UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis at DVinfo.net

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Old December 1st, 2015, 11:15 AM   #1
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UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis


This was shot in early November when we had an 18 degree Celsius day with blue skies and light breezes, definitely the last gasp of summer. I got up early to get the sunrise and shot the rest during the middle of the day on a walk down the river to a park where many people were enjoying the last fine weather we will see for a while. I wanted to put the credits at the end over a shot of a snow storm, but we still haven't had one yet.
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Old December 1st, 2015, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Hey Tim:

I'm not sure if we've met, I'm Catherine. Nice to meet you!

Nice post this round. Soothing, lyrical, enjoyable to watch. You have an eye for composition and detail. This video is full of nice touches that give you the feeling that winter is really just around the corner. The opening is well done, with the bird calls and capturing the mist on the water. The music choice really sets the tone that this is a nostalgic time of season, not exuberant. The cut to the plane contrail lit up by the sun throws me each time I see it and is really cool. My mind wants to think it's a boat in the water for some reason until it can reason it out. I like the warm colors in the sky coming on as the sun rises somewhere out of the frame, and I think the duck in the water behind the in-focus vegetation captures the entire sense of the entire video.

You had some nice effects throughout, including the neat transition from the guy walking down the path away from the camera only to be replaced by two people walking toward.

Nicely and well done! Look forward to your next contribution.
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Old December 1st, 2015, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Hi Tim,
Nice entry. Beautiful colours & lovely music to go with it. Wow 18degC is warm for this time of the year. Has it also been dry? I'm sure you will get winter soon enough, & then you'll be wishing the warm weather was still around. :)
As Cat has said, your composition is great. There was one shot that you used twice of the water flowing over rocks etc. Maybe you could have found a colourful leaf to float down through the shot to differentiate the two?? On a technical note, there seems to be some jarring movement in a lot of the shots, not all, but a lot. One particularly bad one was a pan at 2:40. I assume it is something in either your encoding or the Vimeo encoding. If this is not in your original footage, maybe you could try encoding it again & upload another copy??
I would have loved to hear some form of a narration. Something describing the fact that while winter looms large, summer still tries to hang on???? Just thinking out loud here!! There is certainly a story to be told, & that would really elevate this film even further in my opinion.
Great job, i look forward to seeing a lot more of your stuff!
Regards,
Bryce
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Old December 1st, 2015, 05:02 PM   #4
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Tim, Welcome. I concur. Beautiful color and pace, really matched the music. The opening with the bird calls and the close up of the leaves said it all, good-by summer, hello winter. I also liked the way you incorporated people out enjoying that Last Fine Day before Winter. My one comment was that I just didn't quite get the meaning of the contrail. Other than that, Great job. Bob
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Old December 1st, 2015, 08:29 PM   #5
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Tim,

One word to describe your film... meditative. Very soothing and relaxing. It's the kind of piece that I love to do/

A few things...

Your shot of the duck out of focus at :29 is great. So many people would have tried to get the duck in focus and have the branches out of focus. It takes a different way of seeing to know that this shot works. It's something I've been trying to do more of. Kudos for seeing that.

Like Bob, the plane contrail kind of threw me. I think maybe because it was kind of jarring. Soothing nature and then BAM a jet and contrail. I think if you put it in further down in the piece where you had the people interacting with nature you could have used to as a message that either Fall is going away or that the people were hoping to fly away to be able to experience more days like this one.

I'm not usually one that reads meaning into shots. A duck is a duck to me most of the time but I think putting the jet later in the film would have been a great subliminal message.

I also noticed a lot of vertical jitter but that really didn't take away from the beauty and serenity of your film.

Wonderful piece, I see so many great things. For me the shot of the leaf at 3:07 was golden.I love how you can see the displacement of the leaf in the water. Probably not something that you'd get a lot of comments on but I love seeing the simple things like that.

Wonderful entry!
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 10:20 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Hi Tim, very nice to have you with us.

I really enjoyed watching your film.
You already got some good feedback here, and I don't have much else to add.
The shot of the duck at 0:30 was priceless! I agree with Kevin about the focus choice. The crisp colors, the reflections in the water.
As with my own film, the only thing I feel is missing, is a story. I mean it is good as it is now, but some narration would have improved it a bit.

Well done!
I look forward to see more of your films in future challenges.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Thanks for all your comments. It may be time to come clean about my entry.

I am living in Canada while we are here for my son's education. I brought only two suitcases and a camera bag with me for an indefinite stay of two to three years, so you can imagine I could fit all my camera gear in. So I have with me my two Canon HF200's. These are amateur, but well-featured cameras. I can do a lot with them, but not everything. Many features are a bit buried in menus and hard to access while filming.

