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


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Old June 23rd, 2014, 03:10 PM   #16
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

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Not sure what all the *'s are about but that's what you get from copying from a PC to an iPad I guess. :)
No worries -- fixed that for you!
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 04:08 PM   #17
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

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There were a lot of good things planned for UWOL but at that time Chris was pretty busy with things so we really were just kind of left to our own devices and never really had a chance to grow UWOL like we wanted to.
Seems like I'm *always* pretty busy with things. Seems like there's never enough time, either. But I still have an old series of emails about UWOL ideas which can be re-visited. And I think there's plenty of untapped opportunity here.


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Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
The other thing is maybe Chris can pony up a few dollars to pay for some targeted Facebook ads. I mean a lot of people who may enter don't even know we exist. We're a small niche as it is. I mean I see nature photographers often here in Iowa but have yet find anyone else filming nature here.
Do targeted FB ads work? I'd sure like to get some feedback on that. DVi can push UWOL from its FB and Twitter accounts, plus the newsletter, no problem.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
If Chris or someone pony up $100 for a gift certificate for camera gear maybe you would get the full $100 if you signed up before the theme was announced but only $50 if you signed up after the theme was announced. That way the people who took the challenge without knowing what they had to work with benefit from taking the chance.
Have done it before and will be happy to do it again!

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Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
$100 US isn't a lot of money but would be interesting to see if we had more people sign up. Maybe Chris could kick in $100 too. That's only $400 a year if he supported all the challenges. Heck, my last hard drive cost more than that! :)
You're on!
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 04:11 PM   #18
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Thought it might be a good time to whip out this oldie once again... the original inspiration for the UWOL name. And, always curious to know if there are any other die-hard Midnight Oil fans like myself lurking about these parts...

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Old June 23rd, 2014, 04:22 PM   #19
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

While having $$ as an award for the winning film certainly can attract more people, (which is a good thing and what we want), I am not sure about have it for every challenge would be good.
We all need to remember the idea of what UWOL is, a challenge to push yourself first of all, and keep focus on that. To focus too much about a winner's award, is in my opinion a step in the wrong direction.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 10:56 PM   #20
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Trond,

That's true. Maybe once a year or something add some $'s to the pot as an incentive for new players to take part or something.

The charity film challenge drew me out of my funk and fog to do a film in the hopes I could win some money for Last Hope Animal Rescue which really needed the money.

So maybe we can make it a win win and the money goes to charity. Instead of the DVC/UWOL Charity where the pot is based on the filmmakers that donate, this could be a set amount.

I think the pot for the charity challenge I won was around $400 which I would much rather have go to a charity then to me. It felt good knowing that I could help out Last Hope by doing something I loved.

So not sure if a charity donation would be incentive for new players to come in but I still stand by my $100 donation to whatever is decided if we want to offer something to get people that are sitting on the fence to give UWOl a go.

Chris, Beds are Burning is one of my favorite tunes.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 11:00 PM   #21
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

All:

Chris is willing to back UWOL however we can so we really need to take advantage of that and find some good ways to grow the challenge.
More traffic and entries means the more Chris will be willing to continue to help us grow the challenge.

The funny thing is that I had an idea for this challenge but discussing all this made me rethink it and I feel I have a better idea now to go out and shoot.

I think I'll work on an outline tomorrow at work and see if it al makes sense.

Anyway, lets get some ideas both in the box and outside the box on ways that UWOL can grow.
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Old June 24th, 2014, 06:30 PM   #22
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I agree that some fiercer comments would be helpful (for me at least). The negative (yet constructive) comments on the audio in my early submissions helped me to improve it immensely. You submit a video and have reviewed it so many times, that everything looks fine in your own eyes. A fresh pair of eyes see things differently. I have seen poorly made cuts in UWOL films, poor follow-focus, unnatural colors, etc, but have been afraid to say anything and be offensive. Perhaps the person who did the piece would have wanted to know. How about a place to comment anonymously, but still with sensitivity. Of course you can't be anonymous on DV Infonet, but perhaps someone could receive comments on everyone's films and repackage them, such as "Trond, here is what UWOLers said about your film".

