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Old July 16th, 2014, 04:02 AM   #46
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Vergard's suggestion has the potential for for emails to be sent to organisations who do not necessarily subscribe to dvinfo.net. For example Jackson Hole FF, Wildscreen, Wildlife Film News, Universities etc. This way we can open to a much wider audience.

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Old July 16th, 2014, 05:13 AM   #47
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I can see the benefits of a regular email reminder going outside the forum as a form of advertising.

Just had the (mistaken) impression that this was only intended to be sent as a reminder to past and current UWOL Challenge members who already have the info - which would just heap more work on Trond unnecessarily - I could not see that idea yielding much fruit.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 01:23 PM   #48
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner View Post
Vergard's suggestion has the potential for for emails to be sent to organisations who do not necessarily subscribe to dvinfo.net. For example Jackson Hole FF, Wildscreen, Wildlife Film News, Universities etc. This way we can open to a much wider audience.

Mick
I'll keep it in mind when I go through all the ideas and suggestions from this thread while looking at the rules/guidelines.

Maybe one "problem or cause" of the limited number of people participating in the uwol challenge, is a somewhat limited interest for wildlife film on dvinfo. Reaching out to a broad audience of likeminded people is worth checking out.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 01:49 PM   #49
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I was under the same impression as Marj. What is now being discussed is certainly a whole other kettle of fish.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 09:19 PM   #50
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
I put a ridiculous amount of energy into running UWOL… I ran it every other month consistently and, after two years of that, my head was ready to explode.
Honestly I really don’t think we’d still be running this contest today if it hadn’t been for you, Meryem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
I actually advertised the heck out of this thing, on my own accord. I forget all the names of the websites I would post to - but I didn't just post to DVinfo. I posted notices about it over all kinds of filmmaking and wildlife websites every month. I wanted it to be popular and fun and to build a following. I had link shares on our old website.
That’s very much appreciated, but I’d like to give a word of caution to anyone else who tries this: some site owners might be sensitive to this sort of thing, so proceed with care. If it helps, I’d be more than happy to post shared links on DVi. In other words, if you can get some other site elsewhere on the web to help put the word out about the UWOL Challenge, then I’ll give them a link on DVi, and that’s a pretty good deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
I paid for prizes out of my own pocket. What became obvious, though, was it wasn't the prizes that were expensive, it was the international shipping! Eventually, I gave that up. It wasn't sustainable.
You should never have had to do that. From this point forward those expenses will be covered by the sponsors and / or DVi. And somehow or someday I’d like to reimburse you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
I did it, because I was hoping that our numbers would help me to find some sponsors. So eventually, I was just giving away cash out of my own pocket.
I hope you can give me a dollar amount on that sometime. I’d sure like to pay you back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sims View Post
MailChimp is primarily for advertisers that want to send frequent ads and promotional marketing e-mails to thousands of customers. It is a bit overkill for us. Most e-mail client programs will allow you to set up a mail list. You send one e-mail to the list and everyone on the list receives it. It’s easy and the size restrictions are not limiting to us at the moment. I do it all the time in Thunderbird. If we ever get to the point where we would need to send out hundreds of reminder e-mails then MailChimp is one of several options available.
DVi uses MailChimp for its occasional newsletters — for example, I just sent one out last night with a coupon code for the Cutting Edge Post-Production Tour with Adam Epstein. If you got it, it’s a big help to me if you click through and check it out.

I’d be more than happy to use our current subscriber list for any dedicated UWOL Challenge mail outs. Also, n the past I’ve added a UWOL Challenge banner to our newsletter and that can be done again at any time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner View Post
Vergard's suggestion has the potential for for emails to be sent to organisations who do not necessarily subscribe to dvinfo.net. For example Jackson Hole FF, Wildscreen, Wildlife Film News, Universities etc. This way we can open to a much wider audience.
All i need is the send list and the message and it can go out on DVi’s MailChimp account if y’all decide that you want to reach out to those folks.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 05:31 AM   #51
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
DVi uses MailChimp for its occasional newsletters — for example, I just sent one out last night with a coupon code for the Cutting Edge Post-Production Tour with Adam Epstein. If you got it, it’s a big help to me if you click through and check it out.

I’d be more than happy to use our current subscriber list for any dedicated UWOL Challenge mail outs. Also, n the past I’ve added a UWOL Challenge banner to our newsletter and that can be done again at any time.

