Professor Paddle: NW Video Guidebook (Icicle Creek)
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tiziak
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  Quote tiziak Replybullet Topic: NW Video Guidebook (Icicle Creek)
    Posted: 12 Jan 2014 at 10:11pm
Try this on for size:



Yay?
Nay?

What say ye?
If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Daniel Patrinellis
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Ellingferd
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  Quote Ellingferd Replybullet Posted: 13 Jan 2014 at 7:17am
My thoughts:
What is the level? I know it is low, but others may not be aware.
RV: Maybe mention that at high water those logs on the right are a real hazard.
4th of July: at high water this is where I have seen the most carnage on this run. The second hole is no joke, and this run (despite it being "IV-V") is no place for "stepping it up" at high water. I've seen many an experienced boater upside down in those holes at high flow.
Limbo: Mention that at higher water (even much, much higher water), that piton rock is still there and you need to be way further left on that boof no matter the water level (being too far right is a consequence of eddy hopping down the right bank). In my opinion limbo is one of the most dangerous rapids (not hardest fellas, but dangerous) on icicle because if you screw up the right line and swim, you are going directly into one of the gnarliest log jams on the east side, unless you get your ass out of the water quickly. Maybe also mention that, unless you are following Marco at high water, the only line to run is the right entrance and then down the right.

In terms of whether this should be done at all, I can see positives and negatives. The GoPro really shrinks everything down and you really don't get how big and pushy rapids like roadside can be. The biggest plus I think would be for folks who are experienced boaters and are interested in taking a boating vacation the the NW. In this case, they can actually see what the runs are all about and make plans accordingly. As an example, if upper icicle were the only thing in, and you were making a decision to head to Der Town or not, you would see that Upper is quality, but short. If you had the option to head down to the LW, this could convince you it would be a better idea.

My two cents. I think you should do whatever the fu*k you want, though, Daniel-san.
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water wacko
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 13 Jan 2014 at 8:46am
I agree with Ellingferd, do what you want. I would add that a video guide might be TMI for most class V boaters. I like the 'discovery' portion of Personal First Descents and videos never do justice to the place, rapid or canyon. Not to mention how much rapids and wood change on rivers. River gauges combined with online beta (like PP) are usually plenty. "Iclcie - high" is usually enough. Most out of towners have seen videos of the runs they want to get on, they just want to know levels. Sure it can be argued 'how would they know what's on the run without the video'... I suggest, if they need that much info, it may not be the run for them. I've seen 'steppin it up' followed too closely by effin it up too often. Paddle safe, know your limits.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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wday
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  Quote wday Replybullet Posted: 13 Jan 2014 at 11:37am
i think if you add a reference for date & level your good to go. cool vid!
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  Quote JayB Replybullet Posted: 13 Jan 2014 at 2:21pm
-I think it's a great idea. I've used "video scouting" in conjunction with discussions with other paddlers, guidebook beta, online chatter, scouts at various water levels, etc, etc, etc as part of the scoping process and think it's a great resource for those who are interested in it.  The only thing I'd add is the flow and the date, like other people suggested.

-It's possible that video footage could lure in the unsuspecting boater but I think that just as often video footage can discourage people who aren't ready from putting on. That's been the case way more often than not, at least in the informal circle that I've been in contact with.

- The comments section is a great place for anyone who wants to chime in with a particular warning to give other boaters a heads up. Given the limited number of views that most of these videos will get (compared to, say, Gangnam Style, or even cat videos) the odds that important info will get buried under a deluge of comments is very low.
-Jay
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  Quote AdamG Replybullet Posted: 13 Jan 2014 at 6:34pm
Yo Dan, great video. As a qualified boater who's never paddled that section, I say YES!
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tiziak
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  Quote tiziak Replybullet Posted: 14 Jan 2014 at 4:53am
ok. good stuff
 I will have to look back at levels but I think the middle was a bit sporty that day

JP out there? This was the day we did a ton of laps. Any idea on level?

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.

