UWOL#15- Silent Kingdom- by Kevin Railsback at DVinfo.net

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Old November 1st, 2009, 04:36 PM   #1
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UWOL#15- Silent Kingdom- by Kevin Railsback

Kevin- Leave it to our favorite camerayeti to sneak in there with a moving piece that has both a poignant message and a call to action. All I can do is applaud and say- “Hear! Hear!”

Well done, Kevin. I hope things are soon well for the Railsback family.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 05:20 PM   #2
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Kevin.... beauiful imagery and a powerful piece. I would think if you could shorten it this could find a home as a PSA somewhere. (thinking UWOL X).

As ever, a higher bar to achieve to. Thanks !

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Old November 1st, 2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Beautiful as usual. What a unique way to convert a lack of animals to a moving piece - well done!

This is one time where a voice over would have hurt the piece. Using just music and text to convey your message was really nice.

I was thinking the same thing about the PSA and UWOL #10 - a bit shorter and it would be a great PSA.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 05:50 PM   #4
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You guys just can't ever let me slide under the radar can you? :)

I've just finished watching everyone's films so hopefully I can start posting some feedback on them tonight.

Ok, since you drug the Yeti out of the cave again, here's the scoop on this one.

As you know, my wife had surgery and has been laid up these past few weeks. At one point we thought she was doing well enough that I could have her mom stop by for a few hours so I could go out and film. I left instructions to call if there were any issues.

So, all the sunshine stuff was shot on that morning.

Then she ran into some complications from the surgery so I didn't want to leave her alone or have someone else looking after her.

The complications weren't as bad as we thought and she encouraged me to go out and try to get more footage. That was the last day of the challenge.

I try and scout out areas when a challenge is coming up just to see what's going on. Well, like most of you, there wasn't much of anything going on. No wildlife anywhere.

So, I put on a few hundred miles that last day driving around trying to find anything. All the non-sunny shots are from the last day.

Sat down about 9:00 that night and tried to see if there was anything I could piece together.

I told Meryem earlier about my idea for a Silent Kingdom since the one day I went out I didn't even see a duck let alone deer or anything else we have around here.

So I thought the only thing I could do was to do a film about not having animals in it.

As usual, I picked out my music track and laid it down first. Then I tried to lay some tracks starting from early morning fog/frost to sunrise. Along the way as the hours dragged on I got lost, tried moving things around, made them worse, made them better and then back to worse again.

I had originally wanted to do a VO but then decided A.) I didn't have enough time as it was getting late and B.) It wouldn't be a silent kingdom if the Yeti was speakin in the film.

So then I sat there trying to figure out what text to put down. I laid some text down, changed it, added more, changed it and finally it was 2AM and I felt I was making things worse instead of better. I closed my eyes and listened to the music and just wrote how I felt.

It's not perfect, it's not slick but it's what I was feeling inside at 2AM the night of the deadline.

So, that's the story behind the film. Wish I could have put in the time to make it something. Hopefully next challenge I can do that.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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I got to say this is a another triumph of imagery for you Kevin. I always love to see what you come up with ! In every one of the these challenges, there are those that give the rest of us new goals to work toward, and you are always on that list. Thank you for that.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 04:51 AM   #6
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Kevin, you did it again!
Yet another very good video from the yeti ;)
The message you deliver is a strong one. This should have been made into a PSA for tv!

Suggestions:
What if you fade out the sound of the wind in the very end, to really give the image of "Silent Kingdom" stronger effect?
Also, maybe fade the colors to black&white in the end to symbolise the species (and the world) extinction?

Well done!!
Thank you for sharing.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 05:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the kind words everyone. I'm glad you thought it was ok.

I thought about doing it as a "legal size" PSA but was getting too late to work on making the point in 60 seconds and getting the edit to fit. So I took the easy route. :)

Trond, I actually thought about doing it in selective color at points where everything would be b&w except for certain colors. Time constraints prevented me from exploring that.

