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Old September 25th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #1
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The Future of UWOL

A judge's thread will be posted by next Friday. While the players continue to play, let's have a little campfire chat about the future of UWOL, shall we?

First, thanks to the players for three and a half amazing years of beautiful and unique video productions.

My plan is to leave you in good hands. Mat and Kevin will still be along to keep the technical and design side of things moving along. I could have never done any of this-- or, more to the point, helped you all to do any of this -- without their support and steadfast friendship. They are two of my favorite people, and I have never met either of them face-to-face. But we have interacted in almost every possible digital and electronic form, from DVinfo to Skype to Facebook. And UWOL videos.

What a strange new world we live in, yes? All the more reason to keep the love of nature alive even if it means transfiguring that love into the digital realms.

Here is our plan for the future:

Your next 3 Challenges will be run by our Interim Field Guide - Cat Russell. I selected Cat to take the reins because I believe that she -- and the work that she has done here in our UWOL Challenge forum -- best embody the spirit of the contest. She has learned so much since the early days and is always quick to share that knowledge with others. I know she will try her best to serve all of the players with wisdom and integrity. Plus, she has that deep, abiding planetary love, which you all share, and which has always been the heart and soul of the Challenge.

She will be running the next 3 Challenges with the consistency of the original Challenge, every other month, to get the UWOL mojo flowing again. At the end of the trial, if she likes the work, she will take over as your permanent contest coordinator and will be free to make any changes to the contest.

I know that UWOL rules need an overhaul to get them up to speed with changes in technology, and some of the reasons that we had for establishing the original rules are now obsolete. But it will be easier for her to stick to the guidelines, initially, because she knows them well, and to re-establish the consistency of the contest.

After that, if she chooses to accept this Ultimate Challenge, it will be hers and it will be open season for you all to make all the changes you like. An overhaul of the contest is overdue, and this will be the appropriate time to make changes. Give her a little space to navigate the waters first.

Three Challenges will also give us plenty of time to see if the contest still has longevity or whether, like a flower, it was something destined to blossom, flourish, bring a little beauty and happiness to our lives, and return to seed.

I always have said that UWOL is the players, not me, or my hare-brained ideas (apologies to hares everywhere...). I hope that I have left you in good hands and thank you for all of the inspiration and love that the contest has brought to me. And to your planet, spaceship Earth.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #2
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Let's Roll!!!
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Old September 25th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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Sounds great, Meryem. I just knew you were going to do something cool like this!
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Old September 25th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #4
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UWOL will be in great hands with Catherine behind the rudder.
I look forward to the future challenges. Let the mojo flow!
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Old September 25th, 2010, 06:25 PM   #5
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Good evening,

Change in management always means new direction, with Cat at the helm I am sure things will move along in a new and positive direction. Will be a fun and interesting walk. As long as we don't run, I am not to good at that anymore!!

So the next go will be november first, eh? Perfect, I will be returning from a ten day shoot just at that time!!!


Dale
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Old September 26th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #6
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Thanks you guys for the support and kind words. I'm thrilled for this opportunity because you all truly inspire.

Meryem, you are the catalyst for a movement. We, the UWOL community, are a product of your energy and passion for life. You are a leader, teacher, encourager and friend. You have pushed us all farther than we ever thought possible and you have given us a format to spread our wings and fly.

I have the wonderful opportunity to vouch for Meryem's character off the UWOL field as well as on. The inspiration to bring others up is still there! She has my back as I venture unsteadily into the big world of commercial filming. She has joined me on projects where I am over my head in both expertise and equipment and continues to guide and mentor in true Meryem style. She has a knack for gently pushing us out of your comfort zone while at the same time being right there in enthusiastic support, does she not? Amazingly, this passion spills over onto all of us impartially. Meryem awakens something in us all, not only here at UWOL, but in students everywhere!

So here we are, UWOLers! You amaze me with your warm generous heart, technical prowess and willingness to continue what Meryem has sparked. There is not one of us that hasn't vastly improved their film making in this forum and I think we are each growing into something beyond what we ever thought possible. So let's go for it! Meryem is never too far away to join in with humor and wisdom in that Ersoz style.

So here's a toast! To Meryem, to UWOL, to reaching beyond ourselves and pushing boundaries and to our glorious natural world that bring us infinite possibilities to hone and nurture our craft.

