UWOL #2: "Geocaching" by Kevin J Railsback at DVinfo.net

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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:12 PM   #1
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UWOL #2: "Geocaching" by Kevin J Railsback

When I first got the theme, I sat and wondered what the heck am I going to do in Iowa at this time of year?
I mean this is a place where a web-cam set up to watch corn grow makes headlines in the paper and the top story of our local news!

I was originally planning on being out around Moab, Utah so I thought the scenery and mountain bikes would have made a great subject. But, plans changed and I wound up not going.

The first thought that popped into my head when I knew I had to do the film here was Geocaching. So, I let it float around for a while but never really got an idea of how I wanted to do it.

Then I thought about going out to the nature center and doing a film on maple syruping. But, this was a bad year for maple sap, so not much there was going on.

So, back to my Geocaching idea.

My original idea was to basically explain how it all worked and follow along as I found a new cache. But, I quickly realized that I couldn't cover all I wanted to in the three minute time frame.

So, I was basically back to square one with the deadline looming closer every day.

I had a meeting with the director of the nature center about a film project they were interested in having me do.

It was during that meeting that I remembered that sometimes, it's about the journey, not the destination.

I remembered all the great places I discovered by Geocaching that I never knew were basically in my back yard.

I had been on portions of the trail this cache was hidden on before but never explored as far as where the cache was hidden.

So, with camera gear in tow, I set off 1.67 miles away from the cache and spent basically a day capturing the things I saw along the trail to the cache.

By the way, those of you with GPS units want to see where the cache is, the coordinates are N 41 59.503 W 091 34.965. :)

So, my film basically evolved from an instructional video to what you see.

Some shots came quite by accident. I realized that I was doing a film about Geocaching but didn't have any shots of the GPS unit taking me to the cache. So I set the GPS on the ground to get a shot while I was still a little ways from the cache.

When I reviewed the footage I noticed that the tripods leg was reflected in a couple of the shots basically ruining them. So, I moved the tripod around to get the leg out of the shot as best as I could. But, I still noticed something out of focus reflecting in the screen. That's when I refocused and discovered the trees were being reflected on the screen. So, I thought it was a good tie in of nature and technology so I shot the GPS then focused on the reflected trees.

So, while I wish I would have had more time to work on this challenge, I thought the film turned out ok for what it was.

My criteria for the film was did it feel like three minutes had passed after I had watched it. For me it felt that it was shorter than three minutes so I felt it was visual enough to enter and keep myself out of the shark tank of shame. :)

I hope you felt it was a worthwhile three minutes as well. http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...geocaching.mov
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:14 PM   #2
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Nice! I thought your video was great and Geocaching is pretty interesting. I used to scavenger hunt as a youngster -this is the upgrade.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:35 PM   #3
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Kevin,

I really liked the feel you created for the viewer of following along in the woods as if you are looking for the geocache, too. The shots of the hiker disappearing into the woods near the beginning made it feel like a real adventure- mysterious, as if the person was as hidden as the cache.

The only thing I noticed, and it might just be my computer, was quite a lot of hiss/static in the audio for most but not all of the video.

GPS is great- I have one hooked up to my regular camera- just to know where I take my photos. I hope they have that capability soon with video cameras.

Ruth
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Old March 24th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #4
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Hey Ruth,
Thanks for the comments.
I've played it on my computer with external and internal speakers and don't hear the hiss or static. Maybe it's my sample rate or something. I had plenty of extra file size so I jacked up the sampling on the audio.
But on my end it sounded good. :)
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Old March 24th, 2007, 06:07 AM   #5
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Kevin,
there are no hiss on my side either, the sound are very nice and music too, so I quess it's something at Ruth's machine?

This was very nice to watch! One minor thing was that you was walking away from my viewpoint all the time, whish you had done some clips where you was fronting the camera. You had some very nice shots of of the life in the woods, steady and clear pictures. And you found the box!!!!
The music emphasized your story in a brilliant way.

The opening timelaps was a wow! Did you take it with a wide lens?

You are on my top five list!
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Old March 24th, 2007, 06:34 AM   #6
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Hey Per,

Glad to know the hiss so far is isolated. The only other thing it coould have been was my footsteps on the muddy cinder trail.

I did have some shots of me waling toward the camera. Obviously I had to walk back and get the camera to continue to the next spot. :)

But it didn;t work as it felt that I was walking away from the cache instead of towards it.

Maybe I should have had the final shot of me walking over the bridge coming towards the camera instead of away again. That would have worked out ok.

