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Thread: Northumberland Wildlife Documentary

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Northumberland, England

    Default Northumberland Wildlife Documentary


    Finally after months of filming etc. I have completed my first documentary.
    It is short, not a TV length piece, but any comments/views are appreciated!

    Any subscribers also welcomed!


  2. #2


    Great piece Will. I enjoyed watching it. I'm sure you have learnt a lot from making it. The only technical point I would say is about the camera. It is very good at statics shots but seems to loose it with any motion. You will have to either get another camera or learn to use the camera without following tracking shots when zoomed in. Example around 3:22. I'm sure you are all ready aware of this.

    The other thing which I think needs doing is the editing could do with a little tidying up. It's generally very good but there are a few "dead " moments. Example at 3:42 shot of red squirrel leading to shot of red toadstool, I think the music should have been used to transition this period of no narration.

    Anyway, I won't go on.

    Great job with this. Well done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    What an enjoyable and informative film! There were many areas for improvement, but nothing stood out as a major shortcoming - certainly nothing too distracting.

    Basically - continue to do what you are doing and I'm sure you'll get better at each aspect.

    You've clearly watched many wildlife programs and you are trying, quite successfully in y opinion, to emulate many of the techniques therein.
    The most important aspect is content - and you have this. You have some good shots of wildlife and you have informed and enthusiastic commentary (you might be surprised at how many amateur documentaries are delivered in such a deadpan manner you wonder if the maker has any interest in his subject at all).

    Shots of wildlife are difficult though. What makes it worse is we are so used to seeing the stunning shots of professionals which may have taken days or even weeks to obtain. You have some great shots and the over all impression of the photography would have been much greater had you edited out the lesser shots. This, of course, is tricky, as you needed many of the lesser shots to illustrate your narration.

    Some of the really good shots suffered from the occasional slight move of the camera - as if you think you're going to follow the action and then the subject decides to remain in frame. I really don't know what to advise, other than the shots which worked best for me were when the camera was left alone - let the subject move out of the shot, if necessary. this makes a natural end to both a shot and a sequence.

    There were some good attempts at you talking to camera. The first was framed rather poorly. You were centre frame and your eyes were rather high up in the frame. Try to compose te shot so that you are not centred - typically a shot where your eyes are 1/3 down and 1/3 left or right ("rule of thirds") makes a good starting point for a comosition.

    The second shot of you in the hide, whispering, could have been really good except you didn't direct your looks to the camera, but to the left of the viewer.

    Watch sound in post. I liked the ambient you included, but there was quite a bit with wind noise which should be avoided at all costs. Make sure you get some good "clean" ambient at each location.
    The volume of your voiceover was also inconsistant. Mostly it was good, but there were a few occasions where it dipped rather.

    But, as I say again, this was a very enhoyable piece. Certainly as good as the best amateur wildlife docs that I've seen on the club circuit. I think improvement will just come with practice.

  4. #4


    Very nice will. i cant really add anything to whats already been said. im looking forward to your next epic

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Northumberland, England


    Thank you all for your comments. Especially Midnight and Tim, very useful tips there! I will refer to them for the next episode.

    Quote Originally Posted by JASON221 View Post
    Very good enjoyable and informative film ,when is the next?
    Thanks Jason - not too sure, soon hopefully!

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