing i would like to do with this project is minimise the amount of music i use. I would really like to get a lot of ambient sounds of the environments i will be in. Could anyone advise what type of portable audio recorders they use & would recommend. Also what type of mics you use for them. I figure i could set up some mics in the areas where i will be, just to capture the ambient sounds then add them to the film as foley. Please if anyone has any suggestions with this could you please let me know.
Thanks heaps,
Bryce
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Old February 28th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce Comer View Post
I don't know much at all about the technical side of audio (or video for that matter) & i couldn't tell you why i have that hum, maybe it's just the cheap mic, but if you are offering help, i will gladly accept your offer. Maybe a little further down the track if i am having difficulties i will pm you if that's ok?
Thanks,
Bryce

Bryce, first of all ditch the skype setup you are using. Since you will be needing a decent recorder anyway I suggest you use that. You have a ground loop of some type in the USB setup you have and we can set you up with some significantly better mics as well.

As for recorders, there is a pretty good battle heating up in the small hard media recorder market. I'd suggest you visit the Audio forum here and poke around. Lot sof folks are liking the Sony PCM-D50, others have nice things to say about the Tascam DR-1, still others swear by the Microtrack II, and so on and so forth. I think for the $300 or so you should find something perfect for beautiful natural ambient recordings AND that will be useable for your voiceovers.

And yes, by all means, feel free to PM me. I'll be repaying my debt to others here who have similarly offered me assistance.

Chris

ps. And I think it is fair to say that we all hate the sound of our own voices when we hear them recorded methinks. Yours is not so bad, as you understandably think, hearing it as you do in a recording where it sounds different than it does in your head.

pps. As for USB recording setups, I investigated that and determined at least for myself, that the least expensive method of using a decent mic into a USB port with adequate sampling etc was about $150 - without a mic.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; March 1st, 2009 at 01:09 PM.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #22
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Your film so long is a pleasure to see.
As said before, I understand the difficulties to capture the mountain caribou.
Our Norwegian reindeer is difficult to approach. Many seemingly great shots have been taken on the Sami’s domestic reindeers.
Your ambitions impress me. I will follow your project with great interest in the next months.

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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #23
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Ambient sound

Hi Bryce.
First I always use my camera for recording background sounds (ambient sounds).
I don't use an external recorder as this will make my rucksack heavier in the field.
As I understand you have the Canon XH A1. I do run the Canon XLH1 and can record sound on 4 tracks, that is 2 mics connected at the same time and stereo on both.
This is my gear for recording sound:
1 Sony ECM-674 and I use a Rycote softie on this one.
1 Sennheiser ew 100 wireless mic, I use this for interviews, narrations and I sometimes place it near a nest or similar to get close to the sound source without scaring the birds/animals. Very useful but an expencive mic to buy in Norway.
I also have 2 Shure SM57 and 1 Shure SM58. I use these occasionly if I'm doing interviews with groups of people, etc.

I think this is good enough and it works for me. Worth mentioning is that I always do use a headset when I'm recording/filming in the field. I always do some extra recordings, just to get some more of the sound at that particular place.
As important as the recordings it self, is to keep track of the recordings and where to find them when you need them :)
I do use a form to keep track of all my tapes, both sound and videoclips that is.
Just a simple form, but it works for me :) attached for downloading.