I would also like to see the broadening of the rules pertaining to what video you can use for a challenge. I am a physician in the real world, and have limited time to go out and shoot. As a result, I only enter when a vacation coincides with a UWOL challenge period. That way I am able to get a variety of material, within certain limits. If I had to shoot only what I could access locally on weekends, my entries would become identical every time. I'm sure other UWOLers have the same problem. How often can you shoot your own neighborhood? Kevin had alluded to this, too, I think, when he said he was shooting too much water. Perhaps location boredom is one reason that the UWOL population has declined.
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Old June 25th, 2014, 01:59 AM   #23
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I see your point about using the same location over and over again. Been an issue for me as well.
As been mentioned earlier (by Mike?), maybe allowing more than the current 10% "old" footage is a good idea.

Not sure if allowing anonymously comments is a step in the right direction. One thing I really like about DVInfo is that you have to sign up with your real name. The result is a good civilized behavior without any trash talk.
But, if we should try it out, maybe those who prefer to receive comments anonymously could state that in their feedback thread, and people could then send comments for that particular entry to the uwol email, and then I as administrator could forward the comments without any names to that person.
Probably better/other ways this could be done...
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Old June 25th, 2014, 02:32 AM   #24
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

In my original post I did agree that critique is important and like others had said it has been very helpful to them and likewise myself. The challenge has unfortunately now dwindled to a few regular participants with the odd new comer each round but they very rarely enter again.. Because of the rules on new footage many in the the past have submitted substandard videos in order to submit an entry, they have clearly indicated this in their synopsis, but have still received negative comments, we now no longer see them taking part. Many on here I am sure will have good ideas on how to update and promote uwol, my thoughts on comments were added in isolation, as my other concerns,new footage etc had already been raised.

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Old June 25th, 2014, 07:42 AM   #25
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Yes, I did mention that and in retrospect I wish I had been a good deal more tactful about it. I get the impression that I stepped on some toes and that some may have felt I was pointing fingers. In truth I was trying to avoid that. I apologize to any that found my words offensive. My point was that if this particular rule is so burdensome to many that perhaps we should consider revising it. I think there is little doubt that relaxing the rule will result in some films being better than they otherwise would be and perhaps some being completed that otherwise would not. I don’t like the idea of putting anyone in a position of having to make the difficult decision of whether to “bend” a rule or not do so and as a result end up in the shark tank. There is another consideration. This rule can severely limit the kind of stories we tell. It can be difficult enough to tell a story spanning the better part of a year without limiting oneself to only footage collected in less than a month.

I am not in principle opposed to anonymous comments but I wonder if they may sometimes result merely in the illusion of anonymity. [For example, I think my own style of writing may give the cat away. :) ] It can be very difficult to judge the intent of a written comment. As a result great care must be given when writing a serious critique. There is a UWOLer which in the past has provided me with much appreciated critique, but when I tried to reciprocate they took great umbrage. I don’t think my comments were either untrue or inappropriate but, to this day, they will respond to neither my posts nor my e-mails. This is something I deeply regret and it has certainly influenced my subsequent in-forum comments. Solicited private comments by e-mail are an entirely different matter.
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Old June 25th, 2014, 09:48 AM   #26
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I think we're talking about going in two different directions.

The whole part of the challenge isn't to use stuff that you've already shot, its about forcing you to think outside the box and challenge yourself to come up with something.

There's nothing right now from stoping you from using 80% previously shot footage if you want right now, you would just be exempt from judging but would still get feedback etc.

I haven't completed a lot of challenges lately because of time and life changes. Divorce and starting another life kind of takes a bit of focus away from filmmaking. :)

So I probably won't finish an entry for this current challenge, but I have a great idea.
I could put it all together with previously shot footage but where's the challenge?

Even if I don't submit an entry, I have the idea and I can still go out and challenge myself to shoot it with all new footage.

If you want to work on your editing or telling the story with previously shot footage, do it. There's no one here that says you can't. Just tell us. If you want to challenge yourself then shoot new stuff. But I don't think we should loosen the rules about previously shot footage unless we stop calling it a challenge.
I've shot enough over the years that I can probably complete future challenges without ever picking up a camera and going out. Not much of a challenge to me.

Since I've been putting my life back together I haven't ventured too far from Eastern Iowa. I've focused on the tallgrass prairie near my home. I work a day job 19 days in a row, many of them 12 hour days so I know what it's like to have limited time and limited locations. But again, it's a challenge. I've shot so much water that that when I look at all my challenge films, I've covered every inch of Indian Creek in them. So, I need to challenge myself to shoot the same locations and find something other than water.

I think we should have two tiers of feedback. Honest, general feedback and honest very detailed feedback. You decide which you want.

The shark in jaws was broken down for large portions of the film so they were challenged to tell a story Bout a shark while not being able to show a shark. Look at how that film worked out!

