In addition to being Scubaverse.com’s Conservation and Underwater Videography editor, I am also the video workshop leader at Red Sea Diving Safari, and I help to judge their in house bi-annual video competition where each video must be shot at one of the three RSDS diving villages. The prize is a free stay at one of the villages and a free copy of my book ‘A Guide to Underwater Wildlife Video & Editing’.
Full Competition Rules, Instructions and Guidelines can been seen here.
Here are the results from the latest competition, including the winner’s video, taken from Red Sea Diving Safari’s website:
We would like to thank everyone who entered our video competition for the July-December 2015 period. It wasn’t an easy decision but our videography workshop leader Jeff Goodman has carefully judged the entries and made his decision!
Huge congratulations to Andre Voje for his video ‘Amazing Underwater World in Marsa Shagra Village’ which has won him a free stay at the RSDS village of his choice!
Here’s Andre’s winning video:
Jeff has been kind enough to take the time to comment on each individual video, so we decided to share his full feedback with you:
RSDS video competition results Jan 2016 by Jeff Goodman (conservation and video editor at www.scubaverse.com)
The standard of the videos was very high indeed. Each film had its own merits and shortcomings of which are explained for each entry. If you have time please watch the other entrants’ videos and look at my comments. Most videos seem to be made with GoPro and it just shows what can be done with a simple fixed lens, auto exposure camera. After quite a bit of deliberation I thought the overall best video was Amazing Underwater World in Marsa Shagra Village by Andrej Voje. It was well shot and edited. The music choice was perfect for setting the tone of the video. All the images were steady, well exposed, sharp and well framed.
Beautiful Red Sea by Marcel Kraus
Good opening with well paced relaxing music and images. Nicely framed shots which are sharp and well exposed. Great shark shot, couldn’t really have been better. Bet you were smiling at the time. I liked the way you then came to a colourful shot of the Clown fish which contrasted well. The night dive then gave a good change of pace, but next time ask your dive buddy not to use the bright torch as it gave a very over exposed hot spot.
Lots of lovely animals and the dugong ending was just perfect. Well done.
Diving Marsa Shagra by Jurgen Minnibo
Good opening and ending with divers. Music worked well and helped the pace of the film. Have a think about investing in some sort of underwater light, just to add a bit of colour to those otherwise bland shots when the sun goes in. Nicely edited.
Diving Egypt 2015 by Peter Johnson
Love the ‘Tiny Hermit Production’ header. Very classy. It grabbed my attention right from the start. Beautiful stylistic images then followed to set up the days beginning and the start of diving. All accompanied by well chosen music. Then for awhile it started to go downhill. The first underwater shot really could just be taken out as it did little for the sequence and was disappointing after the great opening.
I realise the sharks at Elphinstone can be very dramatic, but unless you are lucky and get good full frame shots then think twice about putting them up at the head of your underwater section. You want to wow your audience as soon as you get underwater and the shark stuff just didn’t do it for me. The reef images later in the film were nice and the turtles as always are great to see.
You obviously have a good eye for framing and have edited the material well, but my one overall criticism is that the entire video is too long, especially as there is no change of pace. The 14.5 minutes started to drag and could easily be cut down to 5 or 6 minutes. Try a re-edit and be ruthless. As they often say, ‘less is more’.
Diving from Dawn to Dusk by Sharon Brown
I liked the opening although the first shot was a bit short. I did like the concept of the video and the way you have shown glimpses of the reef before divers get to it was inspirational. The music is a good bright pace and compliments the images well. A good selection of daytime wildlife on the reef all well shot and composed. Then the following night sequence was just charming and made me wish I was diving instead of sitting in the office.
Just Longimaus at Elphinstone 2015 by Paul Vouwen
Liked the graphics opening and then straight into good shark images. Excellent. Quite novel to say ‘keep watching as the best shots are at the end’. Maybe the BBC should do the same. Anyway, I did keep watching and just as I was getting a bit bored by the repetitive shots and music, up came your second message which made me smile. The next series of images were so much better and woke me up again. If you ever think of a re-edit may I suggest you get rid of around a minutes worth of ‘nothing happening’ shots and keep the viewer enthralled right through. For the next step in your video making have a think about adding some narration which can be both informative as well as personal.
Amazing Underwater World in Marsa Shagra Village by Andrej Voje
I silently shudder when I see video times of more that 3-4 minutes but in this instance the 6.5 minutes went by effortlessly and kept me engrossed from beginning to end.
Very strong and captivating opening. Excellent shark images followed by beautiful shoals and reef fish. Then just as I was getting tired of the powerful music you changed it and the mood of the film was delightfully softened with exceptional turtle material. How exciting to see the turtle clearing away the sand in a mid shot followed by a sharp and well composed close up. After that the video just got better and better with wonderful wildlife and well crafted shots. The only thing that spoilt the flow of the film was the night time shot of the squid. It was beautiful in it’s own right but didn’t fit within the sequence. The dolphin at the end was just perfect. Well done.
Marsa Alam by Jasmien Vanderkerckhove
Even though the individual shots themselves are not overwhelmingly special, there is a very nice feel to this video that keeps the viewer watching. The choice of warm yet lively music combined with the constantly moving camera blend together well. The bright pace of editing also goes a long way into making the images alive and immediate. Excellent film and a real joy to watch.
Fish Everywhere by Ahmed Helal
The fast action effect with cameras like to GoPro are certainly very popular and you have used the effect extremely well for the introduction of this video. I then particularly liked the transition into slomo. Well done. Your picture transitions or mixes are particularly well chosen and match the music very well. Love the two octopus. How lucky was that! Well filmed though. Then came the boat speeding past the shark. Great stuff. I liked the novel way you ended the video with the moving photo portraits. Very nice.
Marsa Shagra 2015 by Philippe Trojani
Still photo images can often work well in a moving video production and you proved this to be so with your opening sequence. This was then followed by a selection of beautiful underwater wildlife.Good camerawork with clear sharp and well framed images. The music choice was fine but if you can, have a think sometime about adding basic narration which can help bring an image to life with interesting facts or even personal feelings from yourself.
You can watch all the entries here.
The competition is now open for the next 6 months so don’t forget to submit your latest Red Sea video for a chance to win!
See more here.
To find out more about Red Sea Diving Safari, visit www.redsea-divingsafari.com.