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-   -   OK, I have to vent..... (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/under-water-over-land/489148-ok-i-have-vent.html)

David Rice December 20th, 2010 08:59 AM

OK, I have to vent.....
 
I sat down last week and watch two new Nature Television Series. Both were seasoned big budget productions. After watching the programs I became so mad I couldn't see straight. Almost every scene in both productions were in slow motion! Now slow motion scenes have their place, but it looked to me that the whole production was slowed down to the point of being ridiculous. What happened to reality filming of Nature and Wildlife? Are the producers in the future going add computerized clones of wildlife that talk to each other? I don't like where all these new productions are heading.

Then to add insult to injury, up pops a television commercial promoting the new Hollywood production of TRUE GRIT. Remake TRUE GRIT? They must be joking....

Dave

Sverker Hahn December 20th, 2010 10:21 AM

I agree.

All this slow motion is annoying. I wonder how many in the audience really understand that reality is much faster.

It is a kind of lying with the camera, a falsification.

Steve Moses December 20th, 2010 10:32 AM

Ha, it only requires half the number of scenes shot, maybe that's the reason :(

Richard Alvarez December 20th, 2010 11:14 AM

It's a stylistic phase. Documentaries go through them the same as Narrative features. I don't think it's 'lying' any more than using an extended telephoto or night vision equipment is 'lying'. You can't actually SEE in the dark without it, you're not ACTUALLY that close to the subject - neither one of those represents normal human vision anymore than slowing down action to appreciate what is taking place.

As a stylistic choice - it will pass. And be replaced with some other style du-jour. I'm sick of fast shutter speeds ,'bullet time' in action sequences, and multi cuts of the same explosion from different angles - some day it will be as dated as the over use of ZOOMS in the seventies. Every style has it's use and over use.

Sverker Hahn December 20th, 2010 11:56 AM

Slow motion is overused, to the point that many people probably think that they see real speed. My personal feeling is that I donīt like it because I know it is unnatural.

I do not mind the use of telephoto because sometimes I want to see the animals bigger than small dots. Furthermore most people know how binoculars enlarge and that lenses can do the same.

I do not mind the use of infrared technology to capture night scenes because I want to see what happens in the dark,

I do not like the trend of extreme closeups when a more moderate telephoto lens also will show some of the surroundings.

I do not like the trend of nature documentaries consisting solely of clips shorter than 5 seconds.

There are certainly more trends in nature documentaries, but the overuse of slow motion is the most annoying.

Questions to Richard: do you really like this use of slo-mo?
How fast do you think it will pass?

Steve Moses December 20th, 2010 12:07 PM

I do like seeing the eating scenes, the killing scenes are needed, but much we see them gorging in a slasher style movie close-up...we get it, they eat what they kill.......in slo-mo!!!!!

Richard Alvarez December 20th, 2010 12:41 PM

"Why do people paint portraits of Elvis on black velvet?" - Because somebody buys them. Doesn't matter to them that I won't be buying them. Just that enough people will.

Obviously, what I like or dislike is going to influence my approach to how I create a film. What the AUDIENCE is asking for... will also influence that to a certain extent.

Slo-Mo is 'in'. Sure, I think it's over used. Interviews in 'limbo' were all the rage at one point - then they were 'out' - now I see them creeping back in. **Shrug**

"Many people" - that's a strong assertion. Some people might be mislead by slo-mo if there is nothing to indicate it IS slow motion IE water drops falling, running, explosions or wing-beats - things that the eye is trained to see as 'faster' than the film presents. So watching an animal turn it's head, or approach the camera in slow motion - does the audience KNOW its turning its head in slow motion? Does it MATTER? If the filmmaker's intent is to allow us to appreciate the beauty of the action, allow us to dwell in the moment that is transitory - the same thing is done if you show a still in a documentary. The still isn't 'real' its a frozen moment - perhaps only 1/1000th of a second, held on screen while the narrator comments.

Does the shot 'work' ? Is the first question to ask. Doesn't matter if it's documentary or narrative. Every shot needs to advance the narrative, or illuminate character. Best if it can do both at once.

