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Old May 14th, 2009, 01:50 AM   #16
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I'm starting to think the challenge is not in the production and filming, but in getting technology to work. Multritrack recorder won't talk to computer. I can't even capture video on this computer - won't recognise the camera - have to capture on laptop and transfer. Well twice actually, since it won't recognise the memory stick I used either. Sees the files, can't read it. Need to reinstall Windows. And then uploading that failed a couple of times, and ZoneAlarm hogged the CPU dragging it out by over an hour.

On the somewhat better side:
So I have some aerial footage and ground footage of some of the burnt area. Still more filming to go, along with visiting past burnt areas. There's a huge area that was burnt out. The initial video shows the tip of the ice berg - from the air I saw the rest of the burnt area. Hill after hill after hill. Some brown (light to moderate burns), some black (nothing but the charred tree trunks left). A barren landscape - feels like you're standing at the gates of Hell. So I'd like to show how different intensities of burns affect recovery by filming other areas at various stages of recovery.

I'm yet to get some wildlife being rehabilitated . Also, I'd like to talk to people (willing of course) who were there. Residents who experienced the fires, and fire fighters on the ground and I know someone who was flying a firespotter on the day. I'd like to get their experiences, what they saw, heard, felt.

There's also the educational element. I may need some animation to demonstrate the key principles of fire behaviour and prevention. But if I can include practical examples that would also help.

So the updated video:
UWOL link: will update when it's moved

HQ version: http://www.innervatepro.com.au/films/

Last edited by Andrew Hood; May 14th, 2009 at 06:52 PM.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:11 AM   #17
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Andrew.... the scope and breadth of what information you have available to convey is daunting. As you capture all this incredible footage and information, I suspect how you weave it into your final story will start to become clear.

I liked the idea of aerials...maybe perhaps sparingingly dotted through your final piece... as a pilot and a photographer I replied to a thread on here about shooting aerials from a light plane you may find useful.

For deshaking I suggest you download the trial of Mercalli ProDad and see how you like it. It is a free trial.

I think the concept for your long form is fascinating and you appear to be well on your way to a wonderful and enthralling story about fire in nature. Keep it coming my friend.

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Old May 15th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #18
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Hey Andrew:

This is starting to take shape! I thought the intro of the burning paper was clever and perhaps could be used in transitions throughout your film.

A few things came to mind as I was watching this. First, in the narrative it would have been nice if you reminded us about a bit of background information concerning the fire events. I know that they were recent, your summer season a few months ago but I wasn't sure and the narrative didn't remind us.

Then I thought as we were viewing the aerials that once or twice it would have been helpful to freeze frame a scene and an arrow pointer depict the visuals that backed up your narrative.

This is a "cool" (or should I say hot?) topic and you are off to a great start.

All the best,

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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:29 AM   #19
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I meant to comment on your fire transition... I liked it.... you might speed it up a tad though.

I am lazy and often use Digital Juice stuff to do that. They have a bunch of transitions called SWIPES (short for sound effected wipes) and the volume entitled "You"re Fired" (it is number 14 in the SWIPES series) would be perfect...you might check that out...(Digital Juice - The Leader in Royalty Free Professional Animations, Stock Footage, Music, Layered Graphics, Clip Art and Templates) it adds a little pizazz and wow factor when they can be woven in seamlessly. Seeing how they did it might be useful in tweaking yours.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #20
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Thanks Chris: Checked out the thread about filming from planes. I didn't even think in advance about taking anything to clean the window - till I saw it, and went - oh well, make do. Yeah door off would be nice - my friend does do some sky diving flying, but it would probably depend who else is in the plane - sharing fuel/hire costs. I'll check out the software and transitions - thanks for the advice.

This update was a bit of padding - using a lot of what I got. When I get more footage I'll cull a larger percentage. If I actually start writing something on paper I'll get a better idea of the specific shots I want. What I need to aim for.

I'm surprised the 'commentary' matched even some of the time - it barely even ended up in there with all the tech problems. And I recorded several times till I got something less scatter brained - you think you know what to say... then you hit record. Running out of time I never sat down and tried to mesh the 2 together, but I need to start doing that as I get closer to the final piece. In that sense - the audio (Script) needs to come first, and fit the visuals around it. I'm working back to front and sideways at the moment.

Couldn't edit the previous post. UWOL website link for the film is: http://www.uwolchallenge.com/longfor...ldfire_pt2.mov
But a better quality one is at the other address, at only 14MB more - 61MB total - the index function only lists filenames, no file stats, but "HQ61mb" is in the filename.

Last edited by Andrew Hood; May 16th, 2009 at 07:35 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:23 PM   #21
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Hey Andrew,
It looks like this is all starting to come together for you. Your arial footage is not that bad at all. Maybe you could look at Mercalli to try to stabilize it a bit?? It really is a devastating sight to see all that bush gone, like you said, some will recover fairly quickly, but in other areas it will take a lot longer. Eventually though, the bush will grow back, even trees that look completely dead may well survive but will take a year or two to start to reshoot. Have you seen any wildlife in any of the areas where you have been filming? I would expect any wildlife that did survive in the areas so badly affected, would have moved on to "greener pastures". Maybe that could be something you could cover too. Where do the survivors go when so much is so devastated? Your interviews will certainly add lots to your film & i think will give it a real personal feel. It sounds too like you have some great ideas brewing for showing us how the fire works so i am interested in how you go about that. I can't wait to see your next installment & i think this will be a very interesting documentary. We all know what the fires do, but after the newspapers & tv drop the story, very few people other than the ones who live there, actually see how things regenerate, & how long that can take.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:50 PM   #22
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Hey Andrew,

I admire your willingness to create a piece that is going to touch on such a devastating event and how it affected the land, the wildlife and the people.

