UWOL #2: "Glide" by James Hooey at DVinfo.net

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Old March 23rd, 2007, 08:18 PM   #1
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UWOL #2: "Glide" by James Hooey

Yaaa!! My first UWOL challenge. It was great fun and I learned several things which I will gladly share regarding the experience.

How I worked from concept to finished video,
The concept was just literal....'recreation'...well I snowboard in the winter too but I didn't want to get into that so I chose cross country skiing. It's a favorite pastime since I was a little tyke. So I wanted the video to encompass the idea of what a day of skiing is like: from often long travel to the ski trail, to the skiing itself through treed trails, over bridges and into open fields and snowscapes. To finish I wanted to end with the sun setting and ending up back where we began warming and relaxing ourselves at the wood stove.

I actually storyboarded it...drawing scribbles and generating ideas for shots, most of which were completed as planned. The storyboard helped a great deal to stay focused on elements that would be necessary to tie the video together with a story like feel.

I then composed the music with my keyboard/sampler, guitar and V-drums into a 2:59 piece of music with a general feel of building to a climax, a bridge (where the scenic shots play out) and a calm at the end to bring the video to a conclusion. I've been a musician and recording engineer for years and thought I'd get the 'easy' stuff out of the way first.

For shooting Tracey and I went out on two seperate days of skiing (noticeable from the different light/snow conditions) and other than a few other shots, simply looked for scenic areas of interest to put the storyboard ideas into motion. Tracey was an incredible help in that she would drive the car for shots of it and would position herself where needed to frame the shot where we were both skiing. I love her a bunch!!

Editing - straightforward basic fade and butt edits and some simple titling with Boris Graffiti.

So!!! phew it was a blast....what do I think I learned? I've posted this before but I will mention it again..

DON'T BE THE TALENT AND THE CAMERAPERSON!!!
If you people could have seen the number of times we would set the camera up...have Tracey position herself for the action while I got the camera settings good...and then ski my a** off to get into the shot myself while the camera rolled unattended. I'm just lucky no gansta squirrels came along and made off with the gear while I was 300' away mugging for the camera

TRIPOD...OH TRIPOD....THOU DOST NEED THY TRIPOD!!!
I came from the world of a little handheld Sony DCR-TVR22 and only a camera tripod to use it with...worked fine for a little camera. After purchasing the XH-A1 I knew it was going to put the hurt on my little Giottos.
A lot of the video you see is the least shaky stuff I could pick out and the best shots are the still framed things where I don't have to pan/tilt.

* note * - I have since bought a Manfrotto 503/351MVB2 combo and am learning how to use it well. It's a world of difference!

HANGING FROM A TREE IN A CLIMBING HARNESS BLOWS!!!
I had wanted to do a high angle shot of pulling out of our driveway (2nd shot of the video) and used my old climbing gear to tie myself into a large tree there. We did two takes with Tracey driving out and my god!...I wanted to puke after the second take from the pressure on my stomach and whatnots.

DVINFO IS GREAT
I tend to check here more often than may be considered healthy to get my dose of info, tips and insight into the world of video. I'm very happy I stumbled into the site and I thank everyone who contributes and openly discusses the art of videography!!

I hope everyone enjoyed my video as much as I did making it and I hope to be able to contribute for the next UWOL challenge!!!

Best wishes to everyone, and Tracey my love you are great.
James Hooey
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 09:47 PM   #2
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I liked the driving really fast part! Why B&W on the car pulling out?

Like you said, don't be on both sides of the camera, you even looked at it! OOOOOH I'm tellin'! LOL. Great shots of some wonderful looking nature fun.


Good luck and keep having fun!
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 09:53 PM   #3
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B&W on the car....no good reason but it was a strange angle so I didn't like the straight up colour. I guess it was an introductory "memory" approach to the video.

LMAO - ya...I looked (I'm a dumbass that way)
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:03 PM   #4
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I liked the video showing the idea of a day in the woods. I think the shots were good, but maybe would be more effective in a different order. There seemed to be a lot of shots of the skiing toward the beginning, and then mainly cutaways. If there was some way to integrate the two more evenly, and make it seem like a progression through the woods somehow, that would have been more effective for me- more like a story.

But I like the video, very nice composition especially of the water, trees, etc., making it feel as if I was joining you in your ski trip.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:34 PM   #5
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You had some really great scenics and I think you portrayed a day of skiing with a tremendous sense of peace and tranquility in the visuals.

I definitely empathize with your "don't be the talent and the camera operator, too" caveat. This is the 3rd one where I've had to do just that and I feel like it had more of a negative impact on this one for me.

I suspected what you were having to contend with setting the camera up ahead, starting it running, and then making it back to Tracy. You did pull it off better than you may have felt you did.

