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Thread: Eric the Otter

  1. #1

    Default Eric the Otter

    Not an easy edit but for those who like animals, here is a short video of Eric the Otter.



    This is the final version
    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 04-17-2012 at 10:08 AM.

  2. #2

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    I preferred your jelly fish video to this MB but otters are so funny and entertaining I enjoyed the footage of these clever curious little guys or not so little in the case of the giant Otter!!!!!!
    For once I didn't like your music choice ...... which is a first !!!!
    So I enjoyed watching it but not one of my favourites.

    God I hate being negative but got to be honest

    Hope you are having a great weekend Midnight Blue


  3. #3

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    Don't feel bad, I don't like it much my self, The colours aren't very good, the music isn't the best etc..... It's a section of a bigger piece I'm putting together of our trip to the Sea Life Centre at Scarborough. So there is more to come. Penguins & Seals next.

  4. #4

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    Damn right !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Bring on the penguins that's what I say ........one of my favourite animals .....so funny!!!!

    Look forward to watching it MB



    p.S - How did you manage to get a panda in your post ??? Don't tell me .....you have secret footage of those ...... it wouldn't suprise me

  5. #5

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    Sharp editing !! not so keen on the colours im guessing you've zoomed in quite a bit in PP ? as has been mentioned, not sure the music fits with the "action" but the editing is pin sharp

  6. #6

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    Thanks enc, It was a difficult edit. I haven't zoomed in in post this was all in camera. I will probably work on the colours when I feel like it, for some reason I just didn't like doing this video very much.

  7. #7
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    OK, Midnight, seeing as you asked. Hard hard and flack jacket on?

    Your fundamental problem here is you do not have the material. The shots are all poor quality. They've been shot through (presumably) perspex which is softening the image and causing reflections all over the place. I supect the softening might be why enc suggested it had been electronically zoomed. You might have got rid of some/all the reflection with a circular polariser, but I doubt you could do anything about the softening of the images.

    Then there's the composition. OK I accept these are fast moving animals and it's not always possible to ask them to obey the rule of thirds, but unless you've got a very good reason (and there's a hint of one later) shots which do not include the animals heads should go straight to the recycle bin.

    The poor quality of these images is made all the more obvious by your inclusion of the very nicely framed, clear image in the still (which has a totally different white balance).

    I imagine the opening shot is supposed to create a sense of intrigue, but I'm afraid, to me anyway, it just looks like amateur hosing. We then cut to a series of fast cuts alternating between face and otter entering water. The latter shot doesn't include the face but this is one of the instances where this is perfectly reasonable as we are seeing the action and seeing his body disappear. Unfortunately the face shots are against a particularly messy bit of perspex - steamed up and reflecting.

    I like the title. Anything called Eric is good for me. I nearly always use Eric, though on occasions I use Michael.

    We then have a series of OK shots. Probably as good a mix as you could get of close-up and wide. Then the viewfinder shot, which is fine, followed by the nice clear still which immediately makes this viewer think "Oh, that's what they really look like". Another OK shot of the otter following some food as it is thrown into the water.

    Then the truly awful shot at 0:36. I realise this folllows on and you are showing the otter locating the food under water with its rear sticking out, but it doesn't work because the point where the otter's body enters the water is exactly on the bottom and left edge of the frame. It just looks like a really badly composed shot. Had the camera been aimed a couple of inches to the left and down a bit it would have looked fine. I'm guessing you couldn't get that angle when shooting.

    Then the otter scurries nearly, but not quite out of shot and stops momentarily before the cut.

    The following shot seems to be another aimless hose - again I guess you're making as if to look for the animal before it pops up out of the water. This might have worked if he did indeed pop up in that shot, but he doesn't. Instead we cut to another shot where he does pop up, but actually the shot misses his head and for teh duration of that shot we just see the camera following the otter's torso aouund.

    You then finish up with a selection of much better shots (in that they show us the animal's head) and round it off with the otter disappearing underwater - unlike the earlier shot, even though we don't get to see the head go under, this is much better as the point of entry (where the otter's body breaks the surface of the water) is in the centre of the frame, not at one of the corners.

    Well, you did ask

    I fear you've become too enamoured with your subject here and your normally excellent critical judgement has been severely impaired. You've got some shots and, possibly because you've had success of rescuing footage before, you've kidded yourself you can do it this time. But the material sinply isn't there.

    This does not reflect your ability as a cameraman, rather the amount of patience required to show wildlife - even in captivity! For example, it's great to have a shot of an otter coming out of the water, but you can't tell exactly where it's going to surface. So you may attempt to take dozens of shots of an otter surfacing until you get oe where it's face surfaces somewhere ueful within the frame.

    If you just want a record of what you did over Easter, include only (or almost only) those shots which show the animals faces, some signage showing the location, some environment and some Little Miss and Mrs Midnight. It'll be a better record. Go back another day for longer, armed with a circular polarising filter, and grab your real "Eric the Otter" footage.
    Tim

  8. #8

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    I feel Tim as let me off lightly on my videos
    Very in depth critique but extremely honest and educational .
    Hope you have thick skin Midnight

    I learned a lot from this

    Hey MB I think your "Jelly fish" and "Penguin /Seal videos are much better videos

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    The shots are all poor quality.
    That was too harsh. In the spirit of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I'll revise it to "mostly" poor quality.

    And everything is relative - its poor quality in relation to what I have come to expect from you.
    Tim

  10. #10

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    But what do you really think Tim.

    Thanks for that. I had really got introverted into this piece and couldn't see the wood for the trees or should that be the really poor footage from the mostly poor footage.

    I was trying to be "modern" with my approach to this that's why I zoomed right in and chopped off the heads and hunted around with the camera, I think the only thing I was missing was film burn effects all over the place.

    Obviously I don't get what modern really is, being old an all. I used my Panasonic TZ18 (happy snapper) as I wasn't about to carry the HVX and tripod around Scarborough so I couldn't put a filter on it. The perspex was a nightmare to deal with especially as I was trying to avoid the green posts and it was reflecting the bright clothes the people were wearing, a particularly annoying red coat is in a lot of the shots. This is one of the reasons the colour is not right as I tried to reduce the red reflection and then put on a soft contrast with an orange tint and vignette. This stylisation just doesn't work does it. Do you think this video would work in B&W.

    Ok, I do want to really thank you Tim for pointing out the obvious, which was not obvious to me until you pointed it out. This is more like the old days before we got soft with each other. Being soft doesn't help us get better and that's why we are here.

    It's a good job I didn't chop off the penguins heads (well only a couple) isn't it Bob.

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