UWOL #13 - "Woodpecker War - Chaos in the Trees" - Victor Wilcox at DVinfo.net

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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:02 AM   #1
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UWOL #13 - "Woodpecker War - Chaos in the Trees" - Victor Wilcox

This will probably be my only entry this year. Iím facing surgery to replace a disc in my back, so Iíll be down for several months. TEARS AND VIOLINS PLEASE.

Iíve been stuck close to home, but managed to get some shots of a two pair of woodpeckers competing for nesting space. I work north of Houston, TX and Ike wreaked havoc on the trees here, so nesting sites are hard to come by. A pair of Red-headed woodpeckers had nested hear last year in a hole they made in a dead pine tree. Well when they arrived at their summer home this year, it was occupied by a pair of Red-bellied woodpeckers. After much squabbling, the squatters were evicted and the happy couple claimed there hole. Donít feel too badly for the evicted couple. They managed to build a nest in a new hole here by. Guess this would have been good narration, if Iíd done any. I keep telling myself to do that, but Iím just not listening.

This is my first submission shot with my Sony FX7. I had some problems shooting against a bright hazy sky, but the subjects would do any retakes, so what you see is what you get. Definitely not my best, but it will have to do. Hope you enjoy.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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Victor, sorry to hear about you pain!

Nice to watch the woodpecker war in your neighbourhood! You had some really good shots there too! However I could wish some variation in camera angle though. Some narrating, describing the war between the birds, would have emphasized the film alot!

Hope to see you back soon, take care!
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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Victor,

Nice entry. I like birds, we have quite a few around us, but I find them very uncooperative when I try to take video of them. You did very well.

I have to agree with Per Johan that a narration would have really been nice.

Good work. Hope you get well soon.

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Old May 26th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. I finally got my video uploaded to vimeo:

Woodpecker War - Chaos in the Trees on Vimeo

It should be ready to view in about an hour.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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Great images. I do think the music transition was to much in terms of style change. That may be a bit too jarring.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #6
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Hi Victor,

I like your video, it's very nice to see those birds. You have really great images.
But I have to agree with Chris about the change in the music. When the music changed, I was expecting the pace in your video to speed up a little.

Well done!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #7
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Victor,

I love that, the music at the start gave it a real wild west atmosphere for some reason. Not too sure about the second track, but I guess you had a shrot track that sounded good, and it's hard to think what way to handle that.

The woodpeckers peering out of the holes just looked menacing to me, in a real "are you looking for a fight, pal?" sort of way.

Some brilliant shots in there, some of the later ones especially are very warm and well framed. Must be hard to get decent footage of something happening up in the trees like that.

Having a V1, I feel your pain with the bright sky background. I bought an extra ND filter to cope with that and it helps, but there's always a problem with the contrast.

Fingers crossed for the surgery and a speedy recovery.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:53 PM   #8
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Victor,

Pretty much agree with the others have to say. You have some nice footage to be sure.

While the music transition seemed harsh, the second part I kind got into the mood of it, the beat that the wood peckers seemed to almost move with.

thanks for taking the time and sharing!!!

Oh yea, did you try to add some blue to the sky in post? Looked to be a good canidate for the secondary color corrector.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #9
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Vic,
I once heard a paper at a TOS meeting called ďThe Annual East Texas Woodpecker WarĒ. Did you recall that also? You were fortunate to find so much great action so close to home. I sometimes have similar battles in my yard between the Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and Eurasian Starlings, but have never captured an extended sequence. Well done. Sorry to hear about your back. I hope your recovery is speedy. Your break from shooting might be an opportunity to learn some new studio skills (something we could all benefit from!). Daleís advice is good. Another intensive approach might be to prepare a moving matte in AfterEffects and completely replace the blown-out sky.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #10
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Victor,
I think the most is said already. You have some very good shots and your choice of sound and music in the first part is excellent.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #11
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Victor,

Good luck on the surgery. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

I really liked the opening of this one. The music reminded me of a spaghetti western. With two sides facing off for the high noon showdown.

Some narration would have been nice. Even if it was tongue in cheek. Nice natural audio.

The change in music kind of throws one off. A better choice may have been to take some of the shots towards the end and integrate them into the first half of the video and shorten the film to the point where the first music track ends.

Good job and good luck on the surgery!!
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 04:19 PM   #12
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Don't think I can add much. It was a nice collection of clips. I had to watch it twice, to try to match up the action with the story. A narration would have made it easier, or even perhaps subtitles. Ten days ago week I managed to get a few clips of a pair of great spotted woodpeckers feeding their chicks in a hole, so I can sympathise with the difficulty of the blown-out sky as well as the problems of getting an action sequence when you are looking up at something.
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