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Hello all,

 

I wanted to share a short film I have put together. Those that know me and my filming style, know that I don't personally like to narrate, nor have divers in my shots....well with this film this was all unavoidable.

 

Ever since I have been diving, I have wanted to have an up close and personal interaction with Manta Rays. I have been all of the world waiting for this magical opportunity. Thousands of miles traveled and dollars spent, I went to some of the best places in the world to pursue this dream of mine. Whether it be weather, bad luck, or illness, something always seemed to get in the way. It was very frustrating.

 

This film is about how the manta curse eventually got broken. I figured this is my story, and I needed to tell it. So outsourcing the narration didn't make sense. Hence the poor narration...:-).

 

Anyhow, Please let me know things you like and don't like about it. Always willing to try to improve and get pointers from others.

I hope you enjoy it!

 

Dustin

 

 

Or Youtube

 

Edited by Oceanshutter
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Really good - and I agree with your choices. It had to be done that way, very effective.

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Great stuff Dustin. Always great to break a curse! :D

Thanks Simon. I appreciate that!

Really good - and I agree with your choices. It had to be done that way, very effective.

Thanks for watching! As much as I despise the sound of my voice, I agree.

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Gorgeous. And the divers in some of the shots gave perspective on the shear size of those beautiful mantas.

Edited by thani
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Fantastic. Loved every minute.

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Gorgeous. And the divers in some of the shots gave perspective on the shear size of those beautiful mantas.

 

Thanks, I don't typically like divers in my shots, but this was unavoidable, but really it does give a good persepctive.

Fantastic. Loved every minute.

 

Thank you Peter. I appreciate it.

Really enjoyed this! Very nice production :)

 

Glad you liked it. Thanks for watching it.

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Really beautiful work, and a great story that makes it more powerful. I am so glad you posted this, because I share your curse. I've seen plenty of reef mantas over the years but never an oceanic, despite modest efforts to track them down (including an expensive wasted trip hunkering down under a typhoon in Yap). I need to pick better destinations, but luck and bottom time are all-important. Your shots are inspirational for the unfortunate!

 

As for improving the film, I have only one thought. I've always felt that remoras detract from the manta's beauty and are a visual distraction at best. They look like toads riding Ferraris. Could you remove them? :-)

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Really beautiful work, and a great story that makes it more powerful. I am so glad you posted this, because I share your curse. I've seen plenty of reef mantas over the years but never an oceanic, despite modest efforts to track them down (including an expensive wasted trip hunkering down under a typhoon in Yap). I need to pick better destinations, but luck and bottom time are all-important. Your shots are inspirational for the unfortunate!

 

As for improving the film, I have only one thought. I've always felt that remoras detract from the manta's beauty and are a visual distraction at best. They look like toads riding Ferraris. Could you remove them? :-)

Thanks for watching, and glad you liked it. I hope your curse ends soon. I would recommend Socorro to break it though. While we had bad weather, we eventually got a clear day to dive. The boiler is amazing.

 

I am not that good at editing, so I can't remove the remoras...sorry. ;-)

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Loved every minute of this! Glad you managed to break your curse :)

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Loved every minute of this! Glad you managed to break your curse :)

 

Thanks for watching and commenting!

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Too many mixes in the opening sequence. Have a bit more confidence in your ability to cut a sequence because it looks to me like you intuitivly can do it but had a little crisis and bottled out. You have a nice cut on action at 0:29 and another one at 0:32 but then start with the mixes. Mixes are really for people who cant edit or dont have the cutaways. OK maybe that is a bit extreme but it is sadly really very rare to see a proper sequence these days.

 

Tim

Edited by Timccr
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Thanks for the feedback

Too many mixes in the opening sequence. Have a bit more confidence in your ability to cut a sequence because it looks to me like you intuitivly can do it but had a little crisis and bottled out. You have a nice cut on action at 0:29 and another one at 0:32 but then start with the mixes. Mixes are really for people who cant edit or dont have the cutaways. OK maybe that is a bit extreme but it is sadly really very rare to see a proper sequence these days.

