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The UWOL Challenge
An organized competition for Under Water, Over Land videographers!


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Old March 30th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #16
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Hi Dave,

UWOL #2 was my first go at these challenges and it was an excellent time. Interpeting the themes is a great part of the competition for several people and to see the finished ideas in video really opens up the imagination. I hope you have a great experience here and YES!! the people are very friendly and supportive.

Underwater stuff would be very interesting indeed with your gear. I believe when it comes to using old footage...as long as it has never appeared in a previous challenge then it is fair to use.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #17
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See post #11, I believe that Trond got it right. This is supposed to be new footage shot for the contest.
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Old March 31st, 2007, 07:08 AM   #18
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Somewhere in a post Meryem said that old footage coould be used like in a composit or something of that nature so it would be "new" footage.

So, if you had a shot of the moon and you wanted to put it into a shot that you just filmed for the challenge, then I believe you could do that. Of course, I'd check with her to make sure. :)

No one would really know if you used old footage or not but that's not the point of it all. The point of the challenge is to challenge yourself.


We all could pull footage out of our library and make a film without ever having to go out and shoot any more footage.

But this is all about pushing yourself, motivating yourself. Can I go out and in threee weeks time create something?

It's tough at time but that's why it's called a challenge.

So sure you could cheat but then all you end up cheating is yourself.
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Old March 31st, 2007, 03:07 PM   #19
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I totally agree with you Kevin, I'm sure most of us have a healthy amount of stock footage. Heck I could've used old stock of a lion attacking his owner as part of the recreation block, lol. It's more challenging and rewarding to go out and shoot for the competition than to think of ways to short yourself and the contest.
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Old April 1st, 2007, 01:59 AM   #20
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Thanks all, yes i agree that all footage should be shot for the challenges as otherwise there would be no point in taking part... i guess it hurts when you know you have some spacific footage that is very rarely duplicated... but i guess by taking part and getting out filming at every oportunity will only in itself re-create the opportunities of getting those shots.
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Old April 1st, 2007, 06:43 PM   #21
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Dave,

This is a great group of people to learn from!!!!! After the last two years on here the learning curve has always been steep, that is what makes it grrrreat.

I have tons of stock footage!! I feel half the challenge (and fun) is trying to get the footage you need. If go through a lot of the posts you will find it is pretty normal that your theme changes slightly as you collect the footage.

Looking forward to some aussie footage!!!

dale
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Catherine Russell View Post
Thank you Ken:

I am in no hurry here to jump into expensive endeavors beyond my scope of experience to understand what I am getting into. This is very good advice. Perhaps a savvy approach would be to use the UWOL challenges to shoot in SD and with a rented HD camera to learn the differences between the two of them in both on-site shooting and in post processing. If I'm really fortunate, I might be able to rent a Canon HV20 to get the feel for it. I look forward to more of your insights when you have the time for them. And thanks for the warning. How terrible it would be to find out that after the expensive investment of an HD(V) camera, I don't have the hardware capability to process this level of information!

Sincerely,

Cat Russell
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Sorry Catherine for not responding sooner, but I've been out in the field filming "my" sea otter, Mr. Otto.
I must say I agreed with Ken D, about choosing a camera. I've got 2 cameras, Panasonic DVX100 and Canon XL H1, and I like both of them.
It dipends on what you're gonna shoot, what camera to pick, but the dvx you now can get at low prize these days (at least in Norway) because of newer models coming to store. The Canon XL's (1, 2 and H1) you can change lenses and for wildlife filming thats a good thing. I also think the canons XL1 and 2 is at low prize in the stores because of newer models. So you have to check it out AND try out for youself. Maybe there is some used ones to get?
My first camera was the DVX100 and I think it's a great camera, now I prefer my XLH1 and I shoot everything in HDV, but I use my DVX100 when I'm snorkling and for 2 camera shooting.
In the end it's not the camera but the boy/girl behind. I've seen a lots of good wildlife filming shot on consumer cameras. So dont go ahead and use all your money just to get the right gear :) think of how you're gonna use it and for what.
I hope my english/norwegian is understandable and I wish you luck.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 11:16 AM   #23
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Thanks Geir:

