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The UWOL Challenge
An organized competition for Under Water, Over Land videographers!

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Old May 16th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #16
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I like your shots. It is fascinating to watch the rich wildlife in the urban environment.
The sound mix of traffic, people talking and bird singing is great.
The Owl picking leaf is stunning.

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Old May 17th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #17
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Stunning bird footage, Mihali, and I like your use of pans and tilts to establish the scenes, especially those diagonal ones. I always enjoy seeing scenes of London, having never been there. Do you know what the bell-like bird call near the beginning of the piece is? How about the song at 4:47?
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Old May 17th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #18
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Good evening,

some fabulous footage. I would like some narrative. Is that some form of fly catcher that is bopping around so much? Great identifying the places, but for us that do not know your wildlife it would be good to label them too!!

some great bird song and background audio. I became more and more cognizant of the background wind noise as the video progressed. Would be great if the hissing could be cut down a little bit!

keep up the great work.
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old May 17th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #19
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I echo Dale's comments. At this point,all you offered was footage and I for one was loving it and was sorry when it ran out. Some incredible stuff... I will be interested in how you use it.

The Owl piece was pretty remarkable.

The wind noise... well... All I can say is that when you are capturing ambient sounds and no ADR is possible (birds do not chirp on que), you need to be especially careful. You might slip in some other sound track, but the wind did become an issue for me about 2/3's of the way through.

This looked like 24P throughout. I won't go on a rant about 24 FPS....except to say that in nature stuff where pans are common, it drives me crazy. Tell me I am wrong.... but if you are shooting at or rendering to 24P, please rethink it. I am sure this may draw some criticism, but I prefer nature stuff without the blurry pans of 24 fps. 30 is fine for me.

You folks that have the patience to capture the bird shots i am seeing are my heroes.

Great stuff... looking forard to the next post, and the story coming together.

Chris Swanberg
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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:59 AM   #20
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Hi Mihali
Wow, I wasn't aware of the these Tawny's, that's some very unusual views of them. The chicks are adorable. What I would say is if your are building a sequence about them, try getting some shots in twilight (the birds will be more active then) or even night time if you can set something up. If not at least place them in there true nocturnal setting and feature calling and some establishing footage. Also by shooting when the light is lower you will be fighting the blown out sky less in your shots. There was also some stabilisation issues.

The Grey wagtail footage is very nice and there is a start of a lovely sequence here. They are a bird that's full of character and nice to look at.

I'd like to know more about these sequences and how you plan to use them with in your overall premise. Some narration or written planning would have helped us understand more about this. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing some more of your planned species, you have some very tricky stuff planned in that list. I'm intrigued as to why the Pelican is in it !?

Good stuff. Looking forward to hearing more about your film.

Last edited by Mat Thompson; May 18th, 2009 at 08:59 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #21
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Thank you all for your comments.

Finn: Glad you liked the traffic noises. Hadn't really thought about it, but I suppose it adds to the urban feel. Will take it into more consideration for the final film.

Steven: Not very good with bird calls unfortunately. The one at the beginning may be a chiff-chaff, but don't quote me on that. Any one else?

Chris: Yeah, the wind was annoying. Must get a decent windsheild. I think I will have to use some other ambient sound and perhaps try and get some Tawny noises from somewhere too. All my footage is shot in 50i and I de-interlaced it before uploading to vimeo. I agree about 24P and never shoot it. Will check my settings again though.

"Wow, I wasn't aware of the these Tawny's"
That's good news (for me) as it means I'm onto something! If i can show the audience that there are some surprising inhabitants in London, then i will be pleased.

I agree the lighting conditions were pants. Unfortunately the young have now fledged and the trees are pretty leafy, but perhaps I can get some footage of the adults at night.

"There was also some stabilisation issues."
On the close ups of the owls I occasionally had my digital extender on. I have never used it before, but it seems it doesn't respond well to any movement. I think it softens the shot a little too. Will definitely bear this in mind.