Jonathan Shaw December 21st, 2010 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Moses (Post 1600370)
Ha, it only requires half the number of scenes shot, maybe that's the reason :(

LOL...I think good slo mo is great but it is totally overused.....

Leon Lorenz December 28th, 2010 09:03 PM

I believe the best use of slow motion is when it's applied to scenes that are nearly impossible to follow at normal speed. It can also bring to the viewer's attention, beauty, grace and detail that could be missed otherwise. Yes, I have to agree it is being overused as is computor images, same tight shots used over and over, staged shots, game reserve filming and I could go on and on. Where is the wilderness feeling you should get when you watch wildlife programming?

Leon Lorenz
Canadian Wildlife Productions: Grizzly Bears, Bighorm Sheep in Alberta & BC Rockies DVD Videos

Bo Skelmose December 29th, 2010 12:16 PM

It will pass as the flyovers that are so popular that hole films consists of it.
I love the mix of slomo, flyovers, supercloseups and standard recordings. Just do not overdo anything.

Mat Thompson December 30th, 2010 09:09 AM

"Where is the wilderness feeling you should get when you watch wildlife programming?"

The fact is there not much real untouched, unmangaged wilderness out there, everything is unfortunately structured by the hand of man in some way! I'm working on a programme at the moment about the wildlife of London and it has some great wildlife sequences all juxtaposed against the backdrop of urban living. In some ways I actually find this refreshing as it is more honest and isn't an US and THEM viewpoint showing how resourceful nature can be!

Vishal Jadhav December 30th, 2010 10:13 AM

The use of Slow motion is a technique to make the actions which normally people wont be able to view at normal speed.
I completely support it when its used discreetly and to give the viewer more details in moments which are usually not noticed, hunts, feeding , flights etc.

However i do agree that nowadays many people are using this technique to the "T" , which is sometime more dragging. Sometime i do get pi........... off to see too much of slowmo used. But as it is isnt the whole model of wildlife film making changing. Almost 80% are just a presenter documentary which also is something i dont support. but then people are buying it hence its selling.

Dale Guthormsen January 2nd, 2011 04:53 PM

Good evening,

I really like slo motion that allows me to see what I would not otherwise!!!

I like it modestly used for an effect.

I far more dislike the attention deficit films of compounded short clips!!!

Helen Habib March 13th, 2011 04:27 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Agreed. Slow motion has its place, but it's getting ridiculous now. I see it appearing in sports as very slowed down, well tennis particularly, as a replay, but the slow motion is too slow! It's been slowed to an impossible degree now - why must the viewers wait forever to see the ball and Nadal's racket connect?!? I have to say, I don't get the way they're using it now.

Jonathan Shaw March 15th, 2011 03:55 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
May be we will all live longer is everything we do is in slo motion...

oh sorry back to the real world

Giroud Francois March 16th, 2011 03:18 AM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Do you remember when you see last time a leap frog in real time on TV ?

Cees van Kempen March 16th, 2011 02:15 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
I fully agree. Too much slomo and too slow slomo is terrible. I do however agree with Dale, the compounded short clips are worse, as is the terrible urge to make natue movies sensation stories with anything bigger, faster, more dangeroues etc. Yaughhhh

By the way, did anyone see the BBC Natural World episode Victoria Falls - The Smoke that Thunders? To me it proves all our complaining about slomo wrong. It is one of the most beautiful nature documentaries I have ever seen. Stunning art. So, so beautiful..... And for a very large part in slomo (I would say lartgely shot in 50 or 60 fps and than slowed down to 25fps).

Vishal Jadhav March 17th, 2011 02:11 AM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Very well Pointed out Cees , i have seen the Victoria Falls and yes its a masterpiece the way it takes the audiance along.
Guess the use being appropriate is more dependent on the application , like Victoria Falls has a great applicaion for the slow mo and it was used appropriately. Some film makers use it just because others were successful with their.

This actually ties out with the main stream Cinema here in India, people use things used in successful films rather than thinking of would they make sense in their films.

Time warp series makes it s lot of sense however people have just got too much carried away wih this.

