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


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Old November 30th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #1
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Time to Rally!

Hey everyone:

A few words "spoken" from the heart!

UWOL 18 has proven to be a memorable challenge not soon forgotten: a challenge marked by both excellent and superb wildlife films as well as controversy and debate. To address the former, I am continually amazed at the quality of films that grace this forum. I believe that we as a community of wildlife filmmakers have collectively pushed back old barriers and limitations and continue to exceed all expectation to what our creative abilities and skills can achieve. I commend you all and am humbled to be a part of this group. You never cease to inspire me in my own endeavors and I am grateful for each of you.

UWOL 18 has also been marked with some very unfortunate circumstances that I, as controller of this forum, feel the need to address.

First, one important lesson that I learned as a first-time UWOL representative is that my comments on feedback threads must remain completely neutral in content. I am no longer a player but a manager who has contact with the judge and the behind-the-scenes workings of UWOL. It is inappropriate for me to give feedback that implies partiality or not with an entry. My bad guys! But I appreciate this round as a learning curve and am looking to our next challenge as a new opportunity to apply myself differently in my new role. Thanks for the support and coming along with me to UWOL 19!

UWOL 18 also was marked by serious debate concerning certain ethical questions that we must all face at some point as we mature into more serious wildlife filmmakers: ethical questions that will most likely shape and reshape continually throughout our careers. Open discussion threads are welcome on the UWOL forum as long as these discussions remain within the principles and spirit of UWOL. Perhaps then my best stab at what defines the spirit of UWOL is appropriate here:

The spirit of UWOL is to motivate and inspire filmmakers of all talents and abilities to get out into the great outdoors and film nature in all its grandeur as it unfolds before us, guided by the rules of the forum and the theme. The UWOL forum is to foster a nurturing and respectful environment with the goal to stimulate healthy competition, friendship and good-natured fun to encourage and motivate each player to improve their film-making skills, whatever level that may be. All filmmakers, from every continent and country are welcome to be a part of this community.

It is via the guidelines of this definition of the spirit of UWOL that I hope we can all openly discuss and debate. I felt there were a few notable breeches of UWOL spirit in the UWOL 18 open discussion thread. First, the discussion contained elements of the specific contents of an entered film and did not remain in the realm of the general and hypothetical and second, a player received several heated e-mails from, not the UWOL 18 players, but from individuals in the viewing community at large over points the individual made on the forum. I feel these breeches are unbecoming and contrary to the mission of UWOL. The forum is a platform to foster and nurture a respectful environment with the goal to motivate players to improve their filmmaking skills. Discussion and debate is a part of this process. I believe this can be done positively and productively while keeping points of view openly out on the public forum and in a general context.

O.K. all, enough is enough. My intent is to not spur a firestorm but calm the waters, mend wounds and move us forward. You are loved. You are valued.

Here's to UWOL 19! All are welcome. All are valued contributors. All have a unique vision of our beautiful wild world to share. Your creative talents inspire. As filmmakers, we are on this journey together as a community, as a family and as friends.

Just wait until you find out what the next theme will be!

Cat
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Old November 30th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #2
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"First, one important lesson that I learned as a first-time UWOL representative is that my comments on feedback threads must remain completely neutral in content. I am no longer a player but a manager who has contact with the judge and the behind-the-scenes workings of UWOL. It is inappropriate for me to give feedback that implies partiality or not with an entry. My bad guys! But I appreciate this round as a learning curve and am looking to our next challenge as a new opportunity to apply myself differently in my new role. Thanks for the support and coming along with me to UWOL 19!"

As one whose film was negatively criticized by you, at least I had some idea why you would not refer it forward to the judge as a finalist. As you may recall, in another chapter of the Challenge, I complained about not knowing whether my films made in this contest were ever considered by a judge, and we were told we were not going to be appraised of that. So on the contrary, if the moderator is going to act as a preliminary judge, it seems only fair that some reason be given to participants why their film was rejected for the judging competition, and which ones were being forwarded.

I took your criticisms as constructive, and will consider them in my next endeavor, whether it be in the UWOL Challenge or anywhere else.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 03:39 PM   #3
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Hey Cat,

Just wanted to say thank you for all you've done.
Taking the helm of a international challenge can certainly be a daunting task.

Even though I didn't manage to get an entry in this round I appreciated your enthusiasm and encouragement.

My goal is still the same to improve my skills as a filmmaker and celebrate nature and this great planet we call home.

I know I still have a long way to go but UWOL keeps me focused even if I end up in the shark tank and for that I am truly grateful!
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Old December 1st, 2010, 06:47 PM   #4
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Thanks Kevin

But no more shark tank for you. It suits you so much better to be on dry land and behind a camera lens than to be out there encircled by shark fins!

Here's to next time, I think you're going to have fun with the theme.

Cat
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