I liked the beginning with the burning paper, I found it to be a very unique style of titling the film...are you going to do the same with the opening credits for the final product?

The footage from the airplane was interesting, if you are thinking of stabilizing it (which I don't think it needs too much of personally) you might try After Effects which I have used on occasion and seems to work fairly well.

I had a thought…seeing that the colors in the film are grey, brown and so lacking in life due to the fires… I thought how interesting it would be to see a counterpoint where the landscape of a previous fire is now so full of color and life...

Great work!

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Old May 28th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #23
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Hi Andrew, nice opening with the burning title!
I liked your aerial footage, think you've a good start. And I can see the shape of the final film in the distance!
Like Bryce, I could be interesting in how the area develop after the fire, could be interesting to know!
Looking forward to your next installment!
- Per Johan
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Old July 21st, 2009, 02:48 AM   #24
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Hi Andrew.
Great areal shots :)
Most have been said about your film, so maybe I'll just ask a couple of questions.

1) Do you intend to make some interviews, (locals, firemen, etc)?
2) You mention the wildlife, I think it is at 4:30. Can you tell a bit more about this? Plans?
3) Will you be showing how the trees and "stuff" is taking back their space? Starting to grow again?

All the best.
Geir Inge
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #25
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I'm a bit late on this one - a mixture of leaving the filming till later on, weather and injury just at the wrong time. I'll have to check if the upload has been moved to the proper directory, but there are other copies:

A decent quality file, about 54MB

Or on youtube:
YouTube - Wildfire part3

Thanks for the comments and suggestions everyone.
Well I haven't seen much wildlife during other than the odd bird, but they probably have the easiest time escaping the fires, and moving on. And I do plan to look at the animals and how they've been affected. My best option might to inquire with the lecturers at the local uni who study environmental sciences - I know a couple, they might have some insight. And also to get in touch with Wildlife Victoria who coordinate animal shelters for caring for and rehabilitating injured animals.

The burning title I want to redo - was a quick thing I did, but I want to print up the title and try to tweak the lighting a little.

This update has some of the trees coming back in one area, I need to visit a few spots around the edges, and varying degrees of damage to show some variety. And I plan to find places where fires have burned several years ago and you can barely tell anymore. And ones where you clearly can tell it was burned.

As for interviews - yes I still plan to do those. I suppose I've been holding off on those so that it's not too fresh for those affected by it. But I'd like to know what people experienced, and from a few points of view - literally. I'm still trying to figure out how structured I want the interviews. Brief might be better, and do I try and do them in a relevant location, or the typical 'studio' setup?

Time to get more organised I think - and start scripting it so I know I what I need to get still. I've got outlines and various parts of the plan, but it's not consolidated yet.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:23 PM   #26
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Hi Andrew,

Hope you don't mind a non-participant popping in with a few comments. This is the first I've seen of your work so I scanned the other two, as well. It's going to be an interesting study; I'm looking forward to the final.

One thing; as a farm person I'm always interested in the soil, so during part three I kept hoping the camera would go to ground level and show any damage to the soil itself from the most deeply affected areas. I'm guessing that intense heat sterilizes the ground; just wondering what that may look like. Also figuring it might make an interesting contrast once regeneration begins. I would cheer to see the first signs of life poking out of the ground!
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Old August 26th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #27
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I don't mind at all Lorinda. Anyone who is willing to watch can give their thoughts, ask questions, etc... There's already a few things I haven't thought about (or at least not much) that others have brought up. I've been focusing on the obvious, the tall things we call trees. So it might be time to get down and dirty... and get some macro shots, or just low level ones and explore the ground.

I think most species of seed would be destroyed in a fire this intense. If it killed the trees, it will likely have left little in the top layer(s) of the soil. Eucalypt seeds are quite robust and generally require fire to germinate, but even those may have suffered in places. The less intense areas will probably be sprouting new plants as time goes on. I suspect the soil pH where the pines have been will be too low for a lot of species to begin growing there. Something else to inquire about at uni. I really just need to spend more in each spot, and make a few trips. Might check Google maps to see if there's a feasible shortcut.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #28
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You are so right about the focus. I just checked the rules and realize your entire documentary is due in November! Can't focus on too many things or it won't get done.

It's too bad, though, because I found even the explanations you gave here on the soil conditions, the Eucalypt seeds, etc. interesting. Perhaps on your next outing you could grab a bit of ground-level footage in case this project turns into a longer-form doc that goes beyond the challenge.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #29
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I hope you get something together for the long form challenge. However, what you arre covering is a biger job than that asthe rejuvination process which takes a few years will also be needed to be covered. In North america the chaperal based folage is a fire based. After a fire the following spring all kinds of animals are now on hand to eat the freshend fauna of all sorts, nuerous species populations sky rocket. Deer in particular come to mind. this is a great project and I see that in a few years you could have a full and complete documentary on your hands!!!!

I agree you need to explore every nook and cranny and investigate with your with your camera! what are the first bugs back on the soil after a major fire, etc!!

Dig in there partner, an awesome topic to explore!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old September 14th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #30
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Hi Andrew,
I just watched your third round. Wow. it’s really shaping up nicely. I especially liked the way you did the shot of things “greening up”. Very well done. I’m looking forward to more!
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