The cloud timelapse in the intro was set up on my back deck of my house.
I had the HVX zoomed all the way out and set it to film 1 frame every 5 seconds and just went on about my business inside the house. Checking every now and then to make sure it was still there. :)

That was my first time to that cache so I'm glad I didn;t carry all my gear there and not find it! :)

Thanks again for the kind comments!
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Old March 24th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #7
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Really nice Job Kevin,

Especially in post. Really liked the titles, effects (time lapse etc.).
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Old March 25th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #8
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Kevin:

There was some great video in this film. Wanted to see in more detail what the prize was, but my wife said it was cash....

Glad to see the film addressed a recreational activity !!
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Old March 25th, 2007, 05:50 AM   #9
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Hey Chris,

Glad you thought it was ok.

Usually there's just little trinkets in the caches. You always worry that someone may discover the cache by accident and take it home. :)

I've been to book swap caches where you take a book along with you and when you find it, you drop off your book and take a new one with you.

Then there's also the things called Travel Bugs. They can be any little object and they have a dog tag with a tracking number on them. You give them a goal say to be photographed in front of Mt Fuji or something. As people find the caches that it's in, if they can move it closer to Japan to reach it's goal, they'll drop it in a cache and eventually, you'll get a picture of your little travel bug in front of Mt. Fuji.

I've taken travel bugs with me to California from Iowa to move them further along their goal and dropped them off in to California caches.

Maybe we can start a UWOL cache that has a film theme or something. :)

Thanks again!
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Old March 25th, 2007, 05:51 AM   #10
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Hey Kevin

Well fella, you know what I think of the quality of your images. Fantastic and a real picture postcard look to them. You have a great eye and good techinques for the smallest of details. I really liked this film, it was on-topic, it introduced something new...well I'm sure to a lot of us anyway and your edit was interesting and super clean.

I was discussing your film with my girlfriend last night and she hit the nail on the head I think. She said that by the end she didnt really want to know what was in the box and she wished you'd made her want to know. I agree, I think If you'd added that building up of tension as to 'whats this guy looking for' then this piece would have been fantastic, leaving aside the visual aspect which I think is fantastic anyway.

Great idea, lovely imaging !
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Old March 25th, 2007, 06:03 AM   #11
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Hey Mat,

Thanks for the comments!

I thought about that after I hiked 1.67 miles back to my car that I should have laid everything out that was in the cache. But by then the sun was setting and we had rain the next day so that was the end of that.

Maybe I'll do a sequel for UWOL#3. "The Return of the Indian Trails Cache." :)

I originally had planned for the film to be more informational but along the way to the cache I started thinking that the journey was more important than the destination.

Here I was coming across all these beautiful sights on my way to the cache that the cache became secondary. I don't know how much time I spent by that little rapids in the creek with the sun dancing off the water. The sound, the peacefulness, it was awesome.

Where's your feedback thread? Your film rocked!
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Old March 25th, 2007, 06:31 AM   #12
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I agree fella, many people overlook their journey with the all important 'destination'. But I guess what we thought was to bring the viewer into your piece by showing you were engaged in a task to find something and maybe show you frustrated, lost, making choices and there 'the goal'. Its a toil = success story I'm talking about I guess.

Anyway, I liked it a lot how it was. You deserve a placing for sure :)
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Old March 25th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #13
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Kevin, really nice film. As much as I love Geocaching, I don't think I could have even come anywhere close to how good you did with it. Two thumbs up!

The timelapse was awesome, and the shot of the GPS with the trees in the reflection was incredible. I always love those shots...

Haha, I would not have chosen a cache I had never ben two. I often only find 2 out of every 7 (I only have like 30 finds since last year when I started). Thats how bad I am at looking! lol. So congrats on the find!
Ammo cans are my favorite kind of Cache, I hate macros, those things are insane!!

Anyways, back on topic. Nice stuff, great work. I really liked it!
~Gabriel
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Old March 25th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #14
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I liked everything about your film. The music was well done and worked with the visuals and the photography was excellent. Nice job.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 11:16 PM   #15
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Like others I liked the time lapse work you did. You showed us not only a bit what Geocaching was about, but showed us visually what the spirit, feeling, and satisfaction of involvement must be like.

I especially liked the glimpses of details of nature and wildlife you incorporated. Were those whitetail deer trotting thru the woods? I don't hunt but love the thrill of seeing critters out in the environment.

I really liked everything about the way you did your video. Angles, movement all gave a feeling of being able to follow along with you.

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