Geir Inge
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Old March 1st, 2009, 10:47 AM   #24
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Hi Chris,
Thanks for the info, i will look into one of these field recorders, i think they would be a very handy little device to have.
Finn-Eric,
Thanks for your support. I have only been out a couple of times looking for the mountain caribou, & so far have not seen one. I am waiting to hear back from some people i have contacted that i hope will be able to help me out & give me a better chance of getting the footage i will need for this project. The problem is that there are so few of them in such a large area.
Geir,
Thanks for the advise with the audio set up. I may need to look into a wireless mic set up to enable me to place mics closer to the herd when i finally do find them. I am not expecting to be able to get very close so i'm not expecting to get any decent audio from my shotgun mic. At the end of the day, i may have to make the foley sounds myself & add them in post. Thanks for the form that you have attached, that will come in very handy.
Something i've also been meaning to thank you for was the tip on Celtix that will be very handy for this project. I have only used it a little so far, but i can see i will be using it a lot more in the coming weeks.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old March 1st, 2009, 02:53 PM   #25
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You have an outstanding intro to your project. Beautiful imagery especially that shot of the clouds blanketing the mountain ranges…absolutely stunning. I am looking forward to seeing how you approach this film visually because it seems you have several options. For some reason I picture it to be filmed using an “Animal Planet/Jeff Corwin” approach where you are in front of the camera getting all excited about the wildlife you come across on your quest and talking to the camera. Any way you do it I am sure it will be exciting, beautifully filmed and fun to watch. Looking forward to it.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 08:13 PM   #26
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Hi Jeff,
Thanks for the encouragement. Unfortunately i have no way of viewing my footage in any decent resolution at the moment so i have no way of telling if the footage is really any good or not. Hopefully i will have my editing computer over from Australia in the next couple of months, & at least then i will have something decent to see it on, & of course be able to edit properly on.
I would like to think that i will be able to make it more a documentary on one or more biologists & be following them around in their search for, & studies of the caribou. I'm hoping to get some interviews & have some nice footage to use as cutaways to go with what they are talking about at the time. I am still waiting to here back from a few people that i'm hoping will help me out, but hopefully it will all come together in the end & i'll be able to go with that plan, if not, then maybe your idea of the "Animal planet" theme will have to be the way to go, only problem with that of course is that i will have to do a lot more research into the caribou & their day to day lives so i am able to tell a story & actually be telling it like it really is. I will keep you up to date on how things are progressing as i go.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old March 5th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #27
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You can't beat a 'Quest for' film and my initial impression is that even if you only get a few shots of the Caribou then the 'getting there' will be just a fun. I think your plan is very good. You look at the changing seasons, predators and you have a question to be answered. Make sure you use this mechanism, it will really keep people watching. Why are these caribou struggling.....a caribou 'who done it' ! Some of your footage needs work on exposure and is a little flat. Think about light and use the time of day/positioning to get depth and saturation into your shots.

I have a good feel about this one and I wouldn't be worried at all, you have plenty of potential for a great story whether you see those Caribou or not :-)

Mat
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Old March 7th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #28
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Hi Matt,
Thank you for your comments. I'm really excited about this project, i hope i can do my subject a service with this film & show just how vulnerable they are & what can be done to help tip the scales in their favour. Of course it is not just the mountain caribou that are in trouble due to the loss of their habitat, but many other species that rely on the same old growth forest & i hope to be able to show this off as well in the film. It is likely that i won't have a lot of footage of the caribou themselves so the "search" for them will likely be a big part of the film along with interviews with biologists.
You are right about the footage i have in my first submission being very flat. A lot of it was shot in the middle of the day, but i will definately be shooting a lot of what i need for the final piece early morning & late in the day.
Exposure is always something i have trouble with & will be working very hard to get this right. I probably could have improved some of the shots i had in post, but didn't really have the time. For the finished project i hope i will be able to get better exposed shots to start with, & will also be doing a bit of CC in post to help the footage along.
Thanks again for your encouragement & help.
Bryce
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Old March 12th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #29
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Well i had some encouraging news today when i received a phonecall from one of the groups i contacted for help with my project. They have offered me information on the mountain caribou, & are willing to pass on information as to their whereabouts obtained from aerial survelliance. This was great news as i was starting to wonder if any of the groups i have contacted were ever going to respond to my requests. I am still hoping to be able to do a lot of interviews as i think that will make for some interesting viewing, but most of all, i am really hoping to get out on some field trips with any scientists studying the mountain caribou. Hopefully this will be the start of the snowball effect, & my project plan will eventually all come together.
I am having a few issues with my car at the moment, so i'm unable to get out to do any filming. Hopefully i can get it sorted out before next weekend & get out to shoot some footage then. In the meantime, it will be a matter of simply keep on plugging away at the script & shot list, & keep refining my overall plan.
Hope everyone elses projects are going well.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old April 15th, 2009, 04:27 AM   #30
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I must say that this is a well thought out movie plan, Bryce. It has structure, a good story line and if you can find the images to support your story then you will really have something worthwhile watching here. You have some stunning images already and I really look forward to seeing how you progress on this.

I am just itching to know how you plan to capture a caribou giving birth (unless of course, you have a guide who knows where their favourite hiding spots are so you can set up beforehand) given the fact that the cows move out of the herd to find a secluded spot to give birth and to hide the calf for a few weeks. Maybe you will be lucky enough to spot a pregnant female moving out but wow you have a task there.

One thing that I find truly amazing about Caribou and other Reindeer is the fact that they can withstand extreme temperatures (-31 degrees!) and not die of hypothermia. I discovered with much interest that they survive because they have a concurrent heat exchange system in the blood circulation of their legs that ensures that they do not lose body heat to the environment through those unprotected, lean limbs. (Seals and Whales exposed to freezing water also have this system in their mobile, lean fins.)

Really good to hear your encouraging news. Hope your car gets sorted out - if it isn't already by now - so you can get out and start filming this again.

By the way - it’s really good to have you back on board - seems that you went AWOL such a long time ago!
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