UWOL#14 - Flying Kites by Mihali Moore at DVinfo.net

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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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UWOL#14 - Flying Kites by Mihali Moore

Hello all,

My original idea was to do a piece on tides, but the weather has been pretty pants here and whenever I planned to go out filming, it just wasn't worth it. I did have a little trip scheduled that was not originally for this challenge, shot some footage, and have tried to link it to the theme of 'rhythm & cycles'. It is a little tenuous, but hopefully it'll count.

Gigrin Farm is found in mid-Wales and is a feeding station for the Red Kite. This bird was almost extinct in the British Isles and has only survived due to places like Gigrin Farm. Every day (apart from Christmas Day) the farmer lays out meat in one of his fields. The Kites know this and visit the farm to feed where there is a pecking order in this daily cycle (there's the link!). Red kites used to feed on waste products and sheep carcasses during the lambing season, but due to tighter legislation and stricter health & safety laws, waste is disposed of more efficiently and is therefore not available as food. This is why farms like Gigrin were set up.

HD version: Flying Kites on Vimeo

I hope you enjoy the film.

Mihali
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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Wow Mihali! I’m- what’s that word?- gob smacked! What an incredible spectacle. I love the flight shots- great job of follow focus. Were those tripod or shoulder shots? Very nice close-ups. At what distances were you working? Is Gigrin Farm open to the public and do they accept donations? My only complaint is that three minutes is not long enough. I’d love to see more.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 10:07 PM   #3
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If you want to photo graph sharks, you go where they feed them. Same with these birds !

I remember trying to track and shoot red tails here in California, and never could figure out how to get close enough.

Now I know how, just take a tractor load of meat !

Some great shots as a result !
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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This is an interesting and spectacular video. You have many great shots, amusing and daring music and very clear narrating.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:51 PM   #5
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That was hands down one of the best films to come out of UWOL that I have seen.
Congratulations sir everything about that was perfect!
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Old August 4th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #6
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Mihali,

What a wonderful script and top notch narration! You had some great bird shots in flight. The sequence at 1:50 with the white kite was really great.

There seemed to be some other bird species enjoying the free lunch. Were they crows?

rich
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Old August 5th, 2009, 02:24 AM   #7
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Wow. Thanks for all your comments guys. Glad you enjoyed it.

Mike - Gigrin farm is open to the public. You pay a nominal entrance fee to get in and there are several hides that you can pay to pitch up in. The price of these varies, depending on position and view and are only 30-40m away. The money is used to buy the meat for them, which I'm told is a better grade than burger meat! They were all tripod shots with a Nikon 80-200mm lens attached to my camera.

Rich - Yes, they are crows cashing in on the free food. The other brown bird of prey seen was the Buzzard.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 05:05 AM   #8
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Mihali

Nicely planed sequences
As soon as the farmer drives his tractor, onto the feeding site you can see the shadows of the Kites circling above, they must wear watches.

Your narration approach to your short is much like John James in Charlie Hamilton-James film “ My Halcyon River”
I liked all the film, specially the M wide slow-mo shots,
If you want shots of Red Kites this the place to be, I have filmed these birds a few times in the Chilterns hills, but not in those numbers
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Old August 5th, 2009, 06:02 AM   #9
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Hi Mihali.

What a great video - loved every minute of it.
Those diving scenes are awesome :)
I want to give my applause for your excellent soundtrack, too.
Very good mix between narration, music and foley.
Especially at the beginning, I think its around :15 as the tractor sound comes in and the music in a way makes it glide/slide together. Great!
Is it Star Wars music. From one of the fighting scenes?
The only thing I miss, is a real close up of the kites head, but you can't have it all, eh?
I think a 3 or 400mm lense would have been great.
I'm using a 300mm Sigma zoom lense for my close ups.

Ok, thumbs up.
Geir Inge
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Old August 5th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #10
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Hi Mihali,

This was very interesting to watch.
You got some nice shots of those birds, and the soundtrack was great.
Good mix between the VO and the music too.

As Geir Inge said, some close up shots of the birds would have been awesome.
By the way, how far away were you, if I may ask?
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Old August 6th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #11
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Ron - Thanks for your comments. As a UK resident, you should definitely check the farm out.

Trond - The hides are about 30-40m away, but some times the birds can fly a few meters from you. Some close head would have been nice. Something to think about next time.

Geir - A longer lens would be great. Not familiar with the sigma 300mm, Is it a prime lens?
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Old August 6th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mihali Moore View Post
Geir - A longer lens would be great. Not familiar with the sigma 300mm, Is it a prime lens?
I'm using the Canon XLH1 camera and can change lenses, but have to use an adapter.
Sigma lenses are made for different cameras (still cameras) so I have one adapter for Canon lenses and one for Nikon lenses. My Sigma lens is inexpensive, but needs good light conditions. All of my close ups the last 2 years are taken with my Sigma lens, wich also offers macro. I wonder what camera do you have?
Heres a link: Sigma - Lenses
Now I'm saving for a better one and hopefully my wife will let me bye one too :)
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Old August 6th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #13
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Mihali, that was just GREAT to watch! Spectacular film about the kites!

Seem that this is the place to go for filming kites after all. Reminds about the hides I visit from time to time to film eagles and hawks here in Norway. As Chris stated, go where you feed them.

For some further comments about lenses as Geir Inge mention, up to 200mm will be ok for flight scenes, but I think that 300mm and beyond will only be suitable for close-up of the birds when they are hovering in the air or standing still on the ground feeding.
To follow birds in flight with huge focal lenght is almost impossible IMHO!
(I know I have tried hard for years!)

Back to your film, it was so great to watch, narrating, choice of music, editing, very well done! One of your best film to date, Mihali!
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Old August 8th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #14
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WOW!

great footy!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #15
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Mihali,

sorry for such a late response!!

Fabulous story and footage! I liked closer shots you got, it is so hard filming such active raptors! You did a fine job on a hugly difficult shoot!! One of my favorites to be certain!!
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