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Ellingferd
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  Quote Ellingferd Replybullet Posted: 14 Jan 2014 at 5:32am
I'd say that's around 1200 to 1500.
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  Quote JayB Replybullet Posted: 14 Jan 2014 at 4:56pm
You can see the JP Mobile in the background in a few of those shots.....
-Jay
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  Quote megspk Replybullet Posted: 14 Jan 2014 at 8:32pm
This is awesome. I do agree adding the CFS or flow to your videos would make them that much more informative. It could be cool to do one at low flow, med and high, just to show comparisons.
My thoughts are if you want the beta, watch it. If you don't then don't. But I would find videos like this very helpful because I like to know what to expect before I put on a new run. Especially if I'm stepping up, video/photograph beta is that much more helpful so I don't end up in the sh*t (as often).
A strong person and a waterfall always channel their own path. -Unknown

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  Quote osmelendez Replybullet Posted: 15 Jan 2014 at 4:50pm
I think doing a video guide book is an awesome idea and it's great that you're exporing it and getting it done. There is a lot of missing information but it is up to the boater to be responsible enough to gather all the beta they can about a section before they step up to it. Every bit helps and this is just another helpful tool. I have a feeling that it will grow into something pretty good.
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  Quote pottert Replybullet Posted: 15 Jan 2014 at 9:18pm
I dig it man. I think video beta like this is sweet for people who have never done the run, but even better for people who have but need a refresher if its been a while. Ive got a tons of rivers all GoPro'd on my hard drive and if its been a while or I've got some new friends in town, I'll have a little refresher sesh before getting back out there. Keep em coming!!
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  Quote turtlepower Replybullet Posted: 16 Jan 2014 at 7:37am
I think it'd be sweet if you could somehow have an interactive video such that perhaps you could see a bird's eye image of an entire rapid, say for example boulder drop, with the various routes highlighted, and be able to select a particular route, as well as a certain level, and watch it. It'd be a lot of work but it would probably be top shelf in comparison with other river guides. You've got a great idea going here Dan, & it will be exciting to see what becomes of it & possibly contribute as well.
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tiziak
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  Quote tiziak Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2014 at 11:25am
Ok. So.
 
People want to see levels. What else would make it more helpful? What about the actual rapid descriptions in the vid? I tried a couple different ways, ie freeze frame with text, slowmo with text. Which one works better?
 
Also, which run should I do next? Who wants to see what?
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  Quote BrianP Replybullet Posted: 17 Jan 2014 at 5:33pm
I think it's great.
Couple idea's to think about:
1) It would take way more time, but what about filming someone running each rapid from shore.
2) Maybe just taking a shot of each rapid from shore (sans boater) to give an overview of features, and then cut to the POV.

That said, I'd watch them no matter what. Mostly because I'm an addict.
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 24 Jan 2014 at 2:20am
Yo Dan-- if you can give me a date, most likely I can give you a very accurate flow. Most likely I recorded not only the online cfs value for that day, but also the stick guage value. And the Wen @ Plain/ Wen @ Pesh flow values (since Ici is still roughly 60-80% of Pesh minus Plain). But I need a concrete date to look up the data in my river log. Dr. Pizzle ain't gonna propogate no misinformation. But yeah, 1200-1500 seems about right.

Sorry I'd responded sooner but my battery has been giving me trouble and wifi is spotty up here at my monastic retreat.
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 24 Jan 2014 at 4:15am
Take this w/ a grain of salt and remember that I have a ton of respect for you as a man, a boater, and a videographer.

Main points are in Bold, for those who want to skim read, but I hope The Danimal will read it all and mull over those key points.

As I've said before, the general idea of a video guide is almost too enticing to pass up. Those who would benefit from it will check it out and those who couldn't care less won't. So like others said, do what you want. But there is definitely going to be an audience for the person who can author an effective and informative video guide. It is, I admit with mixed feelings, the way of the future.

But the devil is in the details in this case. I gotta quickly echo others' comments. Ellinger had a lot of substance packed into a tight paragraph, as usual. And the most resounding echo is that flows and dates are vital. But, lets take that further because for the flow beta to be meaningful to an out of state visitor, you'll need to summarize some background info about the guage, where to find it, ect. Basicly, I'd look at every decription in the BennieBook , because you want to provide that info. Like FPM, dude. The Gradient is a key statistic, as well as the length in miles, ect. Maybe you can see the road in the background, but mentioning just how roadside it is, thats a key detail. Not to mention all the hazards that need to be pointed out.... So now, as Brett pointed out, there is a "TMI" risk.

