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-   -   UWOL 8 Life Journey (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/uwol-challenge/119645-uwol-8-life-journey.html)

Jim Montgomery April 17th, 2008 08:11 PM

UWOL 8 Life Journey
Oops, My bad.

Jim Montgomery April 21st, 2008 05:40 AM

I have looked at this area for over a year and knew there was something there. With no motivation, it was easy to look but hard to see. This challenge and the joy of working with some aged actors on another project kind of focused where the film needed to go. Throw in a very talented writer and here you go.

Hope you enjoy. http://www.vimeo.com/862971


Jim Montgomery April 22nd, 2008 10:07 AM

Life Journey, a mans life as told by nature, his constant companion, was inspired by Wally Gagel. While working on another film with me Wally showed up a little late, unusual for Wally. Turns out he was on his way home from the hospital, suspected heart attack. But there was Wally, full of life, hope, and boundless enthusiam playing his part like a little kid.

At 79 years old Wally could have fallen into the pit of an old man. But his spirit remained and he has become a good friend and confident. I hope one day when I grow up and can be just like Wally.

Dale Guthormsen April 22nd, 2008 11:33 AM


What a powerful piece!!!!!!!

Fantastic script

Great compositions!!!

Great camera work

A really emotionally drawing video!!

the Music, how sweat it is just says it all!!!

My favorite video so far (others to view yet however).

Trond Saetre April 23rd, 2008 02:02 AM

Hi Jim,

What a great video you made! A strong story, the rich colors, the camera work and close ups... Very good choice of music too.
Well done!! Thank you for sharing.

One detail:
I noticed the image quality sometimes suffered a little bit from heavy compression. Your video is only 22,6MB, and the limit is 60. So for the future, I'd advice you to try to compress as little as possible, and just enough to get below the 60MB limit.

Bryce Comer April 23rd, 2008 02:14 AM

Great work! The script was really thought provoking, & beautifully done. Just one thing, & this could well have been the length of the transitions coupled with the compression, but i found a lot of the transitions seemed to pop in the middle. Not sure if that was something you may have meant to have happen or not, or as i have already said a side effect of the compression, but i found it a little distracting. Beautiful shots though, & a beautiful piece.


Markus Nord April 23rd, 2008 03:22 AM

mmm… nice story Jim
I liked the soft focus over the film, it give the film a really “storytelling feeling”. Sometime the filter disappears… I don’t think that was meant, do you know way? Except for that, a really good film.

Steven Gotz April 23rd, 2008 09:16 AM

Great story.

A little nitpicking.... the letters carved into the tree appear to pop on to the screen a little late, although they really are a nice touch.

And I agree that the encoding was at too low a bit rate.

Mike Beckett April 23rd, 2008 11:43 AM


Excellent. Every shot seemed to be just about perfect. The one at around 1:42 with you (?) sitting under the tree was absolutely beautiful. I'm not sure what camera you use, but the colors are mesmerising at times.

I agree with what others said about the "carved" name, but it's understandable, you don't want to really carve a beautiful tree such as this just for a film. It looked very tricky to get this right on a combined pan/tilt!

The bit at the end - "goodbye old friend" actually made me shiver.

It's humbling to be competing (albeit a very friendly competition) with work of this calibre.

Bruce Foreman April 23rd, 2008 11:50 AM

I actually "teared up" watching this one a couple of times. Jim, you did a super job with every aspect of your production. The soft look, narration, strong visuals, all contributed.

I can't do any nitpicking, the content was great.

Ruth Happel April 23rd, 2008 11:51 AM

This was a great story, and you really effectively combined the person and nature into a single narrative. The flow of shots was great, and combined to tell the tale. As noted, I think the compression introduced some artifacts, but it was still easy to see the footage, and only a minor distraction. Thanks for sharing this!


Vidar Vedaa April 23rd, 2008 12:26 PM

Hi Jim

You have a perfect film here,and the buty soften lock.And the story
yes, only a old wise man can make this.

Greait Work.



Dawn Calvin April 23rd, 2008 03:25 PM

This turned out to be the most original, moving piece that I could have imagined.

I am not a filmaker, however, I can say that I appreciate the way the poetics and the images work so cohesively to make this piece very special.

A pleasure working with such an awesome, creative filmaker!

Beautiful, moving and again, very special.

All the best,


Meryem Ersoz April 23rd, 2008 06:41 PM

Very moving and poetic. The filtering is lovely--was that post-processing or on-camera? The colors and lighting with the man sitting beneath the tree are beautiful.

I also like the opening graphic--

I would like to see this one on a bigger screen...the Vimeo version looks even more compressed than the UWOL, so it doesn't really capture it either...where's the DVD?

Nice approach to the theme, combining the aging of the tree with the aging of the man...

Jim Montgomery April 23rd, 2008 07:42 PM


Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz (Post 866437)
where's the DVD?

CALL 1 888 272.6543 in the next five minutes and receive not one, not two, but three for the low, low price ...

Whoa, not sure what to say. I do appreciate all the kind words about this film. It has been my own journey to be able to produce a piece like this and without your alls help, well it just would not have happened.

The work was shot on the XDCam 350 with the first look being set in camera, a Kodak film emulsion. The second and third were applied in post using Magic Bullet Looks. a warm and fuzzy and a slightly cooler spot focus. The artifacting mentioned, I believe, is the use of a diffusion filter to soften the look and get a presumption of motion blur in the movement of the leaves. It was a look designed around the music "Amazing Grace", trying to capture an Angelic feel.

I do have to mention that none of this would have worked without the enormous effort put in by Dawn. I hammered her relentlessly to get just the right words.

All in all I am very proud of this piece and I am sure Wally would be too.


Catherine Russell April 25th, 2008 11:07 PM

Hi Jim:

There is always one film each round that brings tears to my eyes. This was moving and beautifully orchestrated. The artistry in the writing and the filming can't be beat. Powerful, reflective. It pushed all my buttons. Thank you.


Adrinn Chellton April 26th, 2008 08:06 PM

Hmm, wow great work here, this one had the deepest emotional response I think. I'm sure you put a lot of work into it and it shows. I liked the soft filmic look and the camera motion helped smooth the entire piece.

The end was a little on the sad side, it does reflect the truth of our existence though.

Top notch entry, I cant wait to see what you do next round.

John Dennis Robertson April 28th, 2008 06:17 AM

I love the whole idea concept and execution of this video.Only problem I have is that I could never come up with something so classy. Great stuff Jim.

Geir Inge May 2nd, 2008 08:17 AM

Hi Jim.

A great film and great story Jim.
It was beautiful to watch and the magic look filter gave it that little extra.
You are a great storyteller and you show it well in your film.
Can't put a finger on one thing I didn't like.

Very professional put together :)

Wish you all the best and longing for your next film in uwol#9.

Geir Inge

Marj Atkins May 5th, 2008 11:25 AM

This video is in a class of its own and one that has added yet another dimension to this challenge with its technically skillful camera work, effects editing and script writing. It is nothing less than a work of art and I have to echo Meryem's statement - moving and poetic. Very special. I appreciate the depth and warmth and mellow tones that permeate this touching story - from the warm, friendly voice of the narrator, golden light filtering through the trees, the choice of trees themselves - gnarly and old in character - beautifully framed with rich colours and soft textures, complementary music and judiciously applied effects used to enhance the overall mood. Congrats to both of you on an excellent combined effort!

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