UWOL #14 - The Prairie - Kevin "Yeti" Railsback at DVinfo.net

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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #1
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UWOL #14 - The Prairie - Kevin "Yeti" Railsback

As his punishment for not posting his feedback thread, I disclose Mat's and my pet name for Kevin...feel free to use it with impunity.

Ask the boy to do daunting, complex tasks, and he is all over them like a can of wet paint. But when it comes to posting his own feedback threads, it is much like telling my 8 year old daughter to clean her room.

Bring out the knives, let's savage his film!

Probably your most stunning camera work yet, Kevin...
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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #2
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I agree, great camera work coupled with a nice story line. Love it as usual !
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #3
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Hi Kevin.

Yet another great film from The Yeti.
Just couldn't resist – blame it on Meryem :)
Seriously I loved it Kevin.

It’s my opinion that if a narrator talk too fast and give too much information in a short time, the viewer/listener will fall off after a short time. No offend please.
Remember “less is more”. You have a great voice and a great “prairie” soundtrack, but it makes me feel that the narration and music is not in sync, if you know what I mean. The narrator is way ahead the music. Maybe slow down your talking speed and if possible cut the amount of information?
Just my opinion though.

All the best.
Geir Inge
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Old August 4th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #4
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It is an enjoyment to observe your film. You have a good taste for joining pictures, music and words, -a feeling of art. My only complaint; some scenes are a bit too saturated, maybe in yellowish direction in the first part. You have an amusing light effect at the end.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #5
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Very nice Kevin. It has the feel of an introduction to a longer piece about the prairie- which would be grand! Too bad that our “society” that is so adept at destroying habitats all over the planet first practiced this almost to perfection on the tall grass prairie. So little is left and it’s such a magical place. You really captured the magic here.

Which SmartSound album is the music from? Thanks again for your advice about voice-over from the last UWOL. It really helped me this time.

In closing I’d just like to point out that the Yeti is esteemed by millions, venerated by two major religions and legally protected in four countries. Just so…
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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #6
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Sigh........ I just can't slip away quietly can I?

Ok, here's the deal. I was out shooting at the prairie every chance I had. I had some really incredible footage. It was in a folder called Prairie2009_02. So, come editing time when I felt I had enough to put this together, I find folder Prairie2009_01 and Prairie2009_03 etc on down to Prairie2009_13. No Prairie2009_02. Where was my best footage? Oh yeah, Prairie2009_02. So far I still haven't found it. I was juggling some stuff around to go to California and thought I transferred it to another hard drive.

So, it's the last day to edit I can turn in my down and dirty film I did the first day or I can try to throw something together.

I opt to throw something together. But all I think about is all the shots that are missing that I thought were really, really good.

The first 28 seconds was my edit before I found out the footage was missing. Everything else was after. So I at least can tell a definite difference.

I just phones in the VO cause at that point all I wanted to do was to get it done and over with.

I think I'll recut the piece with no VO and do my normal fluffy piece that I like so well.

Mike, the Smartsound album is Richard Band Vol 7 Scoring Suites. It's one of the Heartland Americana tracks. Funny in that I bought it specifically for a prairie piece I want to do one day.

So that's my scoop.

Off to view the other films and hopefully go quietly back to my Yeti cave. :)
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Old August 4th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #7
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I'm not sure about the "yeti" perhaps "Yoda" would be better. This is another beautiful piece. I really enjoyed the light on the spider web at 0:28 and the insect segment at the end. The only negative was that the segment from 0:54 to 0:59 (with the bike and the car) seemed out of place.

But I continue to try to learn from the Master.

"May the force be with you"

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Old August 5th, 2009, 01:43 AM   #8
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Kevin aka Yeti,

Another beautifully shot film. The editing was spot on and had a good pace to it. The insect shots were great, especially the one of the spider and droplets of water. You clearly made use of the good light.

My only criticism is that I thought the deer shot at the beginning looked a bit over saturated.

But aside from that - Excellent stuff.

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Old August 5th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #9
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My only complaint about this video, and all your videos that I have seen to date, are that they are extremely well narrated, composed and edited!

I wish I could do this.

How much time do you spend researching the subject, and then putting a script together, that is what I think has held me back from adding any narration.

I know that once I got started with the research, I would be fine, but then breaking it down for a script for narration, I would have an issue, I could just go on and on, much like I am now, lol.

I would love to do some docmentary style video, much like the long form, that most of you are working on.

