UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell at DVinfo.net

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Old July 1st, 2013, 07:02 AM   #1
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UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Hi all:

I hope you find this clip fun and entertaining, hopefully humorous in spots but also with a serious message about how a warming earth is impacting the climate in Colorado and Out West in the US.

A few things to note:

The beautiful Great Horned owl who graced this clip was filmed a few years ago for my UWOL long form and never used until now. Thank goodness for rule #5! She also was not filmed in the wild but at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Rehabilitation center.

Also, the few seconds of wildfire footage was not mine but used by permission.

These are noted in the credits but thought I'd mention them here too.

During this challenge we've had around 16 wildfires burning in Colorado, the most destructive being the Black Forest wildfire that destroyed 510 homes, over 14,000 acres and killed 2 people.

Thanks for the feedback. It was fun to participate again and I look forward to your entries.

Cat


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Old July 1st, 2013, 08:35 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

The master of after effects is back! :)
As always, I very much enjoy your films.
It is a good story you tell, and we notice the climate changes over here too.

It looked like you were pretty close to the snakes. But the close up shots were great!
Amazing how many different animals you captured, and I wasn't able to find anything but annoying little bugs.

Well done!
It is great to have you back with us.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Hi Catherine!

This was a real pleasure to watch. Informative, very nicely edited and some humor, that cannot go wrong:)
The "Three amigos" really get me laughing.

Lots of very nice shots of animals and the snakes are just so beautiful. And you GOT some snow at the mountains, you too :)

Very nicely done and i must say that i think you are a very skilled editor.

/Mikael
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Old July 1st, 2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Cat,

I think this is your most serious and best production yet. Also you are a natural narrator. Keep it up.
I worry about your state, and its neighbors a lot. The West has always been fragile, and now with the heat, and especially those bark beetles the whole place is a tinderbox. I recall flying over the Rockies and seeing the brownish colored trees and thinking the airplane's windows were dirty. Actually the trees were dead. I wonder what it will look like in 2100.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 04:15 PM   #5
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Hi Catherine!

I liked your film, and of course, sadly prescient today, its message about drought and wildfires.

I agree with the others - but this is the first film of yours I have been able to see - certainly you have the gift!

I have to say I found the flashed graphics during the first section a bit strange, but your images are stunning, and the use of the graphs in the second part was very effective.

Welcome back to the group!
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Old July 1st, 2013, 06:15 PM   #6
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for watching this, your comments, feedback and support. I really appreciate what you each have to say.

Paul, LOL, I was wondering when someone would bring up a direct comment on the introductory animation! Yes, I tend to agree with you that it is rather disjoint from the Old West flavor of the rest of the film clip. I don't know if you stuck it out through the credits, but it actually comes back again briefly at the very end as well.

I actually got the idea to have the "I" fall on the "M" in Impact to flip it to "W" to introduce the word "Water" before I knew just how I was going to present the rest of the clip. By the time I was well into the theme of my movie, I had grown sort of attached to what I had done in the intro there, but probably should have cut it since it really was so different than the rest of the movie! Ah well, I had a feeling that wouldn't sit well with some or maybe even most viewers, but it did serve to baffle and keep you guessing! Which may not be a bad thing in the end! :)

Thanks again you guys, you are my teachers and friends.

Cat
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 01:27 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Your video was very nicely done and I like the message.

The map of the western US shows our area in "white" indicating it isn't a problem. However, 25 years ago we had measurable precipitation every single day of JULY. Lately, in the past several years, there have been very few days with rain. Some people might like that but with all the timber around here, interspersed with housing, it is slowly becoming an "accident" waiting to happen.

What is needed is a way to distribute videos like this to a wider audience. Unfortunately, they have to compete with the evening news about a new development going in here, a new manufacturing plant (creating jobs!) coming to the area, or a local business that is prospering and adding positions, or maybe one going the other way and closing it's doors. It seems that is what people want to see and not be "bothered" by a message that the Earth is dying and we are the ones killing it.

Your video is the kind of thing that I would like to do too, but the big question is "where to show it?" in order to get people concerned enough to do something.

Keep up the good work!
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 08:55 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Cat,

Great to have you back!!
I would have been disappointed if you didn't have some of the Cat magic in your film!
Oh, I didn't forget about the "koi pond" young lady!! :)

Loved your film. Iowa just came out of a severe drought so I know what the effect can be on nature and wildlife as well as we humans.

For several years I've had rain barrels that capture the water falling on my roof to use for watering my indoor plants etc. If I water the lawn I do so early in the morning and use sprinklers that don't shoot high in the air where more evaporation can occur.

There are still many people out there including our own government who deny climate change. But that's simply because the people that are causing it are lining their pockets with fat cash to keep the party going.

Not sure what we can do at this point but I certainly try to conserve water and buy products that don't take a lot of water to produce.

Nice to have you back Cat! Look forward to your next UWOL film!
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 09:25 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Good "morning" John:

On an international forum the time of day means little :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on this thread and I hope other readers in the wider community will join in with us here at UWOL as well!

I hope you have also checked out Steve's entry (Next Time Take the Train) for he too has put up an excellent entry addressing our impact as CO2 polluters without realizing the magnitude of what we are doing.

