UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood at DVinfo.net

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Old April 1st, 2014, 06:29 PM   #1
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UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

FullHD version available on YouTube - though I have found the playback choppy on there:

Or you can download a FullHD: 1920x1080p version (245MB):

Glad to have finished this one, although rushing to get it done (got most of the shots I used on the 30th) did mean I didn't end up tweaking a few of the transitions, some would have worked better as fades. I'm still learning to use some of the features of the FS100, and haven't delved fully into the picture profiles tweaking, but I did use Frank Glencairn's GLOG settings for a number of the shots. Most shots are with the kit 18-200 as I was having issues with the Metabones adapter (might need a firmware update) and could only use my 50mm at f1.4 - and even then the focus would just ramp to infinity at random times.

I wanted to go to the lower parts of Tarra Bulga National Park, as there's some waterfalls - small but would have made some nice shots there in the shaded gully - but the road is being repaired for another week. Maybe I'll post some shots of that when I can get there again. It's a great place to visit, but wandering through you just know you can't do it justice. It's really hard to capture the experience on 'film'. I had hoped to use more location audio, and realised too late that most of the audio had transmitted sounds through the tripod (and maybe from even the action of the fluid head) so there's only a little bit of the cockatoos screeching and maybe a faint lyrebird call. An external recorder would be ideal for future ambient sounds I think. And I would have loved to get some birds (particularly the shy lyrebird) in the shots, but they were always hidden in the distance somewhere.

From editing I know the pans aren't perfectly smooth - the tripod didn't feel very fluid to me... more practice needed. But the online compression and playback really make it choppy. So the downloadable version is available if you want to make it easier on the eye.

It was a great learning experience - and even better just absorbing the wilderness. Hopefully you get something out of watching this.
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Old April 2nd, 2014, 07:56 PM   #2
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Wow Andrew, what a voice you have!!! Your VO was absolutely fantastic. Informative, & beautifully paced. Funny, i was thinking as i was watching it, that it must have been Tarra Bulga Nat. Park, & sure enough, it was. What a lovely place to go & spend some time eh!
You really need to be there early if you are going to film the Lyre birds, but there are (at least were) lots of lyre birds there. I think the last time i was there i filmed 5 or 6 in the one morning. Ideally though, you want to be there before sunrise & then you can walk around & find them screeching while they're still roosting in the trees. Not long after sunrise though, they will fly down & start looking for insects etc amongst the leaf litter of the forest floor. They are quite used to people in the park so getting close to them is not that hard really.
Great stuff, thanks for sharing!!
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Nicely done Andrew. It would be nice to have a little more forest sounds mixed in as it would make a person feel like they were there.

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Old April 3rd, 2014, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew

I absolutely agree with Bryce – This film is beautifully executed and the narration is outstanding. In this respect I think it ranks amongst the best produced by UWOL.

There is a wonderful sense of tranquillity in this film - in part due to the subject matter and camera work but also due to your calm voice and gentle music.

The only thing I have a problem with is that, although you refer to light and to shade in one or two places, this film is more about tree ferns than about light.

Very well done.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

I really enjoyed this one, Andrew. I think you and the new camera are going to be a great combination. I hope you can get your problems with the metabones sorted soon. I thought the camera moves were good. I didn’t experience any stuttering on my end. I think the lack of location sound gives a very dream-like quality that goes well with the subject. As others have mentioned, I appreciate the truly professional finish of the voice. Nice! I hope we get to see (and hear) more soon.
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Old April 3rd, 2014, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Thanks for the comments everyone. I did do a voice over short course over a year ago, and a more recent workshop with Deb Lawrence (Australian actress) - so I'm trying to put it all into practice.

I'd have to agree with the drawbacks:
Gordon - I totally wanted to have more forest ambience, and thought I captured enough, but found too much noise in most of my audio - so it was practically a write off. Realising while editing on the last day meant no time to fix. My fault for not getting onto the filming sooner, and not monitoring what the audio sounded like, only using the visual meters.

Marj - you're right about stretching for the theme. Compared with your entry and most of them it's not a strong connection - yours was a great choice. I had grander ideas (and more theme oriented), realised it would never be feasible, then devised something that was likely achievable in the remaining time and settled for that. Being 5 mins to one location, and about 40 - 50mins to the other 2 was very handy to make it possible. And I think mostly I wanted an excuse to test the camera out at a great scenic location.