If your doing a film that hinges on one shot and you've already shot it, use it. But to say we can use 25%, 50% or even 100% previously shot film takes this from a challenge to an editing and story telling group.

That's my two cents at least.
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Old June 26th, 2014, 06:14 AM   #27
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Why are there so many UWOL entryes that have shared 1 place? There should be no room for more than one winner in a competition. It undermines the whole point of having votes and places.
Maybe this should be reviewed in the future?
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Old June 26th, 2014, 07:26 AM   #28
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Kevin makes a couple of very good points, especially that my approach would indeed water down the "challenge" aspect of the Challenge. If one really has to made good with what he/she can pull up under constraints, it certainly will improve one's videography. I continue to believe that the boredom factor is real, however. It may not be felt so much by folks who live near waterfalls and mountains, but for those who inhabit flat, gray-green environments with no seasons, and the ugly hand of real estate development at every turn, it becomes a bit of an issue.
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Old June 26th, 2014, 08:16 AM   #29
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

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Originally Posted by Vegard Paulsen View Post
Why are there so many UWOL entryes that have shared 1 place?
That's a mystery. But it does happen that 2 entries get the same amount of votes.
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Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
I continue to believe that the boredom factor is real, however. It may not be felt so much by folks who live near waterfalls and mountains, but for those who inhabit flat, gray-green environments with no seasons, and the ugly hand of real estate development at every turn, it becomes a bit of an issue.
Very valid point, Steve. And it happens with us who have both the ocean and mountains in our "back yard" as well.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
The whole part of the challenge isn't to use stuff that you've already shot, its about forcing you to think outside the box and challenge yourself to come up with something.

There's nothing right now from stoping you from using 80% previously shot footage if you want right now, you would just be exempt from judging but would still get feedback etc.

I think we should have two tiers of feedback. Honest, general feedback and honest very detailed feedback. You decide which you want.

If your doing a film that hinges on one shot and you've already shot it, use it. But to say we can use 25%, 50% or even 100% previously shot film takes this from a challenge to an editing and story telling group.
This summarize it pretty well: UWOL is a CHALLENGE to challenge yourself as a film maker.

Each player can easily notify in their feedback thread if they want general feedback, or a very detailed one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sims View Post
I get the impression that I stepped on some toes and that some may have felt I was pointing fingers. In truth I was trying to avoid that.
No, you did not step on any toes!
You should never be afraid to speak your mind, regardless if anyone might not enjoy what is being said.
UWOL can not improve if people are afraid to suggest changes since someone might not like it.
Keep speaking your mind, Mike!


Improvements are needed for sure. The clue is to find the right improvements and a good way to implement them, hopefully with effect from the September challenge.
Some will like the changes, some might not.
But even after changes are made, there will still be room for improvements and ideas and suggestions are most welcome, both now and at any later time.
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Old June 26th, 2014, 09:10 AM   #30
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I think the boredom factor of having nothing new to film is certainly an issue. I face it here. Look at my past films, most if not all have Indian Creek in them.

Then I think about That Tree. You know the project where this guy photographed the same tree every day for a year. So when I think about another challenge and shooting Indian Creek, I think about That Tree.

The stories are out there no matter what you have to work with. Someone could do a film about the battle of man vs weeds. I know it's a losing battle in my yard. If you live in a high rise in the city you could do a film about pigeons.
The stories are out there, you just need to see them.

I think the other issue is timing.

I'm leaving for Montana July 2nd. Plenty of wild there for me to film but it's after the challenge deadline.
Change the rules and allow more previously shot footage and I promise you'll see grizzly bears in the next challenge I shoot. :)

I'm sorry is I sound like I'm coming across as an ass but I think a challenge should be a challenge. Should it be so hard that it can't be done? No. But I think we've grown too complacent, myself included, with the shoot big or go home mentality.

UWOL should be a learning ground to improve your filmmaking. How many of us have entered a film that's not quite perfect then gone back and redone it after we were able to get the shots that we missed?

Why not post that to your feedback thread and then UWOL gets more traffic then just during challenge time?

Take the feedback you get, shoot the shots that you missed, re-edit your film and let's see what you can do.

Maybe we can do a end of year put a film together with everything you've shot over the past year and have like a UWOL Film Festival. No theme, just by the end of January you have to submit a film from footage you've shot over the entire past year.

So now I have five days to put my film where my mouth is and actually submit something, I'm working this weekend too so not much time, but I'll put something together,
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