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Old April 11th, 2017, 05:07 PM   #16
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Voiceover is all done. It clocks in at 3:52. I have a longer take that is almost five minutes that I like better but that might be something to play around with once I'm dine with the 4 minute version.

Just need some good weather now!
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Old April 25th, 2017, 10:54 AM   #17
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Racing to get all the shots.
Assembling all the TL footage.
Don't have as many shots as I'd like so some shots will be drawn out until I can shoot enough in the future
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Old April 27th, 2017, 08:03 AM   #18
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Licensed second music track last night. Looks like I need to license a third to get all the way through.
Still missing several shots but rough cut with placeholders is 19 frames over 4 minutes so need to trim the gaps in the voiceover a bit. Might make the pacing not as good but don't really want to be rolling credits and have the voiceover still going.
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Old April 28th, 2017, 05:44 AM   #19
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Third music track licensed, was out until midnight filming around the city.
Not great stuff but it gets me closer to completing the film
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Old April 28th, 2017, 10:46 PM   #20
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Just about done!
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Old April 30th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #21
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

It's been cool to follow the making of your film, Kevin.
Looking forward to the finished result.
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Old April 30th, 2017, 11:13 AM   #22
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

I've done a lot of things different this round that I hope to utilize in future rounds.
Just glad I had a few days of decent weather and two cameras to double down on their night shots when I did have a few days of opportunity.
Probably less than a week of clear skies or partially clear skies in the whole two month period.
It's been raining and cloudy pretty much since I returned from Utah as well!
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Old May 1st, 2017, 08:21 AM   #23
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Since this thread is still here, I'll continue to use it as my feedback thread.
I'll post more about making it in just a bit
All comments good and bad are welcome.
I know there's a lot of room for improvement and hope to polish the film up more as I get better footage
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Old May 1st, 2017, 09:41 AM   #24
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

When the theme was announced I knew I had to do something about the night sky.
It was only last year that I picked up a DSLR and was able to do night time-lapse sequences but it quickly became a passion of mine.

The timing was also perfect in that I was going to Utah to attend a night photography workshop in April.

The weather in Iowa has been terrible since the latter part of last year. Nothing but clouds and rain.
The darkest skies in Iowa are about two hours away and the Milky Way galactic core rises near dawn this time of year. Since I only get two days a month off from work, the odds of getting to dark skies and have good weather were slim.

The month of March I only had one night where I could make it to dark skies, have decent weather and not have to work the next day. That turned out to be the last shot of the film. It was also my first shot of the galactic core in 2017.

I was able to get some star time-lapse sequences a little close to home in March and April but no further opportunities to film the galactic core. So it all hinged on Utah.

For most of the week the clouds followed me from Iowa. Beautiful blue skies during the day but towards evening the clouds would come rolling in. I seriously thought I wouldn't have any footage and would end up in the Shark Tank for sure!

Finally there were a couple nights where the clouds held off enough that I could at least get some footage of the stars. Even then it was tough. Cars would pull into pullouts far away but their headlights would illuminate the sandstone in my composition ruining that time-lapse. Even had one family stop and set off fireworks with their kids after midnight shining their flashlights all over the rocks while I sat in the darkness waiting for them to leave so I could continue shooting.

Towards the end of the week there was a magical night in Goblin Valley State Park, one of the darkest spots in the country. I spent the whole night with two cameras getting as much footage as I could get. The rest of the workshop group left at 4am but I stuck it out to get every last frame that I could.

When I returned home I had one more clear night before I had to go back to work so I headed down to Southern Iowa, two hours from home to get more of the galactic core. The fog rolled in part way through the night but I was still able to get some footage.

The city shots were all done the last week of the challenge. I duplicated a holy grail shot that I did before the challenge of Quaker Oats and downtown Cedar Rapids. It wasn't as nice as the original which is higher up in this thread because of the wind but you have to go with what Mother Nature gives you.

I knew before this challenge began that I wanted to up my game a little bit. So I planned on working with a writer and a voice talent to try and take the film to a higher level.

It was tough working with a writer trying to convey my idea while hoping that whatever they wrote I would be able to cover somewhat with footage.

Working with Karen the voice over artist was great, She did an initial read, I gave her some notes and she sent back two different versions each with a different feel. I went with the more somber one. I bet the more upbeat one would change the whole feel of the film even though it's the same words.

I'll keep working on improving this film. As I get shots that I think convey the thoughts I had in my head better, I'll cut them in and eventually get the film I saw in my mind.

