UWOL #1: "Duck, the Snow Falleth" by Gabriel Yeager at DVinfo.net

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Old January 23rd, 2007, 12:28 PM   #1
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UWOL #1: "Duck, the Snow Falleth" by Gabriel Yeager

Hello everyone! And congratulations to all who made their submissions in on time.

Here is the link to the video; http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...th_stream1.mov

I just would like to say that this was a great experience and an excellent time.
I had my struggles with the video, but life is not easy now is it?
all the ducks was filmed at the same time, and the snow was over a course of two days. The birds, well, I'll be honest, I can not remember when I filmed those! But the snow and birds was from my back yard, and the ducks where from a trail just about a mile from my house. The editing was a new challenge for me. I have never edited anything before, so it was another experience. Same thing with the footage, this was all new ground for me.
So sorry for the shaky shots, the bad focus/exposer, and the subjects not being centered.

A couple of things I have learned from this is as follows:

1. Focusing on a 2.7 inch LCD screen at max zoom is near impossible.

2. Birds like to do all the action when you are setting up...

3. Tracking birds using a tripod you have never used before is insanely difficult!

4. A 20x zoom lens is not enough to get a good shot on birds.

5. Take time to get the exposer right.

6. READ THE HELP GUIDE FOR YOUR EDITING SOFTWARE!

7. I do not like editing all the much, but I will live.

8. Bring gloves in the winter!

and finally,
9. The UWOL Challenge is a great experience!

Thank you everyone! Please leave your feedback and comments here!
~Gabriel
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:22 PM   #2
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Gabriel, I think you have developed well since I saw your first film. And I know that you are a young and very entusiastic person who love to try and fail. The fact that you didn't give up when you got problems with the editing and compression proves this.
I have watched your film a couple of times and I have some tip for improving your footage.
First of all try to do the recording from different angels, some from a tripod and some with a bean bag near the ground. Also go some steps in either direction and do some recording just to get different backgrounds.

You can easily make a bean bag from some old jeans. Cut it out from a part of the leg, stitch together one end, fill it with some cheap rise or beans and stitch the other end together. Voila you got a very nice bean bag almost for free!

In the editing process carefully look through your footage. Take notes. Then read through your notes and cut and edit the film in your mind.
Remember that any clip longer than 5-8 second need to have some special interest for the viewer. If not she got bored! I think you got some long scenes there where nothing really happend.

Your list is nice, I think you know where to develop better. Nr 8 have saved my life serveral times!

Best;
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:34 PM   #3
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Thank you Per! And yes, I know I had long footage, but I did not have anything else to use. So I kind of in a way shot myself in the foot.
But hey, I got it in after almost giving up.

Thank you for your great advise, I will take it and use it for the next time. maybe I will be able to get out and try shooting some before the next UWOL.

Thanks again for watching my video and leaving feedback.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:36 PM   #4
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It seems it posted twice.

Is there a moderator out there that can delete this for me?
Thanks!
~Gabriel
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:16 PM   #5
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Gabriel,

I think we are both on a steep learning curve here and are both trying to push the envelope with relatively low-grade equipment for what we are trying to capture (wildlife shots). Still, I give you a lot of credit for sticking with it and getting this thing finished and posted before the deadline. I enjoyed watching it and look forward to future efforts from the Crystal Dragon studios!

Rick
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:21 PM   #6
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Gabriel,

I, too, see a great stride forward in your work. You tackled some tough situations and some of it worked quite well. I second all of Per's compliments and recommendations.

The falling snow you captured has a very restfull and peacefull soul restoring quality to it and it's too bad the weather didn't cooperate and let you get some of that in the same scenes as the ducks.

On the jerky pans...Here is where editing can save you a bit. Cut from just before unwanted movement to something that looks totally different (other ducks, other critters, tree branches blowing in the wind, you get the idea) and then cut back to the swimming duck after the unwanted movement.

I also do not have quality video tripod with fluid pan head so here's what I do with what I have: Loosen all movements and then gently tighten until it will stay where pointed with the camera on it, yet still allow easy movement with fairly light pressure in all directions. Practice with it and you'll get panning down a lot better. I do realize the long telephoto setting you used made it a lot tougher.

Keep it up. I enjoyed seeing what you did with this one.

Bruce Foreman
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:19 PM   #7
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Thanks guys! Thanks Bruce, your recommendations seem to be what I was looking for.