One thing I have to mention (and it may be more personal prejudice than anything else) was a feeling the music may not have matched the mood of the visuals and may not have complemented them very well.

It seemed a bit "heavy", more suited for high drama, suspense, and impending "action".

But otherwise a production I enjoyed watching.

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Old March 24th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #6
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Ruth...thanks for the compliments and the note about how to possibly mix the video together in a different order to enhance more of a progression through the film. I wondered myself how best to mix the scenics with the action. In the end I thought I would use the bridge in the music "bridge in the musical term" and have it as the skiers eye on all the wonderous natural sites to see while skiing. It does tend to break the video up though and make it more disjointed than it could have been.

Bruce...your a very knowledgable person from what I can tell. I greatly appreciate the lead to the film "Transit" and will see if I can find it to help generate ideas regarding grafitti. Thanks also for appreciating how filming and being the talent can affect a shoot. I guess we both could use some work in that regard. The music?...it was a little over the top for the piece. I'm not sure if it was heavy or dark but it was a little epic :) I mentioned as much in the "tales of wonder and woe" but overall I was pretty happy with how it matched.

Great comments! I appreciate critisism probably more than kudos because it gives me some tangible feedback on how to improve my skills.

Thanks again and comment at will!
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Old March 25th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #7
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Some spectacular scenery and shots that blended into the recreational activity you chose to portray. Very nice job !!
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Old March 25th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #8
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Hey I'm glad someone got some snowsport into this this :) and I love your speeded up journey shot....I've done that before(badly) and the setup can be tricky! Some lovely shots in here and it must have been tricky carrying gear and setting up some of these passing shots. You've dealt with the white balencing the snow well and some of your cut shots were fab.

I'd love to see how you storyboarded this...

I have to say I got quite excited when I saw the dramatic start and ski's on the car (Even more if it was a board but hey ho ;) ...I was suprised when It was cross country skiing...with the dramatic start I was expecting some hairy downhill action and dramatic 'wham' here goes cut. I guess what I trying to say is I dont think the build up fit the piece.

Nice work...some great imaging.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #9
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Umm, sorry but is not loading for me. I tried downloading it, and it did not work. so then I tried streaming it, and that did not work.

So sorry about that.
Let me know what the deal is.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #10
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James,

Heh heh, you DID look! :)

Holy smokes, knowing that you were the camera operator, I have to take my hat off to you. There were some scenes that looked like it took some work to get the camera into position, get to your mark, film the scene, break it down and then go back to get the camera!

My favorite shot was at :51. really liked that one.

Beautiful footage.

Editing is like a jigsaw puzzle, you can move the pieces around and get a whole different picture. Except there's no master picture to go off of. :)

Good job on the film, it was beautiful!
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Old March 25th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #11
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Chris, Kevin, Mat, thank you all for your compliments...I'm very grateful and blushing. :)

Mat - did you notice that the opening shot is ski tracks with the title Glide?....I thought that was giving the whole bag away right from the get go. The speed up footage has been a learning experience. Using my light little camera tripod I had to hold the camera from tipping over the entire 20mins of the shot. Since then I have also figured out that it is probably better to render back to m2t files rather than a Cineform codec. I think the later caused a lot of artifacts as I speed the footage up 4 seperate times to get it up to speed.

Kevin - I like the berries shot at 51 too! Having only recently purchased my XH-A1 I was really playing with depth of field. My favorite shot is the piney sort of tree...in high def it has an incredible depth of field that didn't translate in the sorenson compression. I looked :) I do have a second take of this because I realized at the time I did, but in that shot we had these hugh goofy grins and I thought this was the lessor of the two evils.

Gabriel - I can't suggest what would be the issue. At a later time I will likely post it to youtube as a wmv so I can certainly give you the link when it's there.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #12
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Mat,

Forgot to mention...I would love to post my storyboard here as a couple jpgs. Does anyone know how I can get permission to post attachments

Last edited by James Hooey; March 25th, 2007 at 08:15 PM.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 11:33 AM   #13
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Hi James and welcome to Uwol.
I liked the driving fast scene very much.
And of cause the scenes from cross country skiing. After all I'm living in the land where the skiing was invented ;)
bright colors and some beautiful scenery.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #14
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James, you got some beautiful scenery in your video.
I think you made a great story out of it.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Hooey View Post
Mat,

Forgot to mention...I would love to post my storyboard here as a couple jpgs. Does anyone know how I can get permission to post attachments
James, I am not sure if everyone has capability, but when I open a reply box, or start a thread, I can scroll down and under additional options, click on manage attachments. From there, you can upload files. They are limited in size.
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