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Old February 2nd, 2018, 10:08 PM   #1
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UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

This time it was a interesting time, i scrapped my original idea and chased this one just for the love of the murmuration, Most of the time the videos that we see of this are of Common Starlings however in India we have the winter visitors called the Rosy Starlings or Rosy Pastors who perform this .
In previous years the numbers have never crossed 10-20 thousand birds at a place however this time it was a bit in excess of 250 thousand birds . I was surely inspired by the footage i saw in Planet Earth II.
Overall the display happens for close to 12-15 minutes a day in the evenings with a bit of variation in timings for unknown reasons , the video is a compilation of 4 visits with cameras used being FS7, Canon 5D MIV, GH5, Gopro 5. and focal lengths used are from 12mm to 700 mm,
For me this was my call of the wild as murmuration is one thing that has drawn me to such places in winters in a hope that i would find one place where the spectacle may bless me.

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Old February 3rd, 2018, 12:07 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Hey Vishal,
Wow what lovely pictures!! You have got so many beautiful shots of the murmurations!! There was some great sound foley in the beginning, & right at the end, but i felt i was missing it in the middle section. I would have liked to hear those bird sounds all the way through, even if they were quieter.
I'm not sure i was really getting the idea you had with the music, & cutting in other pieces along the way. It appears you were playing around a little with speeding up & slowing down the footage to work better with the music, & i applaud your creativity on this. Personally though, i think you could have relied more on those lovely shots & stuck with a simpler music track to support the shots.
Again, you have given us some lovely shots of a beautiful country!
Regards,
Bryce
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 07:51 AM   #3
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Vishal, I liked your peace very well
Many of your sequences was very nicely done. As their movements are unpredictable it is very difficult to frame them and I think you did a good job there
I also liked the variation in focal length and speed. What framerate did you record in? The slow motion sequences are very nice!
It is amazing to watch this number of birds doing this performance.
Very well done!
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Hi Vishal.
That is a lot of birds. One thing I noticed is at 1:16 mark it appears your audio is panning to the right and the birds are moving to the left. Interesting idea with changing clip speed with the music. Over all an interesting piece and easy to watch.

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Old February 4th, 2018, 09:58 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Hi Vishal,

We are lucky to have great winter starling murmurations as well.

Like what you tried to do with with music speeding up as the film progressed. This is the part I find difficult as I am conscious of how entries are often rushed and posted at the last minute in order for an entry to be submitted and people then pick up on things you are only to aware off.

What would have made all the difference here is if you had a number of cutaways of people watching the murmeration, facial expressions etc, even you filming or travelling to the location. A map of India showing where this murmeration is taking place and maybe reduce the film length by approx 1 min.

Having meet you and know how good your spoken English is, you MUST try and submit an entry with a VO

Having said all that I did enjoy watching and have picked up a couple of ideas.

Mick
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Old February 6th, 2018, 01:51 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Thanks for the feedback was chasing wolves all time and didnt get a chance to reply.

Gordon,
I just went a bit crazy with the edit to try something new .

Bryce,
The foley at start and end is when we see the birds real close, other times the birds being so far off i want able to hear them myself in field so opted to keep it that way as i head it. As i said this was a crazy try and mixing multiple music tracks to see what i comeout with.

Per Johan
The frame rate 90% of video is shot is 60fps in 4k and later used that to play with in final edit for slow motion or normal.

Mick
This time i started with thinking of a VO and landed up writing 4 lines only for VO so felt that doing the VO may interrupt the flow as it was too less .
I would have loved to give a different perspective of people watching it and their expressions but i was alone most of the times, one boat came in to look at it but couldnt see anything with them from the shore , was shooting wide angle of the flock with 100-400 . I did get shots of me approaching the place from water with gopro and from land in the vehicle but on the time line left them back as i did not like that flow somehow. The map and the location part yes i missed might have been good i agree 100% as i have done that before.

I finally decided to keep it as the starling perspective , once saw a Peregrine come there but he just hunted a duck and went off , LOL leaving these many birds just alone.
Its strange but the time these birds choose to come to roost is when the marsh harriers have left the area, the risk is so low later that in the weeks after this the birds simply came in and sat on the trees with out any displaying showing the risk was gone, and previously they were just being cautious . Its always strange how we see these and have idea in our mind that things will happen and then the flock has a brain of its own and behaves completely differently
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Old February 6th, 2018, 02:09 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Hi Vishal,

This was another great film from you. What a huge flock of birds in the air. Amazing they don't bump into each other.
Can't add much in addition to what has already been commented.

I would have preferred VO instead of text, and maybe a little less music changes, but all in all I really like that you experiment and try out new ideas.

Well done!
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Old February 6th, 2018, 02:41 AM   #8
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Trond,
UWOL is a great place to try new things and get feedback and see if it works or doesnt , so guess i went that way always
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Old February 6th, 2018, 03:35 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

" once saw a Peregrine come there but he just hunted a duck and went off " Most inconsiderate of it! Typical when you expect one sort of behavior you get another, that's the frustration or should I say anticipation of filming wildlife.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 08:58 AM   #10
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Mick,
Interestingly the Peregrine was first seen on my last day of the shoot, years back i have seen it chasing a flock in Jamnagar, Gujarat where around 50k birds were there but it was a spectacle to watch .
Yes it was a Wildlife filmmakers disappointment when you see the Marsh harriers and Greater spotted eagles perched right on the same trees the starlings roost fly off at sunset and the starlings choosing the perfect time and then you see the speedster on its way it gives them a miss and does its own business .
On a flip side a teal was anyways a far better prize for the falcon than a starling when it had to make its last kill of the day.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 04:09 PM   #11
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Incredible! I thought I saw a lot of birds at Merritt Island, but nothing like this. I cant even imaging 10 - 20,00 birds turning and moving through the air like that. Amazing that they don't fly into each other. I would have liked to see more shots of them feeding. The noise of all their wings and chatter must be incredible. Great entry! Thank you so much. Bob
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Old February 12th, 2018, 04:35 AM   #12
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Re: UWOL #45 - Dance of the Starlings

Vishal that's an incredible amount of birds.
I liked the concept of a dance for the birds, and I think some of the shots really nailed that. I quite liked the flock movements sped up several times where it moved swiftly back and forth, and quickly spread and 'squashed' together, and flowing to match the music. Simple idea, and it worked really well when the timing was in sync.
There were also some great closeup shots, and the buildup of the birds and music from the start worked really well. Would be great to have some more static shots where the birds are doing enough of the movement within the frame - but as mentioned you never know where they will be at any one time.

Great that you tried something different, and had some fun playing, and getting to see some amazing sights in nature. Glad you went with the idea.
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