"I'd like to know more about these sequences and how you plan to use them with in your overall premise."
That makes two of us!!!! Still not sure how I am going to gel this together. Need to really work on a script and storyboard. Will aim to have more for the next round....including Pelicans........
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Old May 19th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #22
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Mihali, very pleasant footage of the diverse wildlife in a big city. The owl-footage was just amazing. Seems that you can go pretty near them too!
Second what the other already told you. I would much like som narrating, or subtext with the name of species shown.
Overall I think you have something real nice here for the final film. I'm looking very much forward to your next round.
- Per Johan
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Old May 19th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #23
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Hey Mihali:

Excellent filming. You have a talent for making your footage captivating and interesting to watch. The cuts to close ups and new scenes, changes in focus from near to far, slow pans that land on your subject matter. Nicely done! The owls were spectacular and you are creative in how you show them. Looking forward to how this all develops. You have a great start in showing wildlife existing in parks within a major city. I liked this Mihali! Start developing your theme and it will be very interesting.

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Old May 23rd, 2009, 10:56 AM   #24
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Hi Mihali,
Wow you have some really fantastic footage there. I really loved the urban sounds mixed in with the sounds of the wildlife too. It's amazing in a big city like London just how much wildlife is about. I guess with all the beautiful parks you have there, there has to be a lot of wildlife, & fortunately for you, it should be fairly easy to get reasonably close to it as it would be well habituated to human presence.
You say that you still have work to do on your story & script. Maybe you could look at the fact that London is such a big city, with everyone moving along very fast in their day to day lives, they don't even realise there is so much wildlife around them. Perhaps you could take some highly stressed 9-5ers & show them what is actually right there where they live & work, & how taking a few moments out of their busy lives to just sit back & enjoy what nature has to offer can relieve them of some of their day to day stress, if only for a moment. I will be interested how you put this all together, i think there are lots of options, & with the footage you have, i'm sure you will put something together that is really top notch.
There's never enough hours in the day!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #25
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Really beautifully filmed and I admire your ability to capture really deep and rich colors in your film. I liked the opening establishing shot because it created a setting for us. We knew that we would be inside a city and then you panned over to show us wildlife in the city, nice touch. I liked the sound of people in the park while watching the owls (which were very entertaining by the way) and the rack focus shots were nice too. I wonder if you ever considered shooting a scene that looks to be in the middle of some exotic wilderness only to pan and reveal that what we are looking at is in the middle of a sprawling city?...Might be a cool idea...

Nice job!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 02:05 AM   #26
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Hi Mihali.
I think your final film will be great, after looking at your ULF2.
Love your big city wildlife.
The owl shot at 1:25 is lovely (and cute).
If you can get some night shots as well, It'll be great :)

All the best.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #27
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Hi All,

I am away next week so wanted to get something up today for the long form.

This round is more of the same really. A couple of different locations, but this time I've added some narration as well as a music sample that I think I will use in the final film.

Still not completely sure how the whole thing will gel together. I know that I need to get a lot more GV's of London and then work out a narrative.

Look forward to your comments as per usual.



Link to film:
Wild London (UWOL Long Form) - Deadline 3 on Vimeo
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Old August 9th, 2009, 07:22 PM   #28
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Well shot film, Mihali. I especially like the close-up head shots with smooth out of focus backgrounds. Your sound track and narrative are flawless. I was surprised that our beloved Red-eared Turtle has become such a problem over there (sort of like Starlings here). Do you have a native turtle that is being replaced by this one, or is this an unknown, new sort of predator to the duckling population? Our local troublesome exotic is the Burmese Python.
It's population in the Everglades has increased exponentially over ten years, and people seem to be capturing 17 foot specimens daily. Their food includes alligators. Even conservationists are supporting the shoe and handbag industry over this one.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #29
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Mihali- Your Round Three has some really nice shots. The story definitely still keeps my interest. At some point I’d like to see a map showing the locations you’ve been showing us. If you are going to offer this on DVD maybe put a printable map in the data section for tourists with directions to each site. The red-eared slider is disappearing from parts of Texas due to over collecting. Each year hundreds of thousands are legally exported for food to the far east. No telling how many slip under the radar. Sorry to hear they’ve become a pest over there.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #30
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Nice to see some of the cool things one would never expect to see in London. I really liked the close ups.

thanks for sharing.

Oh yea, what kind of fish were those??
Dale W. Guthormsen
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