Your english/norwegian is well understood, thank you! Thank you also for the sound advice. I knew it was smart to post this question to the community of experts. I have noticed the the Canon XL2 is widely used and I have seen it being sold new for as little as $915.00 US dollars, which is amazingly inexpensive for this item. As I understand it, it is 7 lbs in weight (?) which seems very heavy. Do you find the weight a problem when you are shooting film?

I appreciate your input as well as input from Ken. I agree with you both when you place most of the responsibility with the experience and talent of the person behind the camera. Thanks again for your expertise and I apologize that I could not respond to you in norwegian like you have responded in english.

Question to Ken:

When you said that at some point, most of your HD(V) is reduced down to standard format anyway, would the film still be a sharper, clearer image when it is captured first as HD(V) and then made to fit a standard format than if you captured a film in SD from the beginning? I hope this makes sense.

Thanks again for bringing me along side and allowing me to walk with the pros.

Cat Russell
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 03:54 PM   #24
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Yes the XL is a bit heavy, so I sometimes prefer the DVX if I'm on a longer trip in the mountains. My rucksack weight is around 20 - 25 kg with XLH1, tripod etc, when I'm on tour, but most of the time I'm using my XLH1. Then, for later occations, I got everything in HDV :)
Shooting wildlife can be a hard case to beat, and then I'm thinking of getting as close to the birds/animals as possible, with an adapter you can use EF lenses, Per Johan got one and you can see from his films that he's shot some great scenes using EF lenses. I've ordered an adapter an hope to use it for Uwol#3. But in the end it all comes down to this; how much money you've got to spend and what your intention is.
1. Shooting wildlife for your own interest/show family and friends, any format will do.
2. Making mini-movies for the internet, DV is the right thing.
3. Higher-quality movies for a company or for broadcasting, I would have picked a camera with 3 CCD, DV or HDV.

If I should pick a producer company, I'd go for Canon, Sony or Panasonic, but this is my opinion.

By the way, heres my last edited clip of Mr Otto (wmvfile and with english narrations): Mr Otto the sea otter
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine Russell View Post
Thanks Geir:

Your english/norwegian is well understood, thank you! Thank you also for the sound advice. I knew it was smart to post this question to the community of experts. I have noticed the the Canon XL2 is widely used and I have seen it being sold new for as little as $915.00 US dollars, which is amazingly inexpensive for this item. As I understand it, it is 7 lbs in weight (?) which seems very heavy. Do you find the weight a problem when you are shooting film?

I appreciate your input as well as input from Ken. I agree with you both when you place most of the responsibility with the experience and talent of the person behind the camera. Thanks again for your expertise and I apologize that I could not respond to you in norwegian like you have responded in english.

Question to Ken:

When you said that at some point, most of your HD(V) is reduced down to standard format anyway, would the film still be a sharper, clearer image when it is captured first as HD(V) and then made to fit a standard format than if you captured a film in SD from the beginning? I hope this makes sense.

Thanks again for bringing me along side and allowing me to walk with the pros.

Cat Russell
Spike Productions
Cat,

Sorry, but there's no way a 'real' XL2 goes for under $1000.00. I think you might find a good used for around $2,500. Check the classifieds here, they seem to be fairly priced. The real advantage of the XL's (1,2, or H1) is in the ability to add your own Canon telephoto lenses. Of course then you need to upgrade your tripod and head.... There are alot of great 3-chip SD cameras, just make sure you either buy new or from a trusted source. In the meantime, shoot, edit and produce with the camera you've got. A good eye, a steady tripod, nice lighting and being in the right place, combined with post-production skills, are really all you need. Now if you combine the above WITH technology, then you've got something great.


