July 2018 Video Contest Winner and Review

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WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S EDITOR-AT-LARGE AND RESIDENT UNDERWATER VIDEOGRAPHY EXPERT JEFF GOODMAN

Winner: Mucky Indonesia by Jesper Sjölander

Winning Video:

Some very good films this month. Each very different but all obviously had a lot of thought and effort put into them. Macro is becoming ever more popular to video now as affordable and easy to use technologies can produce stunning images. If in the future macro is the way you are thinking of going, try to go that bit further and rather than just producing a catalogue of pretty critters look for interesting behaviour or even add some information about the subject filmed. Time, perhaps, to go to the next level of film making.

Let’s take a look at this month’s entries:

Diving the Lair – Trevor Wayne Justus

Watch Trevor’s video here.

Interesting technique for the beginning sequence as well as seeing a striped catfish on its own out in the open. Looks a nice place to dive. Well done for putting this together with plenty of wildlife shots. If you are using a GoPro have a look at close up attachments which will help you to get in closer and keep images sharp. I did find the music a bit heavy and over dramatic. Music is a very important part of any film and should be used to reflect or enhance the mood of the images. The softer sound at the end of the film would perhaps have been more suitable right through.

Into the Blue –  Marc Eeckhaut

Watch Marc’s video here.

Loved the flag opening turning into blue. Very effective. Nice to see a few above water establishing shots just to give a feel for the location. The eel searching for food and the electric clam were really good with steady shots and lighting. You have put together an excellent mixture of macro and non-macro shots all cut to very suitable music. The two cuttlefish were a joy to watch and the turtle at the end was a pure gift.

Belomor – Kiril Ivanov

Watch Kiril’s video here.

That was fun and beautifully shot and edited. You built up the tension to the dive really well. Having done quite a lot of this kind of diving myself I well know the discipline and organisation needed to make it work and you certainly captured the feeling of being under the ice – alone…..

As for the narration, well I tried to make it work and was almost there but it lost me half way through. Perhaps I should watch it again and make up my own meaning.

Mucky Indonesia – Jesper Sjölander

Watch Jesper’s video here.

Hi Jesper. Are you the same Jesper who came on one of my video courses? Great opening with the aerials, the moving title and the very effective fade in to the cuttlefish. Music was good too. This was then followed by very beautiful macro. Sharp, well lit and exposed and rock steady. Loved the cuttlefish burying itself.  What an incredible range of animals.

Close Encounters of the Large Kind – Craig Beasley

Watch Craig’s video here.

That was quite refreshing. One of my favourite music tracks but not sure it really fitted with the images. But in the end it all comes down to personal taste. Nice shark footage though. Perhaps the tongue in cheek horror could have been more effective with shorted edits and a few effect zooms in post. Where the music did work really well was at the transition point to the Rays. What beautiful animals. Loved the dolphin ending. You certainly have had some wonderful encounters.

On the Sand – Muck diving in Puerto galera, Philippines – Kristian Mears

Watch Kristian’s video here.

Well done Kristian. Excellent macro of incredible creatures. All really well filmed with a very good choice of music. The lighting was nice and the images were all sharp and steady.

And the Winner is….

I think this month there is a very clear winner simply because of the technical excellence of the videography with both camera and lights. Ignoring the fact that the location did lend itself to some amazing critters and locations, the camera work and editing was extremely good.

The winning video is Mucky Indonesia by Jesper Sjölander. One may think it’s an unfair advantage being in such a location as Indonesia, but while it certainly gives more opportunities, it is the filmmaking expertise that I am looking for and the overall audience appreciation.

Scubaverse.com’s August 2018 Underwater Video Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater videos here.

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Scubaverse.com. Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

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