I think you have a good question in where we as filmmakers can make a difference on this issue. I know my friend Kevin has dedicated himself to making a difference with his films. (Hi Kevin, I hope you read this ;-))! Perhaps we can start a spin off to UWOL as a filmmaking forum dedicated to climate change issues? It isn't this one film that is particularly important but our collective voices through our art that could help move the issue forward. I think that could be really fun. To be careful not to "compete" with the UWOL forum in time and dedication, perhaps it could be one that is similar to the DVINFO/UWOL Charity challenge where it happens once a year where we could create longer, more in-depth entries to cover our topics and concerns in a more serious fashion.

Just brainstorming! All are welcome to throw out their own thoughts.

But be encouraged, John! There is a lot out there that is dedicated to the critical issue of a warming earth and I think more and more people are aware and concerned about how exactly we turn the ship around. I understand your frustration, but I think we carry our own burden list of problems and putting food on the table for our family just might rank higher on the priority list than what can be done about climate change. Especially where you live and you don't sense the beginnings of serious consequences like we are feeling elsewhere. But soon enough it will become top priority when every aspect of our life is negatively impacted by very serious consequences to a climate run amuck. Also, be encouraged that in the end, the good Lord can rejuvenate, refresh and make new in a heartbeat what we tear down over centuries of abuse!

So let's take up the fight, I'm game :)

Cat
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

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Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
Oh, I didn't forget about the "koi pond" young lady!! :)
Kevin! I was just "writing" about you! Were your ears burning? :) I hoped to have you pass through! How are you friend? I STILL laugh about that koi and amazingly pulling one over the great Kevin Railsback! :)

If you get a chance, read my comment to John. Maybe it would be fun creating a film forum dedicated to the issues of global warming. It might be a strong voice in that we could be filming first hand what we are experiencing all over the world in our own back yards. It's worth the conversation at least!

Not only drought, but you in Iowa have been currently experiencing flooding and the consequences of too much rain, right? A film forum dedicated to these issues is ripe for the making, I think!

Cheers Kevin, and thanks for taking a gander and watching Out West.

Cat
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 04:44 PM   #11
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Hi Cathrine, so good to have you back in the saddle :)
Are you the one who rides the horse or is it Calamity Jane? Haha, had to make a little joke about that ;)

I have missed your videos, your humor, your technical skills and animations.
You stay well within the theme, with a highly relevant focus; water.
Two days ago, I saw on the news that 19 of the 20 firefighters died in Yarnell i Arizona, due to wildfire. Today I heard on the news that the last 10 years, is the decade with the highest measured temperatures in the world, since they started the measurements. This affects all of us and the earth we live on, a world we share and have in common.
Even in the deepest seriousness, you have kept your sense of humor, I love it.
Please do not let go of it. Along with your animations make this one of your trademark.
Also, I like the prelude to your voiceover, which is approximately around 2.30.
Quick change of scenes, various creatures and landscapes together with a matching tune - and then freeze.
A stone hits the water. Could it be better? Not if you ask me.
This is perfect, and a well thought out piece of work.

Also need to thank you for your help with my English, you're a good person and a dear friend.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 10:47 PM   #12
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Hi Geir:

Love runs deep amongst friends :). Thank you for the review, the words, your talent and fellow film-making. Also thank you for the invitation to all to visit you and the island of Runde! In my dreams I am there! I can hear the bird calls already!

Most importantly, thank you for standing with the 19 fallen fire fighters, even when you are an ocean away. They were the top in their occupation and the best out there. It's just that wildfires are just that, both dangerous and wild. You are a knowledgeable man of current events to know about this. Thank you, we really are all connected.

The wild Jane on the horse is Catherine, a friend of mine! I'm so glad you mentioned her :) When it comes to horsemanship, she's the best.

Now all that is left is for someone to comment on my gander, Yang, looking regal in a little wading tub of water. I find this as humorous as "the three amigos". But then again, my sense of humor has always been a touch odd!

Thanks Geir!

Cat
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 10:52 PM   #13
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

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Originally Posted by Geir Inge View Post

Also need to thank you for your help with my English, you're a good person and a dear friend.
Thanks for sharing.
By the way, Are You Kidding? The Norwegian team can teach me English by now! The next UWOL entry I make, my post will be in Norwegian.... brace yourself, it won't be pretty. :)
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 11:13 PM   #14
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

Hi Cat
that's a lot of fires, we still have areas where only grass is coming back four years later. Even the kangaroos hang around in town sometimes because of cascading displacement from the fires - lack of food in areas they used to graze.

Great shots of the wildlife you have out that way. A worthy theme, and plenty of post production work to pull it all together. I guess my only criticism is the dichotomy between what felt like two different videos, not that there was anything wrong with either part. I just felt like there was a big shift from exploring the west, to now we're talking about water. And in one way that works - it created an impact, took a tangent and then came back. It just makes me wonder if there may be another way to structure the video to be more cohesive. That's just how I felt watching it. You might want it that way, to create a specific viewer impact. The splash was a great device, and theme oriented. It's still effective, lots to like - and it's got me thinking about form and structure for my own work.

Above all, you not only finished, but added the bells and whistles to the video. 2 points more than most of us who signed up. And I like the idea of making some UWOL videos to get the environmental message out there.
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Old July 4th, 2013, 01:13 AM   #15
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Re: UWOL26 - Out West by Cat Russell

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Originally Posted by Catherine Russell View Post
The next UWOL entry I make, my post will be in Norwegian..
I can't wait. And next uwol is in September! :)
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