I'll make a plan to not only get the waterfall shots I wanted, but capture some wildlife too. I could see where the lyrebirds had been scratching, so hopefully get them in the act down the track. I have some photos from previous adventures, but video with sounds of their repertoire would far surpass those. Even better would be them mimicking other sounds.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 03:59 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew

Very much liked watching your entry. Others have commented along similar lines that I would have gone along so I won't repeat, but I will endorse what others had said about your voice over which was just exquisite, especially for an Aussie LOL.

I have family scattered about over there, Adelaide, Melbourne, Manley etc so it was nice to watch your film. You have such a diversity to chose from. When we were last over there we spent a week filming on Kangaroo Island, great memories
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Old April 4th, 2014, 06:00 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew,

I agree with what has been said already, and really enjoyed watching your film. You have a great story, beautiful visuals and a really nice VO easy to understand for someone who has English as the 2nd language.
If you go back to film the waterfalls later, it would be nice to see.

Well done!
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Old April 4th, 2014, 01:40 PM   #9
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew,
Serves me right for being late posting, because most of what I'd written in my little book has already been said!
My comment extend to the excellent VO, and I thought the piece was very well put together.
I'm glad you are enjoying the FS100 - I find the kit lens very useful as a ¨good for all¨ lens, except in low light, and to be honest, despite being overawed by the idea of so many picture profiles at the time I got the camera,
I now use only about 3 - including Frank's GLOG v2, and the others from Doug Jensen's excellent training DVD.
Regarding ambient sound, a tip I picked up is to shoot some B roll, locked off camera, and use the sound as a base track. This helps when you don't have a separate recorder - I even recorded VO for one film, using a lapel mic, as I couldn't get a match indoors.

Finally, as Marj says, this entry has to rank amongst the best of UWOL! Very well done!
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Old April 5th, 2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Trees! What a completely natural yet oft-overlooked choice for this prompt.

Something about the staid VO, planetarium music, and especially the wildlife noises make me think of that wonderful series "Walking with Dinosaurs." At the end, I keep waiting for you to say "Join us next time, as the serenity of this Late Cretaceous forest is shattered by the largest reptile the Earth has ever known *roars*"
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Old April 6th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #11
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew.
Good approach and original use of the theme.
I miss the sound of the forest, but I see it as a minor issue.
The relaxing music and your VO makes me listen to what is being communicated.
Nice flow of imagery and camera movement is excellent.
Thanks for sharing and good luck.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 12:22 AM   #12
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Re: UWOL#29 - "Cyathea Australis" by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew,

I'm going to have to steal someone else's words:
Originally Posted by Marj Atkins View Post
There is a wonderful sense of tranquillity in this film - in part due to the subject matter and camera work but also due to your calm voice and gentle music..
Marj said it so nice.

The combination of the pictures, voiceover, and background music was something like a moving experience. These tree ferns are probably from the time of the dinosaurs and I can only imagine one, as Finn said, coming out of the bush with a roar. [Disclaimer: I only had one life-science course in school and it was micro biology so dinosaurs are out of my league, so just a wild guess]

Watching your video brought back memories. Quite a few years ago I hitchhiked around New Zealand and caught a ride from Queenstown and over Haast Pass. Eventually I made it to Greymouth. The two people who gave me a lift were a couple, both with PhDs in biology or some field like that. Somewhere near Haast Pass we went through an area with a lot of these ferns and they told me a lot about them. One area we stopped at so I could take some pictures had a swamp-like area with water and algae or something floating on the surface. Talk about feeling like one went back in time! Well, except for the gravel road and the car nearby.

We we live there are lots of ferns, including a number in my back yard, but these tree ferns are awesome. The coast of Washington and British Columbia has huge amounts of ferns (along with lots of moss) and I'd bet these tree ferns would do really well there. But please, don't anyone get the idea to import one.

It has been wonderful seeing so many videos that showed so much sensitivity toward our habitat that is being ruined. Maybe videographers have a greater sense of appreciation for nature, or the natural world, around us? Certainly those in the UWOL Challenge do!
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