Was today privileged to have been hosted by the Canon agents in Malta, Avantech Ltd., so as to meet their brand ambassador Clive Booth, for his presentation about filmmaking processes which covered from pre-production through post-production and delivery.
As a brand ambassador for Canon, Clive Booth has travelled far and wide and worked on countless projects, which over the years have made him a celebrated photographer and a filmmaker with tons of achievements under his belt.
Our afternoon with Clive today was his highlighting his latest project “McCullin in Kolkata”, which saw him and his team of collaborators following to India the world renowned and legendary octogenarian photographer Sir Don McCullin, on a trip to the Indian city of