 

Tim

Thanks for the critique. I do tend to lean towards dissolves if the music isn't obvious for cuts. I am getting better at it, than what I used to do. Good reminder, when I have some time I may look to re edit it with some of your advice.

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Timccr - could you elaborate on your advice? I don't quite understand what you're saying, and would like to improve my own editing abilities. Could you explain in more detail your "editing philosophy", if you will? Thanks.

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Timccr - could you elaborate on your advice? I don't quite understand what you're saying, and would like to improve my own editing abilities. Could you explain in more detail your "editing philosophy", if you will? Thanks.

I took it as he was talking about dissolve transitions between clips. While I don't agree that that they are for people that don't know how to edit. I do agree that too many of them are not good. I have traditionally used the soundtrack as a guide in which I do. And after looking at my video after his comments, I agree I did too many. There is a place for dissolves IMO. But overuse is bad. If you look at films in general they very rarely use cross dissolves between clips. It does happen but very rarely.

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Apparently it was director Charles Lewis who said "A dissolve (or any other transition) is just a cut looking for a place to happen."

 

In traditional editing "grammar", a dissolve signifies a lapse in time. This seems to be what Dustin is (successfully) conveying with most of those dissolves in the sketching sequence, but I guess some of them could be cleaner as a straight cut.

 

IMO dissolves also still have an occasional place for simply "smoothing things out", especially when limited by the nature of the footage. I have gone a bit to the opposite extreme these days, and use straight cuts almost exclusively, where actually the occasional dissolve might help.

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There are a few basic rules about cutting pictures together, for example not crossing the line to maintain the geography. Cuts on action are always nice if you have the shots and as I mentioned there were a couple of nice ones in this video. Of course rules can always be broken so while you might think it is good to start with a wide establishing shot it can also be nice to start with a close up and then zoom out to a wide shot. Perhaps it is simplest to explain what I mean by considering a simple interview with one interviewer and one interviewee. You cannot cross the line, which just means that the interviewer for example must always stay on the same side. When you select the interviewee's interesting answers you could of course just mix between them but I think it looks better to cut away to the interviewer listening. I see so many videos where the shots could be in really any order. This one started off very refreshingly with those 2 cuts on action but then when the mixes started it rather felt as though perhaps there were not the cutaways needed to keep the sequence going.

 

Oh and just one more thought - when cutting to music you don't always have to cut to the beat

 

Hope that helps

 

Tim

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Sorry, I got interupted by my elderly Mum in the middle of that last post. I don't know if you can still get it but The Technique of Film Editing by Karel Reisz is good to read. Of course you have to have the shots to start with so remember to shoot your cutaways.

 

Happy editing guys.

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Thanks very much for all the good advice. I rarely use dissolves, and mostly just use straight cuts, but didn't really have any good reason for that - it just felt right. I'll look into that book, thanks!

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.

 

Oh and just one more thought - when cutting to music you don't always have to cut to the beat

 

Hope that helps

 

Tim

I agree with that...and when I see others do it, it does look very natural. However, there are times, when I try it, and it doesn't feel right. Perhaps this is just the fact that it is my own work, so I am being critical. Where if someone else did it, it would be okay.

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Cutting good music sequences can be tricky and takes a while, well it does me anyway. Quite often I have a drink first and then sit and play for hours. A day or two later I have to go through it stone cold sober and tidy it all up.

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Sorry, I got interupted by my elderly Mum in the middle of that last post. I don't know if you can still get it but The Technique of Film Editing by Karel Reisz is good to read. Of course you have to have the shots to start with so remember to shoot your cutaways.

 

Happy editing guys.

 

So, it appears that this book has recently been re-issued (second edition), so a copy is now on my way from Amazon - thanks for the suggestion.

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