UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood at DVinfo.net

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 08:57 AM   #1
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UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

A late choice of subject for me this month, but after my mother in law passed away on the 10th, and the ensuing family discussion about the farm - it became a natural decision, and the timing dictated all!




The film covers, in three minutes, just over a century of life in a small corner of rural Brazil, but is intertwined with the modernisation which is rapidly taking place, and the move away from the countryside, as seen in so many countries, and now being repeated in Brazil.

I apologize for a couple of tech issues - dirt on the sensor of my FS100, which I only saw in post. and was unable to re shoot due to time and weather constraints.

I also made a version with Portuguese VO, which is having a great reception here.

It also marks the end of an era for us, as due to the circumstances, we are moving back to Spain in the next weeks.

Last edited by Paul Wood; October 3rd, 2013 at 08:59 AM. Reason: added link
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Paul,

I have watched your entry 4 times and have learned from it each time. Did you use filters while shooting? I wonder if just adding a black and white effect to your footage would give you the dramatic contrasts present in every scene. I can't imagine being able to get so much emotion out of some old shacks. Avoiding horizontal and vertical lines was really effective, too, as was the juxtaposing of motion and stillness in sequential scenes. The old-time black and white photographers would have been proud of this.
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Hi Paul,

Very nice one! I agree with Steve's comments.
Thank you for sharing!
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 03:17 PM   #4
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Paul,
Like all the films I have watched of yours, I really enjoyed this one. What a great story teller you are. I need to watch it again to be able to make any further comments & will do that in a couple of days when I get back from the mountains.
Thanks,
Bryce
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

I watched this before I went to bed last night. I got into bed and HAD to tell my wife what I had just seen! This is very well done.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 10:57 PM   #6
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Paul,
What a great story teller you are! A bit of a sad story, but very well told all the same. Quick question. How did you do the shot following the couple in the horse drawn cart? It was very smooth!
Unfortunately, your story is a familiar one, with many people giving up the land for jobs in the cities, only helping of course, to further weaken our connection to the land.
I loved how you went with black & white for the entire film. Did you think of using an old film filter for the first few shots then transition to the pin sharp shots your camera produces? Just thinking that may have been able to mask the shot with dust on the sensor?? Or maybe even transitioning to colour? Either way, I loved the black & white, & I thought it suited your film perfectly.
Thank you for sharing this with us. I have learned a lot just watching your films & this one is no exception.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old October 5th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Thank you all for your comments, I have to say, of all the short documentary films I have made here (some for UWOL), this is rapidly becoming a family favourite.

From a technical standpoint - I started out with B Roll shots (most of the film from 1 minute in) armed with the FS100, a Sony 50mm lens with an ND8 filter and a very cheap tripod I normally use for the slider, and spent a couple of hours wandering about getting shots - mainly from a low angle, except the swinging lasso at the end.

After a few days, I thought of the opening sequence, but had to wait almost a week for logistics and weather to come together before being able to shoot - here I used my trusty little NX70, which has excellent stabilisation, and for the opening was either sitting on, or walking beside/behind the cart. The long shot is on sticks.

The fade of the cattle and cowboys was an afterthought - the day before the end of the contest all of the cattle were sold, and I was holding open a gate for them to be moved, when I had an idea and rushed back for the camera -

All was edited on FCPX, colour corrected, and then I applied the stock B&W effect, but then re adjusted the colours, to get the right contrast levels for each shot.

I did try a few variations, but I really wanted a high contrast BW look for the piece - I played with the idea of masking the sensor dirt, but decided that in the end, the story would carry the film, and that most people wouldn't notice.

One last point - I decided after a first rough cut on the duration of the film, chose the music, and thanks to Smartsound, was able to add 3 tracks - high strings, low strings and piano to the edit, and then mix in FCP - hence the piano only comes in at the end, and then made several versions cutting to the soundtrack to get the mood.

I wont bore you with the second version in Portuguese, but this is slightly different, due to the different rhythms and cadences in the VO track.

Again, thanks for your comments!
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Old October 5th, 2013, 10:15 PM   #8
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Hi Paul. I have to admit I didn't notice the dirt on the sensor. As Steve mentioned it is interesting how you made something simple really interesting. Being black and white may have something to do with it to. Yes it's sad to see the small family farms slowly disappearing. Anyway nice job.

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Old October 7th, 2013, 03:37 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Very well produced video as usual, Paul. The desaturated colours work well – certainly emphasized the regret/sadness of seeing an era with so much value slowly dissipating.

Theme: This film is more about ‘Time passing’ than ‘Timing’.

The shot at exactly 00 :08 seconds into the story with the title ‘Brazil 1878’ is an illustration what can happen when filming and focusing so much on the subject that one forgets to look at the background particularly when reconstructing an historical scene. There are a couple of ‘oopsies’ here :)
Modern building in distance; telephone pole that would definitely not have been there in 1878; not sure about the horse’s harness and the fence poles but I am sure about the car tracks in the dirt and the hump in the middle between the wheel tracks – typical of modern vehicles. (Because the horse walks in front between the wheels it would not create that hump.) It would have been better if it had been shot off road. With limited time these things happen so easily. I had a problem with one of my prize shots that I had to dump because I was so focused on the sound being produced by the subject I did not notice the sound of water between me and the subject scribbling all over it.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 05:55 AM   #10
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Thank you for your comments, Marj,

You are correct about the opening scenes - I wasn't going for historical accuracy, but to tell a story.

Time, as ever is, a problem on this type of shoot - the characters are working farmers, and the horse and cart borrowed from a neighbour who had just delivered his milk to the bulk tank, and was waiting to go home.

Compromise is sometimes a necessity!

Thanks!
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Old October 7th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: UWOL 27 - End of an Era - Paul Wood

Paul, you deliver a great story as the great storyteller you are.
A sad story, bud sad stories also need to be told.
Educating and informative to me and technocaly great.
I have learned from your films, and so I did from this one.

Thank you for sharing and all the best.
Geir Inge
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