Dale Guthormsen March 20th, 2011 10:33 AM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
I just watched a half hour show yesterday, not one moving shot in real time!!! While it was welll constructed I found it frustrating to watch!!!

Of course the more you are involved in this game/obcsession the more critical you become!!

"Familiarity Fosters Contempt"

plenty of people are obviously not bothered.

David Rice March 20th, 2011 06:29 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Producers cover "bad acting" with special effects.

Younger viewers want instant gratification with constant rapid scene changes.

Everything is being faked. I find myself double guessing whether the person on the TV commercial is a real person, or another computer generated mirage.

Art, Imagination, and contemplating what one has just seen, appears to be gone for ever.

I wear out the batteries of my remote weekly, clicking, clicking, and clicking hoping to find something worth watching among the 150 channels.

Where are the theater actors?

When can I watch a bird, or wild animal actually behave as if they are in the wild?

I find myself stopping and watching the "old" shows more often. Thank God for TCM movies!

Now if I could only find a network for "classic" wildlife and nature shows.

Dave

Warren Kawamoto March 21st, 2011 02:03 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
I saw the episode where the great white shark was attacking fur seals by jumping out of the water. They showed about 4 attacks in super slow motion, and those scenes alone took about 3 minutes to watch. In my opinion, the sequence was way too long. At the end of the show, they showed a mini documentary of how it was shot, they took over a month of shooting to film those clips! I guess they didn't want to "waste" their efforts by cutting it short on screen.

Doug Bailey March 21st, 2011 05:06 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Spent a lot of time in the bush in Rhodesia many years ago, and stood at the edge of The Devil's Cataract, watching the Zambezi thundering over the edge. The Smoke that Thunders is an appropriate name for sure. Went Tiger fishing with real danger from terrs with guns on the Zambian side. Hippos downstream with a broken outboard, catching monster eels from a small boat at night, sleeping under a huge thorn bush, raw Africa at it best. Way too dangerous now.

I feel the same as many folks here, can't stand all the drama that is fobbed off as nature footage on TV. We spend a lot of time hiking in the woods and really appreciate the natural behaviour of animals and birds, even little crawling beasties. This weekend, filming a young deer laying quietly in the grass and munching away brought such happiness, but I'm sure others would see it as boring. Or the baby Horned Owls cuddled up next to each other trying to catch a kip in full daylight, with Mom standing guard nearby in another tree. If only that pesky camera would move away, then we could go back to sleep... yawn.

I'm now shooting 2 to 4 minute clips instead of 30 seconds. Not looking for drama, just relaxation and have a hunch that many people out there feel the same. Why do people watch wildlife footage? For relaxation, I think. This balances out the negative ugly stuff that "compelling" TV seems to feast on. We prefer to fill our minds and souls with positive information and happy thoughts and footage. There may be a good market for relaxing nature DVDs for this very reason. We'll see.

Regards & happy shooting,
Doug.

David Rice March 21st, 2011 06:14 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Thank's Doug,

I needed to hear that.


Dave

Vishal Jadhav March 22nd, 2011 07:07 AM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Thanks Doug,

That really gives me a lot of confidence in what i am doing at present.

you made my day

Sverker Hahn March 29th, 2011 10:50 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug Bailey (Post 1630206)
I'm now shooting 2 to 4 minute clips instead of 30 seconds. Not looking for drama, just relaxation and have a hunch that many people out there feel the same. Why do people watch wildlife footage? For relaxation, I think. This balances out the negative ugly stuff that "compelling" TV seems to feast on. We prefer to fill our minds and souls with positive information and happy thoughts and footage. There may be a good market for relaxing nature DVDs for this very reason. We'll see.

Hi Doug!

I am with you on this one.

I started with 60 min clips (fitting on a mini-DV) and completely static camera.

Now I usually take clips of 20 minutes, if animals move out of view clips obviously get shorter.

I also have bought a great tripod, Sachtler FSB6, and plan to follow animals in view without loosing the calmness of nature viewing.

The clips on my DVDs are usually 5 minutes long.