I'll have to look at the timeline. I did fade the wind out at the end but didn't have my headphones on to really hear how it was fading. But you may be talking about fading the wind before the end of the visuals before the credits. I can certainly see how that would strengthen the piece. It would almost be uncomfortable to have to watch in silence. Great note. Thank you sir!
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 05:17 AM   #8
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Kevin, I was thinking about fading out the wind during the image of the text "Is the wind " and reach total silence as the text changes to "Silent Kingdom".

But now I watched your video again with absolutely no sound at all for the last part to see how that would be, (after the text about pollution..., and to me that gave a strong effect too.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 05:29 AM   #9
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Trond,
So many possibilities. It's hard to choose which way to go.
Certainly one of the benefits of UWOL is how others see things that you may not.

I know I get on such a single track that I leave little room to see other options on my own.

Yet when I'm not happy with a film, which is most of them since I'm my own worst critic, I tend to want them to go away instead of reaching out to you guys to see how I could improve.

Maybe I can make that my New Years resolution to ask for feedback. That's a hard thing for me to do which is why I don't make feedback threads for most of my films.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 06:36 AM   #10
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I hear you about being we being our worst critic. I often end up with version 5 or 6 or 7... before I am happy (enough) with my videos.
Let 10 people see something, and they all will see it slightly different. And that's the good thing about feedback. To give us ideas we don't notice ourselves, and hopefully the feedback can help us improve our skills as film makers.
I have learned a lot from the feedback I have received from you and the others. So keep that New Years resolution. :)
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 07:57 AM   #11
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Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.....Have you ever shot an image that was not just flat out beautiful??

You are the king of gorgeous....seriously....

Nicely done, nice message...the text was perfect! Good choice to go with no VO.

The music fitted very well....

Did you do a HD version...if so, I'd love to see it...
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 09:49 AM   #12
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Kevin,

You have an eye for beautiful images. I loved the mist shots. I would like to capture some of those myself. Great thoughtful message. When you made the animals disapear I was looking to see if I would notice a change with the surrounding images and I could not. Very well done.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 01:55 PM   #13
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Kevin,
Again a strong message from you. It is much to learn from the simplicity in your form.
Your pictures are a pleasure to watch. Maybe you go a bit to far in saturation,
but I know many don't agree with me.
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 02:30 PM   #14
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Kevin,

Not much to say other than the usual tie it togther great piece of work!!!!! I truly enjoyed the imagery, as always !!! I really like the way you moved the subtitles in and out of the scenes!!! You use a Mac??

Great job!! I can appreciate exactly how you felt about getting out, not having the shots you wanted and all the anxiety based around that. You, as usual pulled it off!!!

Yeti, you are an inspiration!!
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 09:36 PM   #15
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Bob,

I shoot tons of crappy footage all the time.

When I was in Africa I was so depressed with the footage I was getting I was ready to hop the next flight out of there. Next time in in the Glennview area I'll look you up and show you all kinds of horrid shots. :) I'll see about putting a HD version up somewhere.

Oliver,

I worked on the fade shots to try and find the best match between the shots so that they would match up better.

Also a long dissolve with the wind blowing lets everything blend in so you don't really notice if any of the grass etc is out of position. Watchin it in HD and just watching the grass blowing, it's pretty hard to see any change in the shot.

Finn,

I'm a child of the Kodachrome generation. I love punchy colors. Always will. Everything is in camera, no color correction on this. Just trying to duplicate the look I had when I used to shoot slide film in my still camera days. Sometimes I'll use warm cards to white balance to get a warmer look but I'll always have vivid colors. I guess it's a calling card that people expect to see from me. Well, at least my wife does. :)

Dale,

Been a Mac user since 1987. Bought my first Mac II with a 100 MEG hard drive and like 18MHz clock speed and 512MB RAM for $4700. Before that it was Atari's. Never bought into the Commodore 64 thing. I think my first computer was an Atari 400 with 16k of memory or something. I drooled the day I got an Atari 800 with like 48k of memory. :)
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