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


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Old May 25th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #1
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Only time will tell

I tried something different here in my story structure that I hope won't confuse you too much. I also tried a different way of presenting my story - describing my thoughts as I went along. This doesn't work for me - not my style of documentary. However all in all I really did enjoy doing this film because it was different. I genuinely felt my heart sink when I didn't find any of the usual Coots at the first dam.

Last edited by Marj Atkins; May 26th, 2010 at 01:19 AM.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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Marj- This may have been a different way of working for you but you pulled it off very well. Especially so since you had so little lead time! I even had to hit the books over one bird (I love that!). I thought that was a cut-throat finch but my range maps don’t show it in your area. Nice shot. Too bad the story is so sad. Have you heard about the abomination we are currently committing in the Gulf of Mexico? We are rapidly turning the entire surface of the planet into a giant patchwork blanket of “only time will tell”s…
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:02 PM   #3
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Thanks Mike - I've just posted my first feedback comment and found this when I returned! The bird is a Red-throated Wryneck - relative of the woodpeckers.

Yes I must say the Gulf situation is a huge disaster!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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Thanks Marj. I found that Wryneck. Interesting birds!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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Marj:

These films this challenge have been remarkable in that we have really gotten to see real world conditions, not the idealic conditions we tend to try to show. The subject matter and concern, of course is real, and the risk of damage is great. But I do get the feeling that in many instances, mother nature has a way with dealing with us--- and as your film alludes....time will tell how she straightens out this one..
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #6
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Marj,

Excellent film.

The pollution issues there are scary. My first UWOL film in UWOL#8 was also about pollution, but nothing like the scale you have. Even today, at lunchtime, I watched one of my herons guzzling fish, surrounded by junk left by man and I marvelled at the resilience of nature.

I have a great belief that nature doesn't care what the surroundings are like. We see a mine, they see a wilderness to live in. I see an industrial estate, they see a beach. I see a river full of garbage, they see a river full of fish to eat and interesting things to hide behind. They don't see beauty like us. Only pollution, chemicals and other waste, is truly harmful.

A lovely journey, and the delight of finally finding the birds amongst all that wasteland is obvious. You got some great bird shots there. You did well to get the kingfisher. I tried with them, but they are just too damn fast - or maybe I am too damn slow.

As an aside, "coot" is one of those funny words. I never know whether the plural is "coot" or "coots". Neither of them sound right to me!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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Very nice Marj. The depth of research was evident. Excellent educational film. Nice crisp color. When you said the trucks trundle down the road I had to look it up as I understood what it meant but had never heard the word before, and I found this quote:
"I doubt if Emerson could trundle a wheelbarrow through the streets" (Henry David Thoreau).
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Marj....

..it is a delight to see you using your significant skills as a videographer and story teller to highlight issues such as this.

Never underestimate the power of an image to galvanize public support, outrage and effect change. I would hope you can expand on this piece and find an larger more local audience for it.

Your films are always amongst my favorites. This one was no exception.

Chris S.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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Marge,


I always look forward to your films. Yes, this one is different from your others but in a good way. I very much enjoyed it.

Best was the sense of possible disaster in the beginning (lack of coots or avian filters as I call them) and then the move to where there was possible hope and then the finale where the water authority is stepping in. classic: situation, complication, resoulution!!

My only possible criticism would be the color in your film was not up to the richer qualities we see in most of your films!! Of course that may just be the time year and day you had to shoot this in.

Very much enjoyed!!!!! thanks Marge!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 04:11 PM   #10
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Hi Marj,

You could easily fill a long-form uwol with this story.
Most has been said already, so I'll just say I very much enjoyed watching your film.

Well done!
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Old May 31st, 2010, 10:39 AM   #11
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Thank you everyone for your kind and helpful comments.

Chris B & S, Trond
The theme this time round certainly resulted in some unusual and interesting films. I hope you are right and this wetland eventually comes right. My entry is only a very brief outline of the situation – and only as it affects the bird sanctuary. Unfortunately it is just one aspect of a much bigger problem - the flooding of mines in general – something that is becoming a major concern because it can potentially seriously affect all our drinking water. (The water in the western basin has already risen unacceptably high and has affected borehole water on the West Rand.) The pollution problem at this wetland was in fact dealt with in a recent local television broadcast, although I didn’t see it myself. I understand the broadcast exposed a number of issues at the mine concerned.

Mike and Bill - you guys really got me going on words – thought you might be interested:

The accepted plural of Coot is ‘Coots’. See “Rallids” (At times I have the same feeling about the word Zebra!)

You learn something new every day, even if in a roundabout way. 11 meanings of the word ‘trundle’ :) Trundle | Define Trundle at Dictionary.com (Never realized there was such a thing as a trundle!)

Dale thanks for your encouragement; the colour in this film is true to the subject matter - I certainly haven't changed my usual settings. (Oh yes - it could also have had something to do with the heavy mist early morning.)
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Old June 1st, 2010, 03:25 AM   #12
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As you can't get all the background information into a three minute film, I think you did an excellent job of giving an outline plus progressively positive information as you found the birds on another part of the site.

And now I've "wasted" a quarter hour by following the "trundles" link and looking at other words too! Right, back to work. . . .
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 09:47 AM   #13
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Thanks for watching and commenting Annie. Hope you are now more enlightened after your fifteen minutes looking up words!! :)

(Unfortunately I have a problem with viewing your film at the moment as I don't have the bandwidth to view a 405MB file. We have been waiting for our uncapped ADSL for over two months now but here the wheels grind very slowly - if at all. Till we do I have to reserve most of the bandwidth I have for business purposes.)
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Old June 4th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #14
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Marj, much have already been said to your piece and I agree what have been said. Interesting and a history which should be seen by others than our community of nature lovers!
Your storytelling is very good, and your VO is easy for me as a foreigner to understand.

I have a couple of comments about your editing.
First the audio/sound between some of the frames is very hardcuts. Doing a fade out with the soundtrack into the next sequence would have been a much better transition.
There where some strange sound inside the car when you was driving, a kind of a metallic sound.

But overall your editing is very well done. A nice flow between the cuts, steady footage, good compositions. Keep up your good work Marj!
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Old June 5th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #15
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Thanks so much Per for taking the time to watch this and for your input - appreciate your comments.
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