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Thread: Raising the town Maypole in Germany

  1. #1
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    Default Raising the town Maypole in Germany

    On May 1, 2006 in the southern Germany village of Feldafing the townspeople raised their new "Maipole" near the Bahnhof station. Bavarian towns do this once every four years. The weather was great and I was fortunate enough to capture the preparations and pole raising that morning. I used my DVX100 as the primary camera (tripod mounted - 97% of footage) while my wife used my JCV DXGR77 on a Steady-Cam mount to get B-Roll footage. The 5:36 minute feature was edited on Vegas. This is the first time I've put together a feature using footage from the DVX100 and a consumer grade camera and, although I did some post color tweaking on the B-Roll footage, a keen eye can still see the difference between the two cams.

    The Oompah band music on the first half of the presentation was recorded using the DVX100's internal microphone. I was very pleased with the sound quality. Music in the second half, where the actual pole raising process is shown, was canned.

    Something that makes this feature somewhat special is that the May Pole was raised using only manpower and pole jigs, the traditional Bavarian method. This requires a lot of bodies and plenty of beer-muscles. No crane was used to hoist the 3,000kg pole upright. This traditional pole raising method is a disappearing art in Bavaria, as new German laws will require the use of cranes for safety.

    You can view a DivX clip of the feature at: http://www.christiangeology.com/video/maypole.html

    An Flash 8/mp4 copy can be seen at this link: http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2724621

  2. #2
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    Talking

    Very nice, that's one hell of a maypole.
    ggmabaapbnebtrbatst

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    Incredible.!!!

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    A nice, workmanlike video.

    A trio of points (this just my opinion but I'm assuming that you would like a bit of feedback) but I found the constant use of dissolves quite off-putting.
    There's a guide for the grammer of dissolves, they communicate a passage of time or a change in location. Failing that they communicate an editor who couldn't find any other way of making the transition between shots and uses a dissolve as a safety net. (This doesn't mean you're a bad person... We've all done it!)

    Using a series of disolves or fades also tends to slow down the pace, which I don't think was necessary.

    I noticed a lack of close-ups. We saw lots of long shots but never saw the faces, sweat and tears of the men raising the pole. Get in close! I wanted to see the people involved and by having a string of medium and long shots, you make the editing a lot harder (hence the use of dissolves to avoid cutting long-shot to long-shot).

    Finally there wasn't much original sound to be heard, the oompa music dominated, even during the "action" sequences.

    This may read like a list of put-downs, it's not meant to be! Just a few things which I found took the edge off.

  5. #5

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    how tall was that maypole, it's huge!

  6. #6
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    Cool

    This may read like a list of put-downs, it's not meant to be! Just a few things which I found took the edge off.
    I appreciate the feedback, especially about the use of fades. And I agree about the lack of sweaty closeups. That would have added greatly to the intensity of showing the event. There were two reasons why I did not:

    1. The "B-Roll" camera person (my wife) was using a video camera for the very first time, and much of her footage was unusable.

    2. For safety reasons, we could not get in too close to the men while they were hosting.

    Ok, so much for the excuses. Again, I really do appreciate the feedback and will take it to heart in the experience and lessons learned compartment.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dj_Trigger
    how tall was that maypole, it's huge!
    It was somewhere between 35 to 38 meters. That is about the typical size of Maipoles at most Bavarian villages.

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    Worddigger wrote: "The "B-Roll" camera person (my wife) was using a video camera for the very first time, and much of her footage was unusable. "


    Aaaaaah, that was your mistake. Don't let women near camcorders, they should be used to park the car, carry the tripod or stop people from getting in your way, but they can't use camcorders, it's not in their genes.


    (You'll soon come to the conclusion that it's best not to take me too seriously)

    Apart from that, I look forward to seeing more stuff from you. Oktoberfest for example? Assuming that you live in Muenchen.

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by The Guru
    Worddigger wrote: "The "B-Roll" camera person (my wife) was using a video camera for the very first time, and much of her footage was unusable. "


    Aaaaaah, that was your mistake. Don't let women near camcorders, they should be used to park the car, carry the tripod or stop people from getting in your way, but they can't use camcorders, it's not in their genes.


    (You'll soon come to the conclusion that it's best not to take me too seriously)

    Apart from that, I look forward to seeing more stuff from you. Oktoberfest for example? Assuming that you live in Muenchen.
    Actually she has developed into a great "Still-shot" photogrpher and editor, and now wants to learn video. I wasn't expecting much out of her first video shoot (and was not disappointed), but she wants to at least try and I'm going to encourage her. It was funny, when I finished the feature, and she saw how little of her footage I used, and I explained why, she quipted, "Now I know how folks feel when they say, 'My best footage ended up on the cutting room floor!" - smile.

    Yes, I live in Munich, but I may be relocated before this year's Oktoberfest, unfortunately. I've been reassigned to manage our Agency's Station in Kuwait. And I am not exactly excited about the prospect. I've been there three times over the past 10 years. There is not much there of scenic interest. Perhaps I'll do a remake of "Lawrence of Arabia" or a documentary on the mating rituals of scorpions. - smile

  10. #10
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    That was great. Sometimes I think that some film makers forget the importance of the content of thier vids - crap content - crap film. This was much more interesting than another dangerous sports vid.

    Didnt like the slow fades early on, I did like the music, I dint like that the music was a bit too loud.

    I think a few more 'gasp' and 'crikey' type reaction shots would have been good form onlookers, and maybe a few interviews with pusher uppers.

    I think these funny local evets for local people are good fodder for the film maker. We have lots in the west country and I am hoping to cover some this summer.

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