UWOL #4 "The Rancher And Water" at DVinfo.net

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Old July 24th, 2007, 10:18 AM   #1
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UWOL #4 "The Rancher And Water"

Shot with a Panasonic PV GS500, flowing stream audio done with Rode Stereo Video Mic, and edited in Pinnacle Studio Plus 11.1 with music scored by SmartSound.

Link:

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

I had fun with this one despite usual frustrations.

Most picturesque river with lots of rock formations and flowing water was "full to the brim" with all the rugged rock bed covered with murky river due to the drought breaking rains we had on the fringes of the weather causing the bad flooding in many parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

Breaking our drought was a series of frequent storms and "frog stranglers" that happened just before the theme was announced. I wanted to include some heavy downpour but best I got was a short rain during the time we had.

And at that I had to grab it handheld fearing it would not last long enough to mount the camera on a tripod. And it was dying as I started rolling tape.

But all in all, it was fun. And the "four wheeler" tour of Bill's small ranch was a real neat afternoon, he's been trying to get me out there for over a year and it finally happened.

Link to the film: http://www.uwolchallenge.com/challen...erandwater.mov
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Old July 24th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #2
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Bruce,

I must say I like your different approaches to these challenges!! I love south west texas, spent lots of time there in the 70's when I lived in New Mexico.
I liked the introductory shot!!! I liked the theme but I thought it needed a stronger conclusion!!!

and, I agree!!! one is supposed to have fun making these things.

thanks for sharing!!
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Old July 24th, 2007, 07:53 PM   #3
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Bruce,

Nice film! The creek bed dissolving from empty to full of water was beautiful. The music was perfect for that.

At :41 it look like there was an errant shot that snuck in with the dissolve.
At :49 there is a one frame shot as well that flashes by.

I always like your films because it's kind of a mini history lesson.

There's a noticeable change in the background noise when your narration kicks in. It's especially noticeable where you talk and there's not any music playing.

I thought the film kind of ended a bit to soon. I was expecting something else to follow.

I think one more line of dialog when Bill is walking before the fade out would have been enough to finish it.
Good job!
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Old July 24th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #4
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Great film and I hope you always get enough but never too much H20.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #5
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Hi Bruce:

I think this was your best film yet. You do consistently have a unique approach to contest themes and it's great. Cinematography was very well done as was the music choice. The only comments I have to make is that there was some static in the background when you narrated and I agree with Kevin, the end was a bit abrupt.

Nice job on this.

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Old July 25th, 2007, 09:31 AM   #6
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Hi Bruce - i do agree with the others - a great concept and some really nice composition, but there were a couple of slightly random cuts/fades which were distracting. Look back across it a couple of times, then think about it when you're out shooting next - always start the camera a little earlier and leave it running a few seconds longer - in that way you'll always have plenty of "get out" space when it comes to the edit. I only say this 'cause i've been there myself ;-)
Audio wise, a good idea is to leave the camera running for a while and get an "atmos" soundtrack with just the birds/wind/water or whatever - this can then be pasted into the background to soften the impact of switching in and out of a narration track - also if you are getting hiss on the audio you can always try a frequency cuttoff filter in edit to try and reduce it without cutting too much into the vocal quality....

Hope that helps - looking forward to the next one!!
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #7
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Bruce you are quite the documentarian,

I enjoyed this piece of work. The edit where the rancher is driving his 4 wheeler toward the camera is shot very smoothly and the sound is great in that part. I think it would have been interesting to hear the rancher's footsteps as he was walking next to the water storage pond...

Anyway, intriguing story with human emotion and impact, a real standout...nice job

Jeff
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #8
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Thanks, guys

Great feedback and the advice is appreciated.

I have developed a tendency to make dissolves too short lately and can see where they seem too abrupt. I do pre-roll and post-roll to leave "edit room" but apparently am not using it enough in the edit process.

For "voice over" narration I'm still using an "el cheapo" dynamic mic and believe that is where I'm getting hiss. I've tried hooking up my Rode StereoVideoMic to the computer mic input but haven't been able to make that work well yet. A better quality mic is in order as well as learning to use Foley for some background "ambience" .Often I have the original audio on the timeline clips pulled all the way down, wind noise is a constant problem. Where I can rig up to use an external mic that is better but I have to rig a good bracket for the mic that works with lightweight tripod for field use.

Bill's comment on "Water looks good" was on the original audio track (recorded with the internal mics" and being weak due to distance was "boosted" too far in post processing. I would have been better off just laying music over that and not using the original audio there.

The ending, to me, was awkward so I'm in total agreement with all comments to that respect.

The feedback we get here is awesome. Very much like a "free" motion picture school.

And thanks for the positive comments also. It's fun to get those from the calibre of talent found here.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hendricks View Post
Bruce you are quite the documentarian,

I enjoyed this piece of work. The edit where the rancher is driving his 4 wheeler toward the camera is shot very smoothly and the sound is great in that part. I think it would have been interesting to hear the rancher's footsteps as he was walking next to the water storage pond...


Jeff
Yup. And I could have except for him talking while walking. What he was saying didn't fit the action so I had to "kill" the audio. My fault for lack of directing.

However you may see him again. He and I both had fun working together and I think he'll be willing to do something again. I would have done well to let him do some talking on topic.

Thanks, Jeff
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Old July 25th, 2007, 08:35 PM   #10
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Nice video Bruce!

As others have stated, I like your films! They are always unique. And seem to have a small history lesson.
Pretty much everything I was going to say, Kevin already said for me. :)

I saw the ATV and I was hooked.. hahaha.

Nice video! I enjoyed it.
Keep up the good work!
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Old July 26th, 2007, 02:25 AM   #11
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Nice Entry...

Bruce,

I really enjoyed watching your film/documentary. Your narration was wonderful - very professional, smooth and enjoyable to listen to. I loved your choice of music (given our tastes are very similar) and also the general flow of the story - which was well thought out and researched.
It would have brought nice to hear from Bill (at the 2.00 mark), to hear his account of the severe conditions, and how he managed to get by better than others.
In terms of any critisism, perhaps the audio "hissing" could be worked on (recognising I am being very picky here) however, overall I really enjoyed watching this entry.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 04:44 AM   #12
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Hi Bruce.
I loved your film, it was all great and a very good story too.
My brother-in-law is a farmer and I know it can be hard sometimes, but over here in Norway we have more of a rain problem. Just one thing though, it seems like the VO is a bit noicy. How did you do your VO?

Geir Inge
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Gemmell View Post
Bruce,


In terms of any critisism, perhaps the audio "hissing" could be worked on (recognising I am being very picky here) however, overall I really enjoyed watching this entry.
You're not being "picky". I am using a very inexpensive dynamic mic intended to plug into the mic input on a computer. It's got some noticeable hiss.

I do need to look into other options. What do you use?
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Geir Inge View Post
Hi Bruce.
Just one thing though, it seems like the VO is a bit noisy. How did you do your VO?

Geir Inge
One of those $9.95 dynamics sold in the computer section at Wal-Mart. It does have a bit of noticeable hiss so I need to look into other options.

What do you use?
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Old July 27th, 2007, 02:39 AM   #15
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Hi again Bruce.
In the field I'm using a Sony ECM-674 as for VO I'm doing this at home. I've got a little midistudio Tascam 688 (20 years old but still working) and using it as a mixer hooked to my computer. The mic is a Shure SM 58 and I always record my VO straight in to the timeline in my edit prg, Avid Liquid 7.2
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