So... for all of you who loved the shot of the duck, as do I, it was not so much a creative choice, but as I said in Cat's comments section as well, it was just that I couldn't get the camera to autofocus on the duck with those branches in the way. The film shows four seconds of that shot, but the original is scarcely any longer, it was over just about as soon as it began. I included it in the final cut because it was a different way of seeing the scene and the more I watched, the more I too really liked it that way.

It has been a few months since I have used my cameras. I was hit by a car while out on my bike in May and am still getting over the injuries. So the internal battery was flat and I had lost all my settings. I went through both cameras and reset all the settings making sure they were both the same, so I know I can always be certain of what my cameras will give me. Muggins here though set the OIS to ON instead of OFF and that is why there are those sudden vertical shifts in the footage. I had no choice but to continue with the entry. Also there is a little bit of camera movement that looks similar in the sunrise shots because I was shooting on a bridge and just as the shot I wanted occurred someone rode past on a bike and vibrated everything.

I think all of you got where I was going with the film. You have used words like peaceful and meditative. It was just the sort of tone I was hoping for, for this lament to Summer. By the way, I just thought the contrail was pretty, even more so with my eyes.

The guy walking was me. I hurried back to make sure the people coming down the path didn't nick my camera, then cut it together.

This is in the middle of town and it is partly an industrial area. The background noise was mostly from the construction of a new hydro station, so all the tracks were muted and the bird noises etc were added from some I had recorded earlier a bit further out of town. The water noises came from my sound effects library. I tried with no background noise, just music, but although quieter, it was not as peaceful

Of course the main criticism of the piece is it doesn't have a story. I contend that it does, just not a very big story. I went out early for a walk along the river and ended up at the park around lunchtime. I don't know if you hate your recorded voice as much as I do. I do not have the dulcet tones of Bob Safay, and always think my VO sounds forced and unnatural, so that is why it has no voiceover, although it may have been a good addition. I may try one later and see how it goes.

This is also rendered at 540p for the final file as my computer won't handle much more, so not as nice as some.

Thanks for all your constructive criticisms.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 03:50 PM   #8
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Tim I think you pretty much nailed it. Forgeting the OIS on I can relate to. Annoying when you see the footage jump. I laughed when I read your comments in Cat thread about the duck. But as everyone has commented it works well. Something else learned by accident! Sorry to hear about your accident, you gotta watch the Canadian drivers.
Anyway a nice laid back piece to watch.

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Old December 2nd, 2015, 05:31 PM   #9
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Thanks Gordon. I am sure I will continue to make the odd silly mistake, but practice does make perfect.
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Yes Tim practice helps. I'm much better at making mistakes!

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Old December 3rd, 2015, 04:23 AM   #11
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Tim,

This video has a very calming effect, very unlike as i cut too fast this one flows i like that part of the video, you do have a nice way to make your shots.
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Old December 3rd, 2015, 01:42 PM   #12
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Tim,
A nice, well paced film, showing us the last fine day waking up, and then increasing in pace as the people wake up and begin to take advantage of the weather.
The choice of music added to the feeling. I very much enjoyed it!
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Old December 6th, 2015, 03:23 AM   #13
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Hi Tim.

I think you deliver a fine film.
So relaxing and tranquil.
The music is all fine and I like the way you have put this piece together.
The people in it makes it more credible, at least that's what I think of it.
Great colors too.
Thank you for sharing and hope to see you next round.
Cheers!
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Old December 8th, 2015, 04:39 PM   #14
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis


I went out on Saturday because we had another really nice day, not 18 degrees, but just 8 degrees. Still very pleasant for this time of the year and much warmer than last year. I went on a walk along the river in the other direction and this time I had the OIS switched to OFF!

Again not much of a story, and it may have been better with some VO, but I don't really have the facility for VO. I used Clipwrap to transcode the media on the way in to ProRes 422 and was pleased to find that my 2011 MacBook Air handled it quite well. I have been watching Izzy Hyman's FCPX tutorials and did the edit with it. Quite pleased, but now I have to get back out and shoot some more.

Final Cut Pro X Tutorial, Web-Based and Free to Watch!
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Old December 8th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #15
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Re: UWOL 36 - The Last Fine Day before Winter by Tim Lewis

Tim,
Some more really lovely shots. No stutter to the shots this time! Really well edited, & i loved the music you had with it. Not sure why it is only showing up as a 720p video on Vimeo. Did you output to 720 in FCPX? Funny, it kinda reminds me of an old film of Kevin's. We never saw his face in that one either!
Thanks for sharing
Bryce
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