Would love to go to Chicago or something to get some really nice big city shots to drive home the amount of light pollution there is. Maybe there's a summer road trip in my future! :)
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Old May 1st, 2017, 06:03 PM   #25
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Kevin,

You must have been the kid in school who kept lamenting that he was going to flunk, and then when the test came, he got the highest grade in the class. Right?

This video is so beautiful there aren't words. Lousy weather? Come on, any overcast just adds to the mystery. This piece was well shot, well thought-out, well edited and well narrated. I am so glad that I revoked my "alternate" narrative before anyone could read it, because, although yours looked really wordy on paper, it turned out to be just what was needed in Karen's mouth.

And this was the first time I have ever watched one of these rotating night sky videos that the scenes were on screen long enough to be able to pick out constellations. Even Jupiter next to Spica were recognizable. Lots of fun, and a potent message.

You did it again, bro.

Thanks.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 06:53 PM   #26
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Kevin, listen to me. I have been watching your videos for years. Hey, I even narrated one of them. But Kevin, believe me when I say that this is your best ever. The script and narration was spot on. Kevin, it is you at your best. Bob
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Old May 1st, 2017, 08:00 PM   #27
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Steve,

Glad you liked it.
Out of the two months we had to make our films, there were probably three opportunities to film the night sky in Iowa and probably three in Utah.
The galactic core rose late each evening and at first was drowned out by the moon. But by Tuesday the moon was rising late enough to give me a chance to get the core filmed before the moon would rise.
Problem is, the clouds would come in before the core would rise.
Attached is a shot after I decided to call it quits about 1am after the clouds moved in and there was no chance to film the core.

Karen did a great job with the narration. I told her I needed it to be under four minutes. She gave me two takes and I actually used the one that was longer than four minutes but just cut out the gaps in some parts to get it to time.

i think the weakest part of the film is some of the shots in the city. I will be working to replace those when I can.
The final shot was the first time I had filmed the galactic core in 2017 and it was an all night shoot. I do like that the shot holds the whole time Karen is delivering the final paragraph.

Thank you so much for your kind words. My goal was to try and up the level of what I had been doing in past challenges as well as to dole out some responsibility for the words and the voice to people that were far better at it than I could be.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 08:14 PM   #28
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Bob,

Glad you enjoyed the film. I so appreciate the kind words. I don't know, The River is still a pretty damn nice film. :)

It was certainly a scramble to get the shots I needed. I was in a photography workshop in Utah so I was torn between working with everyone to learn the new techniques in filming the night sky or going off on my own to get time-lapse sequences. I tried to balance the two so I came away with learning a lot for the future but also had some time when we finally did get clear skies to get some time-lapse sequences done.

We were shooting the zodiacal light one night at Dead Horse Point State Park but wouldn't be there long enough to do a time-lapse so I had to settle for a few still images.

Course the wind was blowing at 30+ mph so everything was getting sandblasted out there anyway. :)

Need to work on the part about obtaining fire and some of the city shots for sure but I'll also add better night sky time-lapse sequence sin the future to get it closer to what I saw in my head when I came up with the idea for the film this round.

I really feel that working with a writer and a voice artist did wonders for the film.

It's always a good feeling when people like your work, but when it comes from other filmmakers, that means a lot more. I'm glad the film connected with you!!
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 02:11 AM   #29
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Hi Kevin, Bob and Steve are quite right in their praise. I know you feel there are areas for improvement but, believe me, that would be for very minute fine tuning. As you know the more proficient you become at your art, the more time consuming and expensive small gains become. Ask any top F1 race team about the millions of dollars (dollars! Gosh I am becoming Americanized) and hours of investment to gain that 1,000th of a second over the opposition. And this what we are talking about with your entry. You have ideas of how it can be improved, viewers at this moment in time just go wow!!!

You go on and enjoy your self imposed challenge to make the improvements that I know you want to make. If you then re-post it here I know that after watching both Steve and Bob will want post their comments but it will just be a blank post as they will be left speechless lol

By anybodies standards you have produced a highly polished, first class entry. Well done.
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Old May 2nd, 2017, 07:59 AM   #30
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Re: Lament of the Milky Way

Thanks for the kind words Mick.
Like I said above, it always means more when it comes from other filmmakers.

The parts I mainly want to rework are the fire scene and the city scenes. But as I get better at doing night timelapse I'll certainly incorporate those shots into the film.

Having two cameras going at the same time really helped get shots to five me a bit variety. Shooting about two hours for every shot meant I'd only get a few shots a night once astronomical twilight began.

BeIng out in the did skies was certainly magical! Can't wait to get back out here!
Thanks again for the feedback!
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