Lauri Kettunen March 30th, 2011 12:33 AM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
I have had some mixed feelings in reading this thread. Not for the least because I'm finishing a three year long TV which document which have some footages shot with 50fps, 1000 fps and 120 fps.

What I've noticed is that, often say flying birds, appear to fly (as if) faster on the monitor than what is the impression to a naked eye. So, in this sense, it seems not so bad idea to slow down a bit to create space to see and observe what actually has happened. While saying this, I've also footages that are shot with ordinary speed and slo-mo, and sometimes the slo-mo kind of washes the impression of action and for this reason find the ordinary speed better.

I've also often felt that the drama in wildlife documents become easily artificial. By this I mean that the spectator's attention gets focused on the drama instead of the document. But I would rather consider this as a failure in good story telling. All wildlife documents need story telling to hold the audience's attention, and that's such a difficult thing!

Guess this over emphasized drama is typically just a result of an effort to create a good story, and in lack of innovative ideas the old tricks become employed too heavily creating the feeling of artifical drama. Needless to say, that's somewhat in contradiction with the very idea of wildlife documents, as there is nothing artificial in the nature.

Sverker Hahn March 30th, 2011 12:48 AM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lauri Kettunen (Post 1633198)
What I've noticed is that, often say flying birds, appear to fly (as if) faster on the monitor than what is the impression to a naked eye. So, in this sense, it seems not so bad idea to slow down a bit to create space to see and observe what actually has happened. While saying this, I've also footages that are shot with ordinary speed and slo-mo, and sometimes the slo-mo kind of washes the impression of action and for this reason find the ordinary speed better.

Interesting thoughts, Lauri. OK, scale down a bit might be good for birds in flight. But first one could record in 50fps and play in 50fps. That creates smoother movements. At the same time each frame becomes sharper if one keeps the shutter angle the same. Maybe 50/25, 40/25 or something like that allows us to see the action more clearly without getting the impression of slo-mo.

Lauri Kettunen March 31st, 2011 10:12 AM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Sverker, what comes to these flying birds, I've concluded that for some reason things appear in a different outdoors than in the front of a display. What ever is the case, when look at ordinary footages say of whopper swans, often feel they fly slower in reality. Still, not sure this is at all related to smoothness of the motion on the display.

Personally, I do like good slow motions. For instance, in the Planet Earth series there was a wonderful slow motion shot of a crocodile that hit a gnu on a river bench. Slow motion made it possible to see what really happened during that fraction of a second. But if the slow motion clips take the full attention of the spectator, that already seems to suggests something of the story telling. Obviously, slow motion should not be employed just for the technical sake of slow motion.

Pat Reddy March 31st, 2011 05:33 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
I also like slomos. I have a harder time with lots of cuts and extremely short takes. One of my favorite programs, Sunrise Earth, was the antithesis of all this, with many minutes dedicated to the slowly unfolding sights and sounds of a single scene.

Pat

Gabe Strong April 5th, 2011 11:16 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Rice (Post 1629868)
Producers cover "bad acting" with special effects.

Younger viewers want instant gratification with constant rapid scene changes.

Everything is being faked. I find myself double guessing whether the person on the TV commercial is a real person, or another computer generated mirage.

Art, Imagination, and contemplating what one has just seen, appears to be gone for ever.

I wear out the batteries of my remote weekly, clicking, clicking, and clicking hoping to find something worth watching among the 150 channels.

Where are the theater actors?

When can I watch a bird, or wild animal actually behave as if they are in the wild?

I find myself stopping and watching the "old" shows more often. Thank God for TCM movies!

Now if I could only find a network for "classic" wildlife and nature shows.

Dave

David, do you remember 'Rain Country'? You can still catch some
of those old episodes on 360 North (admitted promotion for the local
Juneau PBS station I freelance for here.....), but they really are
pretty good.

David Rice April 7th, 2011 09:21 PM

Re: OK, I have to vent.....
 
Yes, loved Rain Country. I wish someone would start a similar program in HD. Why don't you?

We have Dish Network and don't get 360. But there are old VHS copies of Rain Country in the local Library.

Herring coming in. Right now it's a "Video Rich Environment" in Sitka. So much going on, I don't know where to point the lens.


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