I guess small steps.
I was told I have no vision, but boy do I see great!
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Old August 5th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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Hi Kevin,

Yet another master piece from the UWOL Yeti :)

Crisp images, bright colors and a great story together with perfectly matched music and narration makes a good film.
You had it all!

Thank you for teaching me something new. I enjoyed watching it.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #11
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Hi Kevin, another top entry from you!
Much have already been commented to your entry. I like your saturated pictures, but some seem a bit too saturated, the deer to mention one!?

The close ups, particularly the spider and the water drops was fantastic. And the ending scene with the insect that lighted up in its tail. Haven´t seen anything like this before, what kind of insect was it?

Thanks for sharing this with the uwol community!
- Per Johan
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Old August 8th, 2009, 04:32 AM   #12
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Over all the film was very good, in all but one field and that was the saturation on the Deer and road sign as most have said, the bright sunlight on the spider’s web and Prairie grasses was lovely and the voice over Very good.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #13
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I'll finally have time this weekend to watch everyone's films. Can't wait to see what everyone else has done.

I think it's interesting that everyone comments about the deer shot. I ran some checks on it and it's not over saturated. There's no color correction on it other than to lighten the image some because it was well after sunset that I shot that scene. That's the only thing I can think of is because it was so dark out and I lightened the shot it looks over saturated but it' really isn't.

I set my camera to crush the blacks and pump up the color a tad. I never deviate from that setting. Every UWOL film is shot with the same settings. So, I guess it really depends on the light that day.

The street sign was getting hit by direct sun so I'm sure that's why that one is a little hot.

Ok Sam, here's my method. I'm sure it's totally screwed up from everyone else's.

When I know a challenge is coming up, I look around the area to find what is happening. With this challenge, I knew the prairie would be doing pretty well by now. So, no matter what theme was going to be about, I would try and figure out how to fit the prairie into it since everything else is just way to overgrown right now.

Next step is I find my music. I'm always looking for music that does something for me.

I have music lined up for future challenges already because I like how they make me feel.

So again, I'll try and bend the film to fit the music I already picked and to what is looking good at the time in Iowa.

Next thing I do is just go out and shoot anything that looks good to me. Sometimes it depends on my schedule how much time I can go out and shoot.

Some challenges I shoot everything the day the film is due.
Others like The River, I have more time to keep going out and getting shots.

So, I've got the music picked out and I go out and shoot whatever catches my eye.

Once it gets to the last day or so I sit down and take a look at what I have. I then try and see if I can come up with a story that will flow all the imagery together.

For the fluffy stuff I do with no narration it's easy just to string everything together because it's just music and imagery.

With the narration for this film I just jotted down something that would make sense about the cycle of life in the prairie and recorded it.

I was running out of time so I just recorded the VO on my Zoom H4n and not my other set up which runs through a mixer so I could have had sweeter audio.

And that's about it. I just bend whatever footage I get to the music I like and right some narration that strings it all together.

I really don't do any research or anything. The most effort I put in was for The River. Bob and I worked on the script early and I was out as often as possible before sunrise to get the sun coming up over the river.

So, I'm sure this is a lot different from how everyone else does it. But for me, it's all about the music.

I've already got the music picked out for the next challenge. :) It's a piano piece called Time Beyond Time.

I'm not sure when the next challenge is but I'm already trying to think ahead if it's a Fall challenge what will be looking good in Iowa then. I'll just shoot what I like and edit it to fit the music and then add some VO unless I want it to just be a pretty picture shot.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #14
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This was a real winner to me!!! I loved it all, particularly the rich color! What did you shoot with and how much post did you apply? It was fantastic. my favorites were the spider web, the spider and the berries, just crystal!! Totally an inspiration!!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old August 17th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #15
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Glad you liked it. I set my camera to try and duplicate the saturation I used to get shooting slide film years ago. So, the colors you see come right out of the camera. The magic hour light pretty much looks that golden around here.

The deer shot was the only thing that I really tweaked. All id did was lighten the image quite a bit because it was pretty dark out by the time I shot it. I was driving by headlights to give you an idea of how dark it was. :)

I know a lot of people don't like such vivid colors but it was what I grew up on shooting slides and underexposing 1/3 stop to get more saturated colors.

The most I usually do in post is try to color correct and get my whites white. I let everything else fall wherever it wants.

So, I'm not much of a post guy. :)
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