Re HDV
If I shoot HDV and ingest into my NLE (Vegas) using the Cineform Connect codec, I have a far better result (in eventual SD output to DVD), than if I downconvert from the camera to the NLE. I also have a master that is ready to burn to Blu-ray or HD-DVD when the consumer is ready. Another benefit (which I haven't done yet), is that I could take the portable drive that it is stored on to a facility that has an HDCam (or digiBeta) deck to create a broadcast master. Of course using this method gobbles up hard drive space pretty darn quick.

If I downconvert from the camera to my NLE, I have a product that is likely only slightly better than shooting SD. The advantage is that I do have the HDV master tapes.

As far as walking with the pros, well I just got back into video seriously again last year after taking about 7 years away, so... This board has been my main resource during the last 12 months. There are some great contributors here and some great forums. The reason I got out of video 8 years ago was the frustration with the lack of affordable technology for the independent producer.

My how times have changed... for the better, in this case.
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Old April 10th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #26
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Hi Ken:

Thanks for continued input. I had a feeling that converting HD(V) to SD(V) could render a better product than strictly dealing with SD(V) if done correctly with the right tools. Thanks for sharing the details on how you post produce your film.

After our discussions I'm in no hurry to upgrade. Last week I shot a film with my regular camera and I got really lucky with the lighting. It turned a normal film into something magical. I think I have some more practicing to do with the tools that I have.

I'm interested in a 3-chip SD and will do some homework in this area.

As far as pricing the Canon XL2, I did a google search on that camera and it brought up pages selling it new for $999.00 etc., but then would offer "package bundles" of different sorts that would add to the base cost. Considering your comment, I'm certain these "optional" package bundles are quite necessary to operate the camera.

Thanks always for the chat, the comments, the expertise and the good advice. I am better off that you are back in the business again, and I have access to all of these great resources.

Cat
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Old April 10th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #27
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Hi Geir:

Thanks for your continued input. When you say "3 CCD", can I assume it is the same thing that Ken is referring to as "3-chip SD" ? I have some homework to do in this area. I appreciate your comments.

I am interested in seeing your film of Mr. Otto but I am unable to play it with my players. If it is not too much trouble, can you link us to a QT, MPEG or AVI file of this movie sometime? It would be great to view this!

All the best,

Cat
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Old April 10th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #28
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To the 3CCD matter: yes mam :) instead of one CCD, you'll have 3, one for each colour, cathcing the light.

Definition from Wikipedia: A charge-coupled device (CCD) is an image sensor, consisting of an integrated circuit containing an array of linked, or coupled, light-sensitive capacitors. This device is also known as a Color-Capture Device. Three-CCD cameras have three separate charge-coupled devices (CCDs), each one taking a separate measurement of red, green, and blue light. Light coming into the lens is split by a trichroic prism assembly, which directs the appropriate wavelength ranges of light to their respective CCDs. Three-CCD cameras are generally regarded to provide superior image quality to cameras with only one CCD.

I've also got the Panasonic AG-DVX100B, witch is a 3CCD camera (miniDV tape and SD). I've used it a lot and it's a fine camera to use and easy to carry in the field. I guess you can get it for a nice prize these days. It's not easy to pick a new camera, but as I said earlier, it all depends on what you're gonna use it for and how much you're willing to spend. The technology changes so fast these days, with new cameras several times a year, it's hard to keep up with the tempo of the producers. Just a last tip, be careful where you buy your camera, the safest thing is probably to buy from a local dealer and make sure to get your warranty ;)

Heres a Qtime-file of Otto, the sea otter (42 mb):
Mr Otto
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Old April 13th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #29
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Thank you Geir!

Your movie of Mr Otto and your expertise are well received! Nicely done. Your english narration is excellent. Perhaps a sequal to Mr Otto will be one with Mrs Otto and perhaps a family? He looks like he is doing quite well, regardless.

All the best,

Cat
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