Ok, now for the gritty part of my critique (you know I love ya, buddy). My biggest critique is that it still is way too much of a "music video" format. The text doesn't work for me and I'll tell you why. It distracts me from reading the water I am virtually boating. Dude, get a microphone and start doing voice overs. I'd rather hear a voiceover so I can focus on watching all the intense detail of your average Icicle boulder garden. Stopping the frame breaks up the flow too much for me, too. But I think slow motion has a lot of potential. This isn't jP The Blowhard Boater talking, this is jP the Blowhard Ex Independent Film Producer talking. So I'm talking about sh*t in real "Film School" terms. You want your soundtrack to shoulder as much of the information burden as possible. Trust me, you'd have NO trouble packing in as much detail as you want for each rapid. The music, MTV Kayak Porn style soundtrack is superfluous. Sure, you want a soundtrack, but it should get faded in and out as you segue from edit to edit or however you wanna piece it together. Ditch the text, start doing voice overs. Period.

Now, having text on screen can be cool, too, if used in conjunction w/ a vioceover. For example, key rocks and features with names, maybe show the name of the rock or hole with an arrow pointing to it. So now you got those graphic considerations of font style, font size, font color, and composition (where in the frame to place the text so its either got good contrast or otherwise doesn't obscure important detail) -- its pretty obvious you're already thinking about that stuff, I think the font size needs to be bolder and a touch bigger though. It was crawling on the screen for me, and I haven't dropped acid in 20 yrs. Maybe its this damn smart phone. To be fair, its a small screen to be watching this stuff, but then again, if I'm driving from colorado, I might be using my smart phone to check this sh*t out anyway, so again- the text thing should be used sparingly, IMO.

I'd start out with the roadside scouts from limbo. 'Cuz thats what we do when we show peeps down Upper Ici. Narrate that this it the t.o., vid scout Limbo, explaining it is one of 2-3 cruxes on the run, where to portage, ect. DEFINITELY point out that logjam sieve. Someone could die there. Go up to Roadside. Vid Scout that from the road, explaining that f'd up Pencil Sharpener, the boof "sneaks" down r. Right, ect.

Then put on. At RV, that wood should be mentioned, as Ellinger said. But, as Brett pointed out, that sh*t'll flush loose at some point. And, no offense, but I don't feel as though the piton hazard in Limbo was adequately explained. GoPro makes it look like no big deal. I know that piton rock is there, and its a 'lil chunk of gnar. But it looked fine in your vid.

I also agree w/ Brian P about the bankside overview. Its critical. I think at least the crux rapids deserve both POV and bankside perspectives, but just GoPro POV footie is never gonna do the trick for me, bro. Because if I need beta at all, it means I'm gonna want to scout something. So, I'd like to see the boat run the rapid from the bank to provide a better overview of the dynamics at play, the scale, ect.

So all this to say that it is a worthy endeavor. But in my opinion it won't really serve anyone if you slap some text and music on some random gopro footie. I think if you want it to stand out above the tumultous ocean of you tube footie, if you want a product full of substance, you'd have to be willing to put some time into it and transcend the mindset of a boater w/ a camera and step into the role of a film maker. It will have more impact, and therefore effect a wider audience.

But if anyone around here has the talent for such a project, you do. And once you nail down your format, you'll find that as you move on to produce other guidebook vids, it'll become more cookie cutter and quick to produce. Ultimately though, you can, should, and will do what you want, come what may. Maybe you dont want to put that level of detail into it.

Lastly, I agree with the comment that an interactive element would be rad. Like, if you could bust out a whole website full of runs you could select, and then keep expanding to the level of detail you want as a viewer, so that the minimilists can get the quick and dirty, and the detail geeks can dig deeper into it...

One way or another, you ought to pursue it.


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  Quote Ellingferd Replybullet Posted: 24 Jan 2014 at 7:23am
Here is a link put together by Luke Hopkins for the Russell Fork during the race weekend. I was paddling with Luke this day, actually, and his descriptions of the rapids are pretty good. The perspective is also nice, but the thing on his boat looked ridiculous. I wouldn't be willing to have a big camera boom on my boat, but it gets the perfect perspective I think. This video also has some room for improvement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4pPvWxPbcY

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  Quote JayB Replybullet Posted: 24 Jan 2014 at 7:36pm
Just chiming in to add some rivers I'd love to see added to the list if this idea has legs:

-Lower Icicle

-Nason Creek

-Tumwater

-CC Stilly

-Chelan Gorge

-Box Canyon Creek

Edited by JayB - 25 Jan 2014 at 5:22am
-Jay
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