June 2020 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: Youngsters by Catrin Pichler

Winning Video:

This has been the most difficult choice I can remember! I probably say this often but it’s true. So many excellent films and so much hard work and talent gone into them all. Congratulations to everyone. As usual please do read comments made on other films as well as your own just in case you pick up a useful tip.

I am Ion by David Gwyer

Watch David’s video here.

Hi David, first of all thanks for the very complete introduction to your video. Very nice treatment and very well produced. Ion has a good on screen presence. An excellent insight into the world of diving instructors. The script was easy to listen to and the accompanying video footage fitted perfectly. Beautifully filmed with excellent camerawork. I should think this will certainly encourage others to take up the profession.

Scuba Diving the Galapagos by Hank

Watch Hank’s video here.

Nice titles. You have put together some wonderful marine animal shots and cut them well to the music. Love the sea lion. The on screen identification type worked well. Overall a very good feel to the video.

Maldives Scuba Diving with Tiger Sharks in Fuvamulah, Grey Reef Sharks, Green Sea Turtles and more! by Daniel French

Watch Daniel’s video here.

I’m always a sucker for drone shots to establish a location and yours did that really well. The following underwater footage was impressive and fitted well with the music. Your camera work is very good. Thanks for the on screen identification of each species. Makes quite a bit of difference to the overall enjoyment of the film.

Observing Spotted Eagle Rays by Hank

Watch Hank’s video here.

Hi Hank. Good written introduction to the video with lots of important and interesting facts. Then lots more great information written on screen throughout the video. Just one thought for you….Try taking your next videos up a level by trying a spoken narration. That way you can impart some emotion as well as facts. Beautiful shots of the Rays. What magnificent animals.

Underwater Alphabet by Betsy Beasley

Watch Betsy’s video here.

That was great. Wonderful idea. I’m going to send a link to my grandchildren. They will love it. I did find the identification frames to be a little too short though and would have preferred them to have lasted a few seconds longer and then remain with the actual animal images. The sound effects will go down a treat with kids. At the moment I would have to be very quick on the pause button otherwise the kids would miss to much. By the way, my wife who was a primary school teacher loved it too. Excellent images all very well shot and lit.

Diving at Maldives by Ondrej Vysek

Watch Ondrej’s video here.

Well done Ondrej, a good litttle film. The Batfish were a treat. Not sure about the idiot with the crawfish on his head though. Nice camera work and lighting with good steady and sharp images.

Diving at Zanzibar by Ondrej Vysek

Watch Ondrej’s video here.

Plenty of life there for sure. All well filmed and edited. Music fitted well. Now and again the subjects are slightly over lit where the light is a bit to close. Hence there are ‘burnt out’ areas. When editing it is important not to be precious about material even if it took a long time to get. If an image is not perfect or telling an important part of a story then cut it out. In the past when working in TV, my cutting room floor or ‘trim bin’ (this was in the days of film, not video) was always littered with shots that I loved but that didn’t quite work.

The Seasnakes of Manuk by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

That’s a lot of snakes. Good opening with very effective music choice. You have put together some lovely shots of the sea snakes but I was crying out for some information either written or spoken. Have a think about putting a script and narration to this, it could turn a good film into a great one. Loved the shots of the snake behind the diver.

Ambon’s Fancy Figures by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Again, a lovely opening. The drum was perfect as were the people. The change of pace to the underwater worked well. Extraordinary animals the Scorpionfish and you captured their character with some great camera work. The whole film was fascinating to watch. Most of those you filmed I had never seen before. They were straight out of science fiction. Good music choice.

Youngsters by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Stunning. Your close up/macro camera work is excellent. Some of the fishing behavioural shots were  exquisite. The variety of animals you filmed were amazing to watch. Music was good but try to audio mix the different tracks rather than cut.

Melissa’s Garden – The Pearl of Raja Ampat by Scubabeat

Watch Scubabeat’s video here.

Good clean direct opening. Liked the way you cut the image motion to the music and the effect zoom into the Wobbegong was terrific. The identification graphics were well worth doing.

Macro life of Marmara Sea by Peter Salvatore

Watch Pete’s video here.

Packed with fantastic images. The opening had a good fun feel to it with the slight camera movement and the music which continued with some wonderful close ups of well chosen subjects. Your camera work and lighting were excellent. Loved the music change three minutes in. It created a beauty and the beast theme. Don’t know if that was intentional but that’s what my mind told me. The blenny in the mussel shell was great.


And the Winner is….

So….the winner this month is Youngsters by Catrin Pichler. To be utterly truthful, it was no better than all the other films either creatively or technically and once again it came down simply to the video that left the most lasting impression.

Stay well everyone!

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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