I wanted to keep the shot (where I loosed the duck about half way thru), but at the same time I did not want to show the lose of it, so I did not know what to do, but what you have recommended is great! I will use this technique next time I feel it is needed.

Thanks alot guys, I look forward to seeing all of your videos!
~Gabriel
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 04:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Yeager
Thanks guys! Thanks Bruce, your recommendations seem to be what I was looking for.

I wanted to keep the shot (where I loosed the duck about half way thru), but at the same time I did not want to show the lose of it, so I did not know what to do, but what you have recommended is great! I will use this technique next time I feel it is needed.


~Gabriel
Another hint that goes along with what I said earlier. Shoot lots of "cutaways" on location. Even have someone else with a camcorder shoot some of you while you are "working"; this is done a lot on nature documentaries. These "cutaways" will have the potential to save your hide in the editing process and the more short "cutaways" you have available, the better.

As an exercise, I suggest re-editing "Duck, The Snow Is Falling" with an eye to using some other stuff as "cutaways" and as you realize what you can do, I expect you will find yourself enjoying the editing process more.

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Old January 23rd, 2007, 05:09 PM   #9
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Thanks again Bruce! I will try that. If I get something to work out nice, I just might upload it to my site and Share it here on dvinfo.

Thanks for the hints, its great to be able to have people tell me what are good ideas on this stuff. Thanks guys!
~Gabriel
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 06:43 PM   #10
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Crystal Dragon represent!

Hey Gabriel,

You'd think panning with a duck on the water would be an easy thing. But until you've done it, you don;t realize that it's not a very easy thing to do. :)

I think your music really fit the piece. It set the mood and I thought it set it well.

I agree with allot of what's been said above. I liked the opening snow shot but it does need to be broke up. Show us a close-up of the snow falling on the branches, different angles etc.

Another trick I use allot when I have a pan that didn;t turn out as well as I'd like is to slow it down. It allows you to take the times when the pan is going smoothly and stretch them out to a more usuable length.

I'm not a big fan of iris transitions. A more organic dissolve of some type would have worked better for me. Going back to the softly falling snow with a hard edge transition took me out of the moment.

Working at 20X and trying to pan is hard for anyone to do.

I know when I'm getting ready for a big shoot, I'll go sit on a highway overpass and just practice panning with the traffic as it goes by.
Every now and then I'll shoot a little bit but I just pick a spot in the viewfinder and work on keeping the vehicle locked on that spot.

I know if I don't do it for a while, I'm get pretty rusty.

Keep up the good work and I hope to see your next film in the next UWOl Challenge!
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 07:08 PM   #11
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Gabriel:

I enjoyed the content but as others have mentioned a quicker pace would have held the viewer's attention more. Reading the advice you have received I will bet your next video will be from a whole new place.

Keep up the good work.

Brian
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 07:51 PM   #12
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It seems as if you've already gotten a lot of constructive advice. I agree the ducks could use more editing and cutting with other shots, but I really like the effect you got with the falling snow. It seemed very surreal, almost magical- great job capturing that.

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Old January 23rd, 2007, 08:12 PM   #13
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Very peaceful vibe with an unsettling mix of imagery. The unusual juxtaposition of the snow and ducks is rather surreal and ominous. Do those poor ducks not know it is snowing? Will they be all right? They play but the real danger is silently falling. Nice!
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 08:49 PM   #14
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Hi Gabriel!

I'm proud of you Gabriel! You worked hard, overcame the issues and delivered your creative work. Well done.

Really enjoyed the snow fall scenes. Especially nice. Your music was good too. Who is Overlooked Identity? Interesting stuff.

I would echo most of what has already been said here. Some good advice on shooting cut-a-ways, editing techniques, etc.

As far as duck butts go, I think you have the crowning winner in your short.

Gabriel- I believe you have an abundance of fantastic energy and even more importantly, an inner drive to constantly learn. That is why you will always do very well. Keep it going!

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 09:05 PM   #15
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Thanks guys! Just a fast reminder that I am listening carefully to all of your guys comments. Thank you all so much!

Overlooked Identity is a one man band located up here in the northwest. I set the name as a link to their purevolume page.

haha, thank you!

Quote:
Gabriel- I believe you have an abundance of fantastic energy and even more importantly, an inner drive to constantly learn. That is why you will always do very well. Keep it going!
Thank you very much, I am flattered.

Back to viewing videos!
~Gabriel
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