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

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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Akershus, Norway
Posts: 1,413
Thanks for a great round in the Challenge!

This round was a real tough one! Thought I had a winner but I was beaten by some magnificient films!

I'm very proud to be a part of such a community where we all learn new things from each other. Think about what a progress we have made since this uwol-challenge was established. If this develop in the same speed I will not even think about the high level of quality in the end of this year.

It's very nice to see so many new people enter the Challenge and that the "old bunch" still remain, producing top notch entries.

I think it was brilliant to get a judge "from the outside". For me this was important to learn what he emphasize to remain interests for the viewer:
As a judge, I was looking for how well the entire video was put together, from the cinematography, editing, narration and music. I was also looking for the videos that had an emotional quality to them, specifically films that had story. I feel that it isn't enough to just have beautiful photography, especially if you want to keep your audience interested for more then a few minutes. I have watched alot of adventure films over the years, and this seems to be the one element which seperates the good from the best. So, if I can encourage you to tackle that additional task, it will serve you better as filmmakers.
What he says here is what it's all about: Even if you are able to film beautiful sceneries, the story in the film is main factor. Last night I couldn't sleep and I was a little disappointed, but the more I think about it now, the more I agree in his words.
So for me I'm sure that this experience will be another brick in the fundament to become a better wildlife filmmaker!
- Per Johan

Last edited by Per Johan Naesje; May 30th, 2007 at 04:48 PM.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:18 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kent UK
Posts: 1,397
Per....I agree completely. It's funny you should say this. As I completed my entry this time I said to my girlfriend....'I really like what I've done but I'm building my film around my footage and not my footage around my film'.

Content is king and a good strong concept on which to build is crucial.

I intend to really raise my game in the next challenge as I'm sure everyone else will. As you say things are getting better and better !

It's a great thing Meryem has brought together !

Last edited by Mat Thompson; May 31st, 2007 at 03:06 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,013
i think michael's perspective as a more narrative-focused producer was a good reminder. as a group, we are definitely more oriented to the shooting of beautiful images. just yesterday i was talking to a producer who got rejected from discovery for an idea about a science doc on geology on the criticism of "where's the story?"

thanks, y'all for being such an awesome community. it's been more rewarding than i even dreamed...and the best is yet to come!
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Old May 30th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 1,513
Per, your films always rock. You have to remember that judging is always subjective. Have someone else judge and you get a whole different set of winners sometimes.

The important things are that 1) You're getting out there and polishing your craft. 2) You get feedback from fellow shooters. 3) You're following your passion.

But the most important thing is to follow your vision. Don't alter your view or your thinking because you didn't place. Be true to yourself.

I shoot from my heart. If people like it great, if not, well, you can't always please everyone.

Back in my still photography days, I used to do allot of art shows.

I remember one show where the judges were going from booth to booth to give awards in various catagories. They stopped at every booth but mine.

Because I had photographs and not paintings, my work wasn't considered "art". I was snubbed by all the "artists" at the show, yet they all came up to me after the show asking if they could buy my slides for ten cents each so they could project them onto canvas and then paint the image.

I've had films rejected from film festivals and I've had the same films win the gold award in other festivals.

So, don't get to caught up in the judging. Sure it's nice to win, but winning isn't always everything. It's all about passion...

“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping... waiting... and though unwanted... unbidden... it will stir... open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us... passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love... the clarity of hatred... and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we'd know some kind of peace... but we would be hollow... Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we'd be truly dead.”
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Old May 30th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #5
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 3,004
good evening,

First thanks to everyone for participating. The films have all definitely improved!! competition is getting steeper. I will just have to work harder in July.
I appreciated the judge stating clearly how he perceived things and judged. Definitely added some incite for myself and more ideas for the next go around.

kevin's post totaly strikes a chord with me. I too started in the still balck and white world. Won some awards of a large scale when i was at that.
one picture I never expected to take a place won a second nationally, hard for me to believe, two youngsters arm wrestling. my beautiful wildlife pictures did not even get an honorable mention.

My passion is shooting wildlife and the natural world, particularly the nature of predation. I don't plan to really change my the theme of what i do.

However, I will grab good techniques, strategies and concepts from others and the judges.

this time i recognized the need for naration. I loved what Per did with the Jib and have some cool ideas of using one in the future. there were several other cool things I learned.

Judging the 23 shorts myself I had two of the judges top four in my top four. Comparing how I would judge to another judges decisions is interesting learning too!!

What a great place to learn and improve ones skill!!!!! I can't thank everyone enough!!!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old May 31st, 2007, 12:46 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pincher Creek, Alberta Canada
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I can see the points mentioned though I have to agree more with Kevin and Dale. There are many different ways a film can be produced as seen by these challenges and there are alot of good one being shown here.

Gordon Hoffman
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Old May 31st, 2007, 06:44 AM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,013
i second what kevin said--every judge is going to bring their biases and perspectives to these contests...and i want that! i very much want to keep the judging fresh because it will keep us growing in multiple directions. i want to throw you guys an occasional curve ball, as the theme-maker, to keep you re-considering your craft.

there were lots of fantastic films that did not make the finalists' list--it was hard enough to make the shortlist, let alone pick a single winner. it's never an easy job, and it was even harder in this round because you all are getting good at this! this is not an easy competition to win.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 06:56 AM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 23
It’s great to keep rasing the bar.

This was my first challenge and I was lucky in bringing a fresh look and I am looking forward to the next challenge, ive been making short films for the last few years but without a purpose.

the level of the films are as good as ive seen anywhere and for me its more about being involved with some great filmmakers to enable me to sharpen my craft, learn and view different perspectives. That is what makes the competition so great.

Thanks to everyone involved in setting up this community.

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Old May 31st, 2007, 08:54 AM   #9
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 2,959
It is great that Meryem get judges from outside this uwol community.
The judging will of course always be more or less subjective. But so far all the juges have shown a great level of professional work. And I'm sure that will continue in the future also.
It is very good that they take their time to explain why/how they choose the winner and runner ups. I think we all can learn something from that.

For me, this challenge is not only about winning. (of course it would be nice to win sometime in the future too)
It is more important to get out in the nature, capturing those special moments on tape, improving my skills both behind the camera and the editing. And to have fun doing all this!
I have learned a lot from the feedback I have received, and from watching all the other videos.
UWOL3 really raised the level for this challenge.
We all have to work hard and do our very best for the next one.

The best part:
We get to know so many nice people through this uwol community.

I'm already looking forward to the uwol4.

Meryem, thank you for running the uwol challenge!
You and your team do a great job.
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