Cat

P.S. Ah, I think I've got the perfect theme for UWOL 18..... oh are you gonna love it! ;-)
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Old September 26th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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Cat, this is going to be great. Meryem, thank you for the past, and for providing us a future. Bob
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Old September 28th, 2010, 05:59 PM   #8
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har de har - if my zodiac sign wasn't Leo, I'd have to use my mod's privileges and edit Cat's generous toast down to something more modest...

I'll look forward to watching what your new fearless leader cooks up for the pack...
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Old October 6th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #9
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Cat - Thank you for agreeing to take over the task of running UWOL (even if you are going to be testing it out first over the next three challenges).

The difficulty with being a player and taking on this task is you are going to lose out on participating – so an extra thank you for being so generous. I am sure that everyone will agree when I say that we have every confidence in your ability to run this challenge and along with the help of Kevin and Mat to keep our little community going. We look forward to the new and exciting things you have in store for us.

Meryem - thank you for all the hard work you have put into UWOL over the past three years. You have created a wonderful space in which we can learn, stretch our abilities, exchange ideas and meet new people with similar interests. Although I have no doubt you will still be around to encourage us on, my best wishes go with you for all those personal and exciting projects you have lined up for the future.

Marj
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Old October 6th, 2010, 07:37 PM   #10
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Marj Atkins said:

"Cat - The difficulty with being a player and taking on this task is you are going to lose out on participating so an extra thank you for being so generous."

Not necessarily. There is precedent for the co-ordinators to participate by making their entries "non competitive. Lorinda Norton does that all the time in the DV challenge on this site. So she can still accept the same challenge she throws out and receive feedback on her efforts also.

Nevertheless, she is still being very generous...With her time and consideration.

Good luck to you, Cat.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 07:35 AM   #11
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Hi Marj - you're welcome - thanks for bringing the Saffy vibe with every entry. Great to see so many different parts of the world represented in this little space. One of my favorite parts of reviewing entries was the armchair "world tour" and seeing you flying an XL2 around in an ultra-light over a giant crater definitely ranks high on those experiences...

And Bruce, just to keep the record straight...I have put up 3 for-fun UWOL Challenge entries, and I believe that is one more than Dylan shot for DVC before he handed the reins over to Lorinda.

I've also completed four DVC entries. Lorinda finished one UWOL, and that slacker Dylan signed up for the first UWOL and choked.

Just sayin' -- a little trash talk among friends...
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Old October 8th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #12
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Hey Marj and Bruce (and Geir in the winner thread):

Thanks for the well wishes and support! Thank goodness it is all of you who keep the spirit alive at UWOL! So far, I'm finding that behind the scenes there's a bit of chasing after these talented and very independent filmmakers to stop and smell the roses for a stint on the UWOL side of the fence. I'm beginning to realize that Meryem tapped into my goat herding skills rather than my film prowess for this job! I knew those goats would come in handy for something ;-).

And no worries Marj! I may not compete, but I'll be lobbing my share of films out here for comment and review. How can I pass up all the savvy critique and family support from all of you?

Cat
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Old October 9th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #13
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Let me belatedly join and add my thanks to Meryem for her selfless devotion to this cause for so long. Having said that, let me also say that I could not be more delighted to see Cat at the helm. I have so enjoyed her work over the years and her spirit reflected therein that I am sure she will continue us on this great voyage of visual discovery of this wonderful world in which we all live.

A well deserved rest to you Meryem, and to Cat... let the continuation of this voyage begin!

Chris Swanberg
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:24 PM   #14
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Hi Chris:

What a very nice post...

But I must ask and is first on my mind is, how is your daughter? You, and your family?

All well?

Best,

Cat
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Old October 10th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #15
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Cat..

I appreciated the great support I got from my "family" here when my daughter had her scary illness last spring. She is doing very well, back at work part time and with some permanent issues re her kidney function (not so bad it needs dialysis tho) and, she is doing well. She underwent a form of personal transformation, and had some dark days in the recovery, but now is in a sense "reborn" and better than ever. (Her blog can be accessed here: NorCal Katie )

The effects of such an event are something I am still experiencing, but it changed me too. For the better hopefully.

I am looking forward to getting back into making films, and at least in the UWOL challenge I don't have to listen to Dick Mays demanding full frontal <a poke at Dick, in jest>. Chris B and I are going to be making some more films together, and I'd like to think we keep kicking the can down the road quality wise. UWOL films I will likely do solo to measure myself by most likely. I still want to finish my Glacier documentary,

You go girl. Challenge us, inspire us, and above all, have FUN with us... please.

Chris S.
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