UWOL#3 "Gibbons" by Steven Gotz at DVinfo.net

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Old May 22nd, 2007, 08:31 AM   #1
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UWOL#3 "Gibbons" by Steven Gotz

http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...C3_gibbons.mov

I was on my way to a local lake to get some footage of alligators or birds or whatever might be in the area. I got some footage, but nothing spectacular. While sitting quietly, waiting for something to happen, it ocurred to me that if everyone who wanted to see alligators came to that spot, instead of going to Gatorland or some other theme park, the entire area would be trampled and useless as an animal habitat. On my way home, I realized that "The Wild" was only a theme, and I could capture images of wild animals that people can't normally see in the wild, courtesy of zoos or Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.

So, while the theme of the challenge is "The Wild", this video was shot in a somewhat controlled environment within the Disney Animal Kingdom in Florida. These animals are seen by millions of visitors each year.

While the purpose of the challenge relates to video, it is impossible to create a video that is as effective at fostering a love for nature in children around the world as the opportunity to see animals with their own eyes, and not though a camera lens.

White-cheeked gibbons are lesser apes, found in a stretch of forest that encompasses part of China, northern Laos, and northwestern Vietnam. I am thankful that there are loving, caring animal specialists supervising the exhibits at Disney and all of the wonderful zoos around the world. Otherwise, the White-cheeked Gibbon would not ever be seen by many people at all.

I hope you can imagine how thrilled I was to get the shots of this mother and her baby. They were not what I intended to use as my subjects on that particular day, but they were just too cooperative to pass up. Maybe next time you'll get tigers or gorillas or bats.

Instead of using our videos as a way to just show these sometimes spectacular images to the world, perhaps our real goal is really to encourage people to go to where they can see them for themselves? If not in "The Wild" then perhaps in a zoo or theme park.

If you are observant, you'll see that the opening title starts with "The Wild" and morphs into something else as it drops.

I was going to add a voiceover, but at the last minute I decided to just let people look at the images without a story behind it.
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Last edited by Steven Gotz; May 22nd, 2007 at 09:13 AM.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 09:07 AM   #2
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I think you captured the gibbons in a very good way.
Nice that you got the mother/baby. Good that even wild animals know when to cooperate.

Well done, Steven!
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 10:14 AM   #3
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Very nicely done. I think it's interesting to see how comfortable these gibbons are sitting on the ground, a place I assume they spend very little time in the wild. I do think you're right in that seeing these beautiful animals where they are easily accessable (like the zoo) may give people an itch to go see them in the wild, or just a more intimate connection that would move people to be more concerned with their welfare in the wild than if they had never seen the living animal. Thanks for sharing.

Rick
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 10:40 AM   #4
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Rick,

It turns out that even in their natural habitat, they stray over to the river. And it so happens that the people in the area build shrines that look like what they have at Disney all along the river bank. And the people leave food as religious offerings. The Gibbons eat the food while sitting on the shrine.

So, if we were to actually go to Vietnam to see them, we would probably only be able to do that at the shrines. Not that that is natural behavior, but close enough I suppose.

It just so happened that the Disney Cast Member who was standing around in that area to answer any questions about the Gibbons happened to be from China and she was interested in what I was doing, so we had a nice chat.

Those Disney people work very hard to be as accurate as possible in order to not only present the animals in the most natural setting, but to avoid catching flak from PETA and other such organizations. When Disney's Animal Kingdom was first being built, there were protesters all over the place. But it turned out that during the construction and again just before it opened, Disney invited all kinds of organizations to assist with making the theme park as animal friendly as possible. You should see the veterinarian facilities they have. Animals found outside the parks are brought in, healed, and released. Even snakes found in the woods nearby. One of the snakes from a golf course swallowed a golf ball and the Disney folks fixed him up and put him back where he was found.
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Last edited by Steven Gotz; May 22nd, 2007 at 12:23 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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I loved your gibbons, Steven.
The other day, there was a prg on Animal Planet (TV) from Thailand and how they treat their monkeys. I think it was "Monkey World org" who made the prg. Some very nasty things they did to the gibbons over there.
I agreed with you, it's nice for kids having such places to go to, looking at wild animals AND I think your film was great, too.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 11:57 AM   #6
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Hi Steven:

The Gibbons are beautiful and graceful. A good watch. Well done with good lighting and choice of music.

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Old May 22nd, 2007, 01:26 PM   #7
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That was really fun to watch. The mother and baby were amazing, to see them so well. I think seeing animals is important to wanting to protect them, so encouraging people to watch animals is great. Nice flow and music make the film work really well.

Ruth
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 10:41 PM   #8
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I enjoyed watching these gibbons, especially the mother and young one. You gave us a look at their quite social behavior withing the structure of their group.

I'm glad the folks in this group don't feel totally constrained by a strict definition of the theme, we get a quite varied look at how each of us sees things and I enjoy that very much.

The camera work, exposure, color and detail were very well done and had a quality look.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:06 PM   #9
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Great subject matter, well captured. But i did feel that some of the shots hung around a little too long, and could have benfitted with a little more variety (although, i guess pretty difficult to achieve in the environment).

Nice film.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:09 PM   #10
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Rob, I agree with you, but it was the subject I wanted to present and the challenge instructions indicate a 2 to 3 minute video. I probably should have cut it back from two minutes to a little over one and I would have been able to tighten it up.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:56 PM   #11
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hi steven,

enjoyed watching your monkeys very much. i had the opportunity to film free living monkeys for uwol #3 and they seemed to like sitting on the ground a lot as well. but they're always fascinating to watch. good work.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:41 PM   #12
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Hi Steven. Very nice film! I enjoyed it.

I loved seeing the baby starting to climb around on the bamboo, it was cool...

The text thing you did was very cool and sneaky! lol.

You have very good point.

Best wishes!
~Gabriel
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Old May 24th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #13
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Good looking monkeys my man...

I think a perspective of folks watching the monkeys in the park and perhaps some of their reactions to the funny things the monkeys were doing would have added that "human emotion" to the film.

good work...nice flow to the piece.

Jeff
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Old May 24th, 2007, 01:21 AM   #14
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Steven,
you have a good point there. Liked your film. As said, some people/kids showing up would enhange the film.
Keep up your good work!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 07:01 PM   #15
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You know, it never ocurred to me to add the human element. It might have been cool to have a shot of the baby eating, then a shot of the children doing the same thing. Mom grooming the baby, then humans.

Hmmm. Now you tell me! Oh well, live and learn.
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