This little hobby of mine, an educational tool called The Under Water, Over Land Challenge, which is a contest designed to help people get out there and learn to shoot with their cameras, just finished its first-ever long form contest. The players, who come from all over the world, sign up at our host site, DVinfo.net, and they agree to make a short 3-minute film within a 3-week deadline. This year, as a separate contest, we called upon the more experienced players to put together a feature documentary (22 minutes or longer) and post it within the year.
I have to brag a little, on the players who finished. Thirty signed up, originally, and we have eight finishers. Those hardy eight survived computer crashes, wounds, bad weather, good weather (when they needed bad…), the frustrations of the longest edit of their lives, and having to spend a year online, listening to me tweak the rules. We have some great outcomes, some very professional-looking videos and some that will continue to be worked on, into the next year. But all of the players seem to have grown as artists in ways which they couldn’t have forseen. I always have great respect and admiration for people who take on big challenges and follow through.
The films are from Canada, UK, South Africa, USA – all over. Even one of our Colorado players down the road in Lyons, put up a great film about Rocky Mountain National Park. The diversity of our group makes it a lot of fun. You get to visit all kinds of people from all over the world. Check out the films at www.uwolchallenge.com and a tip of the champagne glass to our finishers.