UWOL #8: The Pull Of The Moon by Mat Thompson at DVinfo.net
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 09:12 AM   #1
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UWOL #8: The Pull Of The Moon by Mat Thompson

Hey guys

Well I was very happy I managed to finish this round, I nearly took my second swim this time and after last time I can tell you its not a nice place ;-) ! Thanks for the encouragment folks...It does help when your feeling its just not going to happen.

Anyway, the film. It was all shot quite locally (only 30mins away) which was a nice uwol change for me. I was also lucky to fall on a spring tide/full moon phase at the right time with a tidal range of 4.5 metres! I really didn't get the time I wanted to put into the wading birds and they were all snatched moments unfortunately. It is difficult to get close to a lot of these waders especially locally with large open mud flats. I think the premise of the piece worked well and I was quite pleased with the timelapse sequences which I think do give the piece that 'Transformation' feel.


Anyway quite enough from me....as usual please rip it up folks!!
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 07:11 PM   #2
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Hi Mat,

I thought your tideful changes were wonderful. Howlong did you have to keep your camera still to capture the tide changes? Overall I thought it was a great short and an interesting subject.

Oliver Pahlow
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:17 AM   #3
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Oliver: It changes by about 1m+ an hour on a spring tide so those timelapses were taking 1.30-2hrs each.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:44 AM   #4
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Hey Mat!

Really lovely timelapses, an interesting concept and a great story told from start to finish. Love the moon close-ups, and a great array of waders captured well. I've always loved the continuing change in tidal regions, and this fim makes me want to grab the scope and get out on the pans....

I had some jarring on some of the pans, which I think seems to be more of a codec/compression issue than a filming problem - can you verify that or is it just my player?
The other thing I would comment on is VO - it had a tendancy to be a bit "monotone" at times which i did feel detracted from the film overall. A trick used in theatre is to read through the script many times and find "high points" where you increase vocal pitch and intensity to give it more variety - which in turn makes it more interesting to the ear.... I hope that helps in some way ;-)
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:53 AM   #5
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Hi Mat,

That was a cool video to watch.
Great timelapses and use of the moon shot.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 06:41 AM   #6
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Hey Mat,
Another great entry from you! I loved the VO, it was really informative, & worked well with the pace of your film. Your story about the effect of the moon on the tides was a great idea, & i loved the way you closed by coming back to it. Who would have known there were that many invertabrates in every square meter of ground, it sounds like a waders paradise! A couple of your long shots had a bit of shake in them, probably from a bit of wind i guess. How long a lens were you having to use for the waders?
Great film,
There's never enough hours in the day!
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 07:37 AM   #7
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Cheers guys

Rob: Yep that jarring is something I'm going to have to look at in my compression routine. Its happened to a lesser level in some of my other films but its very obvious in this....annoying! This was actually the second of 2 takes done at about 9pm just before the deadline but I know what you mean about monotone...I thought exactly the same, it needs better accents points in the delivery.

Bryce: Yeah most of the wader stuff was at the long end of 2000mm equiv and it picks up any movement easilly, I do need some long lens support to help this as its a problem I have consistantly. - Yeah the amount of life in that mud is crazy...the most of any ground in the UK!

Last edited by Mat Thompson; April 23rd, 2008 at 11:47 AM.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:15 AM   #8
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the time lapse was an essential part to you video, good job. The title said it all!!

I liked the green wing teal shot, would have loved more of the male!!

Would have loved to see the birds in uncompressed video!!

The one bird looks like a north American avocet with slightly different color patterns, at 1:53. What do you call it??

Nice to see some new birds!!!

I think you told the story well!! both visually and with the VO.

good job!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:28 AM   #9
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Hi Mat:

Another masterpiece. You are becoming a premiere wildlife cinematographer! The time lapses were masterful, a great interpretation of the theme, and the narration very informative. What's to rip? I didn't even notice the "shakes"!

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Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:30 AM   #10
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I really like the timelapse sequences, they made the tidal changes come alive. And the moon footage was excellent- really added drama to the piece. I think the VO was fine, though as noted possibly more variation in intonation would have been better. I liked the flow of your piece, but if there was some way to mix up the footage more- it seemed all the mudflat shots were back to back, and then all the bird-, it would have been more interesting. Maybe just like the modulation in your voice, just a bit of change in imagery would have made it even more lyrical. But I really enjoyed this film, and am amazed by how great the changes are in such a short time. Thanks for sharing.

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Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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I liked this one, the VO was solid and the time-lapse work was nice, I noticed the slight jarring as well but for me it didn't detract from the story.

It's hard to smooth out the levels/colors during a time-lapse, you have to practically go frame by frame and color correct, clouds moving and obscuring the sun is the biggest problem in my experience.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:54 AM   #12
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Mat, the time lapse mesmerized me, and went so well with the mood of your film. A very relaxing, soothing, yet visually very strong few moments. And I think your voice in the vo worked very well with the quite visual mood of what you did.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 08:13 PM   #13
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Very cool timelapses--those worked very well and nailed the theme. I know putting these together was pushing your existing skill set, and they turned out very nicely! I'm always psyched to see the players try new things...

I don't know if it is a compression issue, but the focus on this piece seemed softer to me than what I am accustomed to from you. And the colors seemed flatter -- granted, mud flats are a less picturesque landscape than some of your other entries...

You are inspiring me to try to do some nat history lessons, I'll probably give that approach a try in one of these rounds -- you seem to dig up some interesting facts about the areas around you, and I like that approach. It does tie up the images nicely.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #14
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I have to concur with the rest of the folks here....excellent!

The timelapse stuff was very well done. Your VO was informative and interesting.
Loved all the different birds....

Nice work!

Bob T.
Bob T.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #15
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Great story and your timelaps is awesome.
What lens do you use for the moon shot?
OK VO, but maybe some more variation in intonation? (I'm not sure about the English word here, just guessing) would have been nice. I'm always rehearsing before I do the recording, but then again I always think it sounds funny to here my own voice :)
Your film is both entertaining and educating.

All the best.
Geir Inge
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