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The UWOL Challenge
An organized competition for Under Water, Over Land videographers!


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Old December 2nd, 2009, 03:05 PM   #61
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Bob,
Thank you for watching and commenting my video.

I have watched your video twice. The Galapagos Islands have been just a dream for many years. Your video is the sort of traveling document I love to see. After watching I feel: I have been there.
This video would be a perfect showpiece for the traveling agency.
If the distance from Norway was shorter, I would by a ticket.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 07:28 AM   #62
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Hi you guys:

Steve, Mike, Finn Erik, Dale, Chris, Trond and Bob for watching my film and the generous comments and insightful critique. I so appreciate you and all that you do!

Bob: Of course you can send the link to your nephew in Fort Collins! It also sounds like you and your wife are due for another trip to the Park... we can hike some together and snag a bit of film too! Not quite the Galapagos, but it too has its charm!

Meryem: I so respect the difficulties of your job... and I thought filming for a year was tough! No worries about sending me a t-shirt... I'll stop by sometime and pick it up in person, maybe in the New Year! I'll take whatever you have. If it's a large, I'll wear it, if it's an XL my husband can have that one!

Cat
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 02:16 PM   #63
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Mike,
Thanks for your encouraging comments. I give you credit for the bluish night scenes.

I have watched your video, and I am amazed by all the different animals, birds, insects and plants you have shot. There are many good close-ups and the macros are superb.
The voiceover by a zoological specialist strengthens the film.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 04:37 PM   #64
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Marj,
Thanks for the comments. I think that if I ever do more with this piece, instead of shortening it, it needs to be broken up into more than one program. The Audubon Wilson part is something I have long dreamed to do, and would make the core of something else.
Of course, in any future presentation of this, the intro narrative will be totally changed.
Since we have all been shepherding each other through this for a year, I thought it was an appropriate way to start. Maybe not.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 04:24 AM   #65
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Steve,
Thank you for watching my video after a long day.

I have watched your video. I am amazed by the quality. You have so many great shots and you must have a talent for following flying birds with your camera. You are a good storyteller and that is important for keeping my interest through the whole film.
I wish you all the best for the future of your film and
I hope many will enjoy the pleasure of seeing it.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #66
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Dale, First off I have got to say you really had me going there the last 30 sec. I thought you lost the bird. It was a very interesting subject, I never would have realized that all that work went into training a falcon, or any other bird. I would have liked to have heard a little more VO during the hunting scenes such as, how often do they hunt in nature? What is the "life expectancy" of a hunting bird? Are they released back into the wild? You may consider cutting back on the hunting shoots in part two and maybe adding close up stills of the birds with VO. There was a scene where you were standing there with the bird on your arms and she started to flap her wings. Man, what I would give to experiance that moment. Your music was fantastic, but could have been toned done a bit, especially when you were talking. Ghost Riders in the Sky was a perfect fit. What a gift to be able to do your own music.

As a viewer, I would have appreciated more information about where you were geographically, I know you said the bad lands in the beginning, but I wonder if all of your footage was shot there. Where was the lake? One other question, do you have more one than one bird in training at one time? Do they require special permits to capture birds in Canada? The US? I am very ignorant about falconry althouth you have educated me alot. Thanks

Bob
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Old December 5th, 2009, 06:55 AM   #67
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Well Rob I knew you were skilful and creative when it comes to making films but I never realized just how skilful until I watched this! This is exceptional stuff. From start to finish this is a well-crafted, professional film.

You did an excellent job as presenter, your interviews are informal and relaxed and yet convey all the pertinent and interesting information desired.

It is obvious that you put a great deal of thought into filming this. Your shots are well-considered, polished and support wonderfully the structured story that runs through the film from one aspect of wildlife at Cliveden to the next. Each sequence with its variety of shots, angles, points of view, camera movements and dissolves flows seamlessly to the next. I loved the transition between day and night using the moon and the turning of leaves used to show winter moving to spring. Not only have you managed to capture the breathtaking beauty of the countryside and immediate environs of this gracious old estate you have also drawn us to the finer details of the wildlife that inhabits the secluded places here.

I thought it was very practical to include the sequence on the mushrooms to warn visitors of the dangers but also to draw their attention to the delicate and transient beauty of these fungi. This for me was once of your most artistic sequences – beautiful colours and framing of the subjects. (I also enjoyed your handling of the bluebells with accompanying music.)

I missed the birds in this piece. I can hardly believe that Kites are the only species to be left there. Surely a few bird songs in the background to the woods would not go amiss – or have the planes flying overhead chased all the birds clean away?

Just something I noted -your audio is out of sync at the end (Crayfish Bob and yourself) but I’m sure you have fixed that already.

Rob this film admirably fulfils the purpose for which it was created. I am sure there are many ways people would use this but I should imagine on those grey dreary days when no one can go outdoors this is going to be a wonderful compromise for visitors to the site. I know you will have great success with it. Buy some sunglasses – you are about to become a local hero. :)

Marj
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Old December 5th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #68
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Thanks so much for your comments Finn-Eric.

Steve I am still interested to know how many bird species are found in the USA.
I also have a question - how did you get such smooth diagonal pans across your photographs - did you use a rail of some sort was that handheld?

Marj
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Old December 5th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #69
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Marj - I had the distinct pleasure of viewing your film last evening and must say it is a magnificent effort. The subject was highly entertaining and instructive, the graphics were well into the professional range, and your script and narration were simply delightful. The more of these films I watch the happier I am that *I* don;t have to tryand pick the winner. Yours is surely a contender, and as you have stated, you haven't even polished it yet.

Thanks for a VERY enjoyable watch !

