UWOL 44 - Grand Strzeleci Track by Andrew Hood at DVinfo.net

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Old October 25th, 2017, 04:18 AM   #1
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UWOL 44 - Grand Strzeleci Track by Andrew Hood


First real go using the recently acquired Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Still learning the capabilities and how to get the most out of it. Basically went on a long hike which was very tiring - but good to get my head out of other BS going on at the time. I then found that Danvinci Resolve, once I had it running, is fairly capable at editing, not just grading, although it takes time to learn a new system, so I was rushing to get it finished. Since uploading early Oct I haven't touched it, not because it didn't need tweaking and finessing, a rerecord of the audio, etc..., but time. At present I need to madly finish editing a couple of short films for a local film festival, which has taken a fair amount of time this month, besides the usual theatre commitments.

Let me know what you think works, or doesn't. Things to improve on. I wondered about having a human subject, or tour guide, but I don't know how practical it is being on both sides of the camera.
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Old October 25th, 2017, 05:06 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL 44 - Grand Strzeleci Track by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew

I am interested to hear that it was shot on a Blackmagic camera. A lot of the highlights are a little overexposed. I had thought you might be shooting it on a less capable camera (like mine), I would have thought a Blackmagic camera would produce less contrasty footage. Could this just be that you have only recently acquired the camera? And maybe it has a steeper learning curve than some? I would love to give one a try, but am certain I would not get the best out of it for quite a long while.

The lighting you had for some shots, sunlight through trees, is just plain nasty most of the time for any camera. I think your suggestion of a guide may be a good one. Check out Thomas Heaton, landscape photographer, on Youtube. His rambles through the countryside are interrupted by to camera pieces and him walking through the shot, he also has a drone to help out. It might give you some ideas. I think it takes longer to film that way too.

Overall, I enjoyed your film and it reminds me of some of the hiking I have done in Victoria, like the Wombat State Forest near Woodend.
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Old October 26th, 2017, 03:59 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL 44 - Grand Strzeleci Track by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew,

You have a nice story, and backed it up with the visuals.
Always a learning curve with new equipment, but I think you did well. Some shots a little too exposed, and some (like the one at 2:20) a little dark, but this particular sequence is tough since you get the extra background light in the end.

To have a guide/ human in front of the camera, can be an improvement sometimes. (Like David Attenborough did) Takes a bit more work and time.

The "walking shot" at 3:10: This is hard to do without being a little shaky. Have tried many times myself.
Maybe add a "warp stabilizer" filter (as it is called in Premiere Pro). The other Softwares maybe call it something different. Works pretty well to reduce the worst of the camera movement. (The downside is that it makes the footage a tiny little more soft)

Well done!
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Old October 26th, 2017, 04:14 AM   #4
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Re: UWOL 44 - Grand Strzeleci Track by Andrew Hood

Hi Andrew.

Congratulations on your new camera.
New toys are great :)

Hiking is one of my great outdoor activities.
So liberating and taking away all worries. Its balm for the soul.
VO is always so good in your films, you do not disappoint this time either.
What makes this movie interesting to me is your ability as a storyteller and that you always have an interesting story to convey.
I think the background sound is fine, not to high but relaxing and calm.
Is the film chronologically told as you walk the trail/path?
In my opinion, a movie of this category can easily get a bit boring to look at, with many similar scenes and clips. Also the colour is mostly green, naturally of course when hiking the woods.
Even though it is reproduced as it is from nature, one can make it more visually friendly with various close-ups and cutaways.
Another trick can be to jump back and forth in history so that you do not follow that path chronologically, but the story controls the direction of the film?
Maybe you could use some of the scenes with animals at an earlier stage to create curiosity about what will happen later like: There is more to come.
At three points I recommend to use cutaways because I think it will prevent jump cut.
1.06, where the creek/river runs to the right and suddenly to the left.
2.04 you have the creek running towards camera in two similar clips.
3.06 also two similat clips of the kangaroo.

Thank you for sharing your film and your craft with us.
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Old November 3rd, 2017, 12:36 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL 44 - Grand Strzeleci Track by Andrew Hood

Thanks for the input guys - and taking the time to comment.
I think with exposure; I was used to the Sony being set to 90% or lower for Zebras, whereas I realised it was set to 100% at a later time. And the histogram isn't perfect for judging. The screen is also hard to see clearly outside (quite reflective), and changing lighting conditions definitely played a part (example at 0:27 - 0:30). Some of those scenes probably needed more than the 13 stops of latitude the Film dynamic range setting gives. So not the best examples to judge the camera by, being my first time outdoors shooting with it.

Close ups are a good idea - Partly I got sick of stopping as often with the extra weight (plus unpacking/repacking the gear), covering over 8km in undulating terrain - and I was time limited as I didn't set out till after 1:30pm. Just another reminder to get more fitness, and actually get organised for once ;-) That also means you've seen less than 4% of the whole track network.
Mostly it's not in chronological order, so there's nothing stopping me changing the order. I just grabbed clips that roughly matched what I was talking about in the VO, so spending more time on choosing the shots and the order of those would help. And with getting more knowledge of Resolve I can add some better transitions when a straight cut doesn't work so well.

I'll see if I can find ways to physically stabilize the camera in the first place, rather than relying on software. I imagine it will take some practice. The Blackmagic handlebars felt fine to use, but I don't think the weight is evenly balanced (might depend on the lens as it has no adjustment)... maybe add some DIY counterweights. I'm reluctant to spend $2k-$4k on a good gimbal, even though I'm sure it would be great for moving shots.

In the end I was just happy to be out in nature - wet feet, blisters and worn out by the end. Hopefully now I've made a few of the mistakes I can learn from, and then go out and make some more. I'll decide which camera to use next time based on the theme and my plan for shooting it.
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Old November 4th, 2017, 10:16 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL 44 - Grand Strzeleci Track by Andrew Hood

Andrew, a great entry. You took us on a journey to a place many of us will never get to see. I particularly enjoyed the way you describe the evolution of the forest. I'd like to shots of the wildlife. Especially the first one of the deer staring at you and then blinking her eyes. Also, the narration and the use of natural sound was very well done. I take it you're enjoying your new toy. Hopefully I will be able to enter the next challenge. Take care and thank you for the journey, Bob
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