Winter swimming (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals March 2, 2012, 6:46 a.m. permalink

Hi Peter,

Just going off the image above it looks interesting. 
I tried to watch this but it says I don't have permission to watch this private video.  Can you fix this so I and others can check it out? 


Rep: 2
Peter Lundberg March 2, 2012, 8:04 a.m. permalink

Ok, now its possible to view the video. Sorry for the mistake. Any thoughts on the content of the voice over is ok!

Rep: 48
Pat Shannahan March 4, 2012, 7:52 a.m. permalink

Hi Peter,

Winters here in Phoenix, Arizona, rarely drop below freezing so I can't imagine what -29F feels like. BRRRRR!

I thought the best parts of your video were the reactions of the swimmers.   I love the guy's quote at (1:12) when he says it wasn't as bad as he expected, it was worse. Great quote! I like how you used still photos when we hear that quote because the stills let us really take in his facial expressions when he's getting out of the water.

I couldn't stop staring at the ice mustache on your interview subject. I wish you might have been a little tighter on him to show that off a little more. That in itself is such a nice detail that speaks to just how cold it is. Love the name of the group that put this on: The Happy Friends of Cold and Darkness. Is this a group that tries to create fun during the long, cold, dark winters? The question that I don't think was really answered was why? On something like this, it's less interested in hearing from him about how many people are there and more interested in hearing about why they thought this would be a good idea to do. It would have been nice to hear from a swimmer about what motivated them to participate. 

I liked your use of stills. I liked how you used natural sound to break up the quotes.

You showed us a lot of wide and medium shots but not really many tight shots. Some tighter shots and some details of the cut ice, the faces as people swam, more reactions, would have made it more visually interesting. Bring us a little closer. Show me a detail that I might not have noticed on my own. 

At (0:18) there is a flash frame. 

The audio levels of the natural sound and narration compete with each other. Your narration was fine. It would have been clearer if the natural sound level dropped down a little lower during your narration so we could hear you better.

I hope these are of some help. 

Rep: 444
Eric Seals March 4, 2012, 12:57 p.m. permalink

Hi Peter,

Well done man.  I loved the opening moment seeing the cold from the water and hearing someone swimming then the person going in and out of the frame.

I do wish the text showing the date and temp was  longer on the screen and you found a better place for it like the next scene where we see chunks of ice and people standing around.  There is a good spot for that in the lower left of the frame at the :12 mark.
 Also do the read tests with your lower thirds. Read it out loud to yourself in a normal speaking voice and time it. However many seconds that is add three more seconds to it and that's the amount of time it should stay on the screen.  For me it was "January the coldest month of..." then it went away and I had to rewind it to see what the rest of that lower third was.

Also, that opening of the swimmer was really nice, I would of left it clean.

I loved the ice mustache as well and agree something tighter of him at times would have helped.

The font you chose was fine but making it a little bit bigger on the screen, would have been nice. Sometimes I found myself either pausing the video to read it and it often clashed with the background making some of the words hard to read as they were up against the white snow and ice at times.

LOVE that still at the :20 mark.  Really nice!

The audio did compete at times as Pat said and I wonder how far away you were from your mic when you were tracking or recording your narration. You seemed distance from it.  Lowering the nat sound would have been good but if your sound levels of your narration were off at not near -12 db raising the level up to compensate would be good but not pure audio.

Did you have to pull double duty on this piece? Shooting stills and video for your newspaper??
I ask because this piece screamed to me video, video, video and not the mix of video and stills.  Maybe it's just me but I've never been a big fan of mixing the two to be honest especially on something as active as this was.
There were several moments in this were I was thinking "Oh man, that would have been great for video!" Like at the 1:12 mark when that guy is climbing out of the water. I could only imagine the sights and sounds of water coming off him, his shiver, being wrapped in a towel etc.

Maybe I've totally gone to the dark side on this and switched but unless I have to do both stills and video on a assignment (which I rarely have to do) I'm totally committed to video storytelling.  Personal preference perhaps but anyway....

Nicely done Peter and hope you'll add more videos on here. 

Eric :-)

Rep: 2
Peter Lundberg March 4, 2012, 11:09 p.m. permalink

"Pat & Eric, thanks for your constructive remarks. I will try to work out those things you mentioned. At least what can be done in post.

I was doing both stills and video for this assignment. Stills for the paper and video for the web. Luckily I didn't have to edit the videos. I think it was quite hard to do both, I kept forgetting which type of shot that I had taken. Was the overview pic shot on video or still? I ended up missing some obvious pics but clearly had enough material to complete my assignment.

I have very long story (9min30sec) that I need to translate and to subtitles on before I post it so you will se some more. I'm also going to NY late march for a Mediastorm workshop, but I'm not sure if I can post this material here? 

Thank you all for the work and effort you put in here for the benefit of us "storytellers"!

Rep: 444
Eric Seals March 5, 2012, 6:53 a.m. permalink

Juggling both can be hard but you handled it well man!

The overview pic at :20 seconds was a still of the swimmer coming into the frame on the right.  Really nice angle :-)

Have fun at the workshop, I'm sure you'll learn tons. I've heard good things about it.

Looking forward to seeing your next piece!


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