Chris S.

ps. As was also true with animations, your macros were beautifully done. You display a wide array of film making talents in this one!
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Old December 5th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #70
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Steve: I think you made the best use of our quarterly submissions as I saw most of them here and there throughout your film. A lesson learned.

I really enjoy your voice in VO, and the scripting was excellent, the storyline interesting and the pesonalization provided a nice "hook". I sat enthralled through your entire film.

I think you nailed the dialogue levels versus background... your voice was always up front and at no time in danger of being lost in the ambient or soundtrack, yet they too were easily heard. Your ambient (and I suspect some dub and foley) was absolutely perfect. Best I've run across on here perhaps. Your music choices were good, and if I had a criticism at all, it is probably more an issue of my style on this versus yours. There were times your sound tracks ended abruptly, as opposed to a fade out... and I like to try and avoid any extensive period of dead air, blending as close as I can. Between chapters there was sometimes a longer than (what I expected anyway) comfortable span of dead air.

That said, it is probably more an issue of taste, and as for everything else (99% in other words) your efforts in the making of this epic on birds is apparent. Your use of photographs and drawings, and handling of them was well done and appropriate, and the bird footage itself, from the closeups, to birds in flight (which you follow very well) was a joy.

You chose a BIG topic and managed to do it justice. Awesome watch ! Thanks !

Chris Swanberg
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #71
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Good Morning,

Thank you everyone for taking the time. I hope some of you went to the vimeo site as it is definitely better in a couple ways.
Trying to make this general as apposed to advanced specific was really difficult. My friend Nairn (in the video talking) helped a lot in that regard.
Now to comments and questions:
Rob, Yes, I will shoot more of everything, I think that is a great suggestion!!! More cut aways !!! the flight sequences will be reduced big time and were too long for the reason mentioned!!
BOB, We do lose falcons for a barrage of reasons. Most survive just fine and join the wild population which is good because there is an 80% Mortality the first year for wild falcons).
Life expectancy: My oldest was a gyrfalcon that lived 23 years. Reality, in the wild 6 years is average life expectancy. If you hunt them the legal season of 6 months a year getting them past 7 years of age is not all that common. My best falcons have been killed in the field by Great Horned owls, blind sided while they eat on their prey. It isnít Disneyland out there, lions do not talk to the Jackels, one doth eat the other. It breaks the heart as you develop such a bond with them as they are part of your life every single day.
In nature they are prone to hunt twice a day, morning and evening, but being opportunists they will take advantage of any good chance anytime of day.
Generally I only keep two falcons to hunt with, that is plenty. However, I have three right now because one has a recurring health issue( in the wild he would have been dead three years ago). Flying two takes me 1.5 to 4 hours each day, aug 15 to Feb.28. Of course they require attention in the off season.
In US and Canada you must have provincial permits. You must serve a 1 year apprenticeship under qualified individual before you can carry forward on your own. This is to protect the raptors.
Steve,
Any falcon I take will receive two years of work to prove itself. If it is conducive to falconry and what I do I will hang on to it. If not it can go back to the wild where it is better suited and I will start with a new member of the team the following spring or fall depending whether I take a youngster or trap a wild one.

My biggest problem is that I can not actually fly my own falcons and film them properly!! That means I am required to make trips to other falconers to get good ariel footage. Filming flying falcons is the hardest thing I do.

Being part of the UWOL group has been such a huge benefit to my videography . Not just the constructive criticism but rather the inspiration so many of you provide with your amazing videos!!!
Sometimes it is kind of like listening to my friend Keith Richmonds guitar music, it is so good I just want to put my instrument away or donate it to salvation army!! Seeing videos like some from this round makes me think the same about the camera. Of course, I plug away trying to learn more from you all and doing a better job!!

Thank you all so much.
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DATS ALL FOLKS
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old December 5th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #72
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Dale, thanks for all the information. I would never have thought that it took so much to raise and train a bird of prey to do something that should have come naturally. Thanks again for introducing me to a world I would have never experienced. We all learn so much from these Challenges. Bob
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:41 AM   #73
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Rob, As a long time fan of the National Trust on PBS I completely enjoyed your video. It was like a real "behind the scenes" of one of their gardens. You presented it in a way I have not seem on the series. I think you did a fantastic job of presenting yourself as the tour guide as you took us through the different seasons and areas of the Garden. Your narration and VO was clean and very clear, as was your natural sounds. Your use of interviews were like mini-stories within the story. Your lighting on the night scenes were some of the best I have seen, especially with that bright lamp burning right next to you. And, as a former entomologist I loved the insects. Very clever to include the use of the invasive crawfish as a dining experiance. The mushroom sequence was very educational. You really pointed out the danger of picking wild mushrooms unless you really know what you are doing. Your camera movement was very smooth. Did you use a dolly and crane in your shots? Again, thank you for such a wonderful tour of Cliveden. Bob
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Old December 6th, 2009, 07:34 AM   #74
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Hi Marj,

Your video was very nice and interesting to watch. I see a great potential for expanding this into a series for tv. Concentrate about one or a very few of the subjects in each episode.

Seing how skilled you and Catherine are with After Effects, that is a huge motivation factor for me to finally begin learning AE much better.

Very well done!
And since you said this was only a "rough cut", I really look forward to see the final cut.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #75
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Marj, what an incredible video. The graphics were fantastic and actually easy to follow. I loved the concept of relating everything to math. All those swirls and squares within a rectangle within a square. I, like some of the others think this should be divided into two of three parts and shown in science/math classes. As it was a bit over 40 minutes long it got to be a little over powering. Sort of like to much information to absorb at one time. My favorate part was the honeybees and the way they build their cones. Such presision in such a small brain. Begs the question...How do they do that? Thank you for taking us to a place where most of us have never been. An excellant productions. Bob
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