All i need is the send list and the message and it can go out on DVi’s MailChimp account if y’all decide that you want to reach out to those folks.
Much appreciated, Chris!
And the coupon code for the Tour was a nice thing. Already clicked through.

Maybe the UWOL banner could be added to those newsletters that are sent out in the weeks before the challenges? (Say, if there are any newsletters in January, May, August and/or November, the UWOL banner could be added)
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Old July 18th, 2014, 08:47 AM   #52
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Hey people !

Well isn't it cool to have all you folks chatting in one thread again about 'UWOL' !! - I just had to post as well. A big hello to players new and old, I'm pleased to see this community is still going and thinking about how it can grow once more.

UWOL has been very important to me. It was such a great platform on which to learn. Lets face it it there's nothing like making films to teach you how to be a film maker. For me it really was like a mini film school.

Why? because of three things.

1. Critique, critique...errr, did I mention critique! (I really wasn't that cruel was I?)

For me it's a very simple equation. You learn primarily when you get things wrong. If no one ever tells you something can be improved you will keep doing the same things and show no improvement. I know things are not always black and white but popular consensus is often correct and can be a signal to work harder or think again about something. If everyone just pats each other on the back what is to be gained!? Now of course the converse is true, if something's great then say so and you and everyone else can do more of it !

*DVINFO challenge note - The concept of commenting on other players entries before peer judging is just ridiculous. I entered one of these a year or so ago and I really disliked this. The 'critique' simply became a popularity campaign...it totally ruined any peer based education that is always my primary reason for entering these things. Please don't do anything like this!!


2. Peer competition/interpretation/creativity

Seeing how 25 other people (Back in the day) deal with the same topic you have been given is really inspiring. Especially when you have the forum to discuss it with them. I used to repeatedly watch the best films and note everything I and others liked. I then incorporated those things into my work the next time. Do that film after film and soon you have the best attributes of 10 different people. That makes your work have much more depth and variation.


3. Deadlines (and regularity)

This is just SO important. It really is so much easier to finish something when there's a tight deadline. It forces you to project manage and be realistic about your ideas, schedule, shotlist and post. Added to this the regularity of UWOL was just great. You could be constantly working on projects and be in one phase or another of production....it really was a mini film school !


Other thoughts.... A prize will always draw you more competitors. A prize creates a desire and that desire means you work harder, if you work harder you improve more. Now when I say 'prize' I don't just mean a physical object or cash. When we ran the UWOL site and were getting 20+ entries it was a real prize to have you film featured as a winner against 25 other films. It was also very easy to look back and see previous winners and the whole uwol library. More entries to a competition makes winning it a bigger challenge and thus a bigger 'prize'. I think having your work viewed and critiqued (There's that word again) by a judge with some standing is also a prize in itself and shouldn't be under estimated, personally I think that's a better way of doing things than peer voting within a small community. I guess what I'm saying if you can get this thing rolling again and make winning feel special it will sustain and grow, I'm sure of it. Physical prizes are definitely a way to start the ball rolling but it seems to me this competition needs more of a voice. There are tons of people that would take part but they have to know about it and when they do it has to seem prominent enough to be worth bothering with. I think a standalone website or even just a single page would be a great start...it just gives UWOL a face!

Well done Trond for keeping UWOL going. Meryem, Kevin and I have fond memories of our time and we'd all love to see it fly once more!
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Old July 18th, 2014, 11:21 AM   #53
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Thanks a bunch for your inputs, Mat! Much appreciated.

When you gave critics, it was always straight forward, and that I like a lot.
If I do anything wrong (or good), I really would like to hear it. How can I improve if I am not aware of mistakes...

I see your point about the value of a website. But if we should re-launch an UWOL website, I would definitely need someone else doing that. I know nothing about making websites.


By the way, Mat:
I am challenging you to sign up for the September challenge! Haven't seen your name on the sign up lists in ages. :)
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Old July 20th, 2014, 01:02 PM   #54
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I would like to raise another important topic for consideration/discussion if I may.

Please can we decide what is permissible regarding the use of animations, motion graphics and other post-production effects in our submissions, including things like the degree of color correction that may be done? If the UWOL Challenge is going to be upgraded and prizes are going to be handed out to winners in order to attract more players, then I think this is a good time to set this out clearly.

The rules state the following:
“The use of effects templates from Motion and After Effects (AE), Livetype, etc. is permissible, without limits.”

This rule regarding the use of effects was put into place after players like Cat, Mike and I started using After Effects during and after the long-form films, but this statement is open to a number of interpretations. Some may interpret it as having permission to use third-party templates that one can adapt for personal use - especially for titles. To me it meant carrying on with what I had been doing before (adding motion graphics or animations to illustrate concepts in my stories that are educational in nature.) The ‘without limits’ part of this statement is what is bothering me. I will use myself as an example:

Lately I have been using this challenge to experiment with different techniques and in one of my submissions, “On Cue”, I used two photo images and the light (shadow) capability of AE, executed to put across the concept of day length. Instead of this I could have done a time-lapse sequence, as I did for the germinating seed, but it was way easier and quicker in AE. Besides the fact that I should have used two current photos for this and didn’t, there is a more important question - was I being efficient with my time or crossing the line here by doing it in AE instead of with the camera? This is the sort of thing that needs ironing out.

I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone has an effects program and may find its use by other players to be a problem. Possibly we need to decide if this challenge should be restricted to video only or if use of effects is permissible. If so, what restrictions should there be, if any, or can we try anything we like as long as we declare it?

Personally, while I enjoy the opportunity to try out new things in After Effects, I have no problem if animations are restricted. Can we please decide what the rules will be in this regard.

Your constructive input on this would be appreciated and of benefit. Many thanks.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 02:59 AM   #55
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

You are right, Marj. Might be worth updating that rule/guideline as well.

My initial thoughts are that visual effects like those you describe from After Effects and Motion, should be allowed to a certain degree. Not as the "main feature" of the film, but to enhance/ support the story or parts of it.
A limit of it's use should be set, but if the limit should be a fixed number (ex 10%) or something else, I'm not sure what would be best practically.

So far I can't remember anyone using too much visual effects in their UWOL films.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 05:34 PM   #56
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I think that the proper amount of third party templates, titles etc would be self regulating.
We are a nature and wildlife film challenge so I'm guessing if people thought someone was doing a film that was predominately animation or some other computer generated thing whether we continue with peer judged or go with guest judging or a combo of both, people would be called out for it.

I think any time you start putting limits on some things you stifle creativity.

The time limit is good, the length limit is good as well because it forces you to be creative with your time.
But if you start putting limits on the amount of color correction or use of pre packaged title sequences you are putting people in a situation where they can't express themselves totally.

I know there are photography and video purists that say you have to shoot things exactly as you find them. So if there is a twig in tour shot, you can't move it because it violates the "rules".

Mat heavily graded his Panda winning film "Hudson's Monarchs" to give it a sense of going back in time for his recreations. I think it added to the film.

I think we need to adhere to the K.I.S.S. method and once we start putting in limitations we tend to start building upon them and restrictions grow tighter.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 08:41 AM   #57
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

Thanks for putting this into perspective Kevin!

The reason I felt I needed to raise the issue at this point is because I have always felt a bit uncomfortable using After Effects out of a concern that other players may be unhappy with its use here and are too polite to say something.

Your input is refreshing.
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Old July 22nd, 2014, 05:48 PM   #58
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

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Mat heavily graded his Panda winning film "Hudson's Monarchs" to give it a sense of going back in time for his recreations. I think it added to the film.
That was exactly my point too. As long as the effects are added as a support for the film, it should be allowed, as it is today.
But if it is taken too far and the effect becomes the subject of the film itself, then the limit is passed.
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Old July 25th, 2014, 03:06 PM   #59
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

#whatkevinsaid !
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Old July 31st, 2014, 11:58 AM   #60
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Re: UWOL - Discussion of rules and improvements

I was thinking about a couple things this morning.

Chris, forgive me if it's already there. I'm on my iPad on a bad connection so I didn't want to go back and look.
Is there a sticky thread here pointing to the UWOL forum and one on the forum pointing here?
I typically tend to just come here to see what's new and had totally forgotten that there is a UWOL forum for non challenge discussions. Saw names there that have never signed up for a challenge. So maybe a sticky thread to this forum might be a good idea as well as posting a thread for each challenge to come over and sign up and be a part of it.

I really need to utilize that forum during non challenge times as I'd really like to work on a bigger project but get stuck so many places along the way.

I had some other ideas but they kind of violate my KISS ideology. :)

I guess the other question I have is do we just want to utilize this forum for times when there is a challenge going on or is there things we can do with it to utilize it during other times or is the other UWOL forum the place we need to be when there's no challenge going?
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