UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken at DVinfo.net

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Old October 2nd, 2014, 01:00 AM   #1
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UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken


I've been thinking about filming this animal for a while now, and UWOL gave me the impetus to go for it, thank you for this challenge. My entry is far from perfect, and while I really like some parts, I cringe at others, and ran out of time to iron out some glitches.
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Old October 2nd, 2014, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

Bill,

Beautiful stuff as usual!

Why is the urchin only red in Hawaii and brown everywhere else? If it something that it eats?

You do such great underwater work! We don't have clear water here in Iowa so if it's not within a couple inches of the camera, you're not going to see it.

Listening with headphone on my iPad there was a lot of pops in your narration but like Marj, you should go into business as a VoiceOver artist!!

Solid work Bill!!
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Old October 3rd, 2014, 03:39 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

Hi Bill,

You always make quality films, and this is no exemption.
Amazing underwater shots!

In a couple shots (ex the clip at 1:13 and especially visible in the timelapse from 1:34), the image quality appear to degrade. Is this because of the variation of the light coming through the moving water, together with the encoding/compression of the video file?

Well done, my friend!
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Old October 3rd, 2014, 04:44 AM   #4
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

Bill,

Beautiful opening and closing shots - the picking up of the sand was particularly effective - otherwise, I agree with Kevin on the quality of the voiceover.

Trond has already commented on the quality of the time-lapse shots - maybe some sort of lighting/reflector would have helped?

Great effort!
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Old October 3rd, 2014, 05:31 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

It never ceases to amaze me the beautiful colours you can find underwater. Like others I enjoyed your VO. Found the flaring at times a bit distracting, but otherwise very good. Well done.

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Old October 3rd, 2014, 09:11 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

Bill
Neat to have some under water stuff. I wasn't sure if the timelapse falling a part was my poor internet connection or a problem on your end. Everything else looked good but that was a little distracting. Still enjoyed it and as mentioned you could do VO.

Gordon
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Old October 3rd, 2014, 09:21 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

Hi Bill

This is fascinating regardless of some of the technical hitches you had.

I am wondering why the Red Pencil Urchin whittles away the rock with its spines – there did not seem to be any algae present in the cleft – or is the algae being scraped off with its mouth which is lower down and which we can’t see?

I learned very quickly after my first attempt at time-lapse that doing this in daylight is doomed to failure – you are sure to get flickering light because of all the changes that happen weather-wise over time – usually clouds passing over. Underwater there must be other things like waves and swimming creatures in addition to clouds that interfere with daylight as a constant light source.

I always use artificial lighting (even outdoors) for time-lapse work, so Paul’s suggestion is probably the way to go to even out the vagaries of natural lighting even if it looks like there is plenty of natural light in which to film.

I had the same question as Kevin – why are Pencil Urchins only red in Hawaii – do you perhaps know?
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Old October 4th, 2014, 12:05 PM   #8
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

Hello Bill.
I love underwater videos and you always deliver exciting and viewer-friendly videos. You convey a good story about a creature that is foreign to me and you tell it in an excellent way. You have a nice link between the white sand and the red creature in the sea, by initially asking the question: What / who is it that makes this white sand?
If I should pick at something, it must be that I am missing some sounds (Foley) from the sea - under water sound. You mention in the video that Pencil Urchin is red in Hawaii, and brown elsewhere. The viewer will probably also want to know why this is so? You end the story in a good way by asking the question: What else is in the oceans? And I conclude by saying that I like your video very well, and ask: Do we get a follow up video that answers your question?
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Old October 4th, 2014, 02:03 PM   #9
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Re: UWOL #31 'Hawaiian Red Pencil Urchin' - Bill Thesken

Geir, I tell you yes if I'm able, I will make more of these types of videos, hopefully much better in quality. I have about 10 underwater creatures lined up to take a look at. Some endemic to this area, and it's really easy to just jump in the water to find them. There's also a few endemic birds in the mountains, but that will take a long lens which I don't yet have.
I had a glitch in the audio voiceover. I recorded it right before the deadline, thought I nailed it, then went to play Portagee horseshoes, and when I was matching the audio to the video right before the midnight hour I realized that it was popping, the mic was too close. I tried to re-record the voice over many times but I couldn't match the tonal quality as the first take so I went with the first one.
I don't know why the video quality breaks down, and I think I may rendered at the wrong setting.
I also don't know why the urchin is a bright red in Hawaii, while elsewhere the same species is brown. I read where there are slightly red urchins in the Indo Pacific region but I could not find any photos or proof to support that.
Oh well, it was fun to take a quick look at this little animal. Now it is Saturday morning and I can look at the remainder of the videos.
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