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Thread: wildlife video in mid wales

  1. #1

    Default wildlife video in mid wales

    This is my second attempt at making a short Vid. Getting it on youtube was hellish. I shot it with a Sony handycam and used Corel...
    So for this vid I went to a fantastic place t. It's a fab place to watch about 100 red kites feeding at once and is in a beautiful setting right in the mountains. I know loads of peeps on here like you wildlife and birds
    Anyway it's ten miles out of aberystwth on the road toward newtown. Right on the top of the mountains with all the big windmills. I've been to a few "birdy" places in wales but this is a fave so if you drive by its well worth a stop even just for a coffee and quick nose.
    If you want to see it on my vid . I know you editing experts can be pretty critical but go steady its a second attempt
    [ame=]YouTube - red kite feeding frenzy with Alex Sally in Wales[/ame]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Roslin Glen, Scotland


    Hi Alex,

    First of all I'd like to say well done, for a second movie this is very nice. I know that the flight shots can't have been easy and you did well considering you were using a Handycam. On the shots and edit I have a few comments:

    (i) the introduction was nice, but I think you spent too long on the spiders webs. You have some wonderful shots but after the initial zoom out shot, you could have compressed the rest into half of the time. It was a little repetitive having a series of pull zoom shots of the webs and would have been cleaner if you had just cut clean from web to web, or perhaps used a dissolve. Given that the spiders were an appetiser, the section was too long.

    (ii) the Dire Straits music just didn't do it for me with the kites. Here you have dashing, gorgeous birds of prey on a feeding frenzy accompanied by music with a really slow tempo and melancholy mood. It jarred a bit for me. Something more pacey would have gone better.

    (iii) the framing of the shot where you are in front of the sign to the reserve is too symmetrical and cluttered. Would have been better if there had been a clean shot of you talking, then walking slowly past the sign after you'd finished.

    Okay now that I've come out with that critique, I'll have to put my neck on the line and post my first video for criticism on the forum. My hands are up, shoot away!

    Cheers and keep up the good work,


  3. #3


    Thanks for that critique which I think is pretty much spot on... I would have liked the framing of the intro to the kites to be different , in fact it was meant to be different , but when I checked back home and realised I could have done better it was too late! Doh!
    the dire straits track I liked but had problems getting the song I wanted past the wmg youtube police :( so had to alter....
    I hope my next vid will be tighter but its a VERY steep learning curve! THe only consolation I give myself is how many vids on the tube are actually something you could spend 5 mins watching and not consider it a complete waste :ie; not many. So its a road less travelled.
    Good luck with yours, do share when you get it on t'net and thanks for giving such good productive critisism..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I watched this last night but didn't get a chance to comment the. In the intering Neil has said exactly what I would have said about the spiders webs. Be VERY careful with the use of zooms. One is ample. Two is possibly too much. Condense it. You can show a close up of a spider followed by a cut to a w/a showing the whole web and people will comprehend.

    Neil's comment about the shot in front of the signs is also spot on.

    I didn't agree about the music (in that it didn't jar with me - I saw the grace of the birds rather tha a feeding frenzy) but he does make an excellent case.

    However you don't! If you're not entitled to use the music, then use a piece you are entitled to. There's plenty of royalty free stuff out there and plenty of it free. By "getting past the youtube police" what you mean is "breaking the law". Remember it's you that's in the wrong for doing it and NOT the YT police for preventing you.

    I think your opening shots and your presentation, both the script and the way you speak to camera, were absolutely excellent.

    There were a couple of oddities though - the change of clothing between the shots of you walking towards the camera and beyong to the following shot looks like (is) a howling continuity error - and you need to trim a bit off the front of the shot of you entering from the LH side of the frame - we can clearly see you moving out of frame first before entering.

    The shot of the frog/toad could have done with a bit of editing. It's not really good to have a camera go in pan a bit left, then pan a bit right (the possible exception being when following a moving object). Better to cut from one close up to the other, possibly by way of another wide angle.

    The wide angles of the birds worked best for me. Shooting close ups of birds in flight is very difficult (I certainly wouldn't try it) - especially when we've been treated to such superb stuff as we get on TV. However, despite some shots struggling to keep the subject in the frame, I have to say that some of your other closeups of birds in flight were very good indeed. Not quite up there with Wildlife on One, but maybe after a few more outings!

    Great film. Keep it up.

  5. #5


    really enjoyed that alex

    I do agree with the guy above re: the spiders webs.... some absolutely cracking shots but spoiled somewhat by the pulling, straight edits would have worked much better. really like the spoken bits, nice sound mix there. having said that , on some of your wildlife footage you can hear people talking and car engine noise in the background, personally i would have over dubbed it or muted it and had just music in those sections

    As i said really enjoyed that its a massif improvement over your previous video, and i look forward to the next episode

    whats your Whippet called BTW ?
    Last edited by enc; 09-21-2009 at 08:18 PM.

  6. #6


    Thank you for such a good critique. What you suggest on putting the shots together without panning (frogs) or pulling out (webs) makes sense. The reason I didn't do it? Diddn't think of it Wish I had.
    Next time....The birds in flight.mmmm Like I say this is a big learning curve for me and they looked good and smooth on my pc in places, but as soon as its converted for the internet its too jumpy.
    THanks for the advice.

    My whippet is called ........ Bert. Crazy name for a dog eh? THe car noises and people going "ooohh" was another balls up. Muted the wrong clips. ! THanks for looking and I do appreciate everyone taking the time to comment..

  7. #7


    BTW I deliberately didn't comment / explain music on youtube as i'm guessing there may be different opinions on the issue best aired in another area of the forum

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by alexleominster View Post
    The reason I didn't do it? Diddn't think of it Wish I had.
    Next time....
    And that's why we have this section. I learn something with just about every film I see here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK


    I too enjoyed watching this film. You have some stunning pictures of spiders and webs. I echo the comments made by others.

    I like your talk to camera and its well worth developing. If your tempted to go for a zoom whilst filming I would also take a static shot to use as a backup. Once that footage has started its zoom there is not much can be done to make it usable if you later decide the shot does not work.

    Listen carefully to your background sound. There is a car driving past against the classical voice.

    You obviously have an eye for spotting where the wildlife is, fantastic seeing the frog and toad. I had a little laugh when you introduced the best kept secret of the kites location when standing in front of the sign. (unless of course the laugh is on me and that was deliberate mis-direction in which case bravo!). However, if that is the real location then a quick look on an ordinance survey map would probably reveal where it is.

    The music at the lake didn't really work for me to be honest. It may have been alright if you had skipped the initial intro of the track.

    Great effort though, well done and let's see more.

  10. #10


    Thanks mate.. Yes the sign was deliberate
    Taking the static shot is a good idea..mmm I could use that I think.
    Thanks for taking the time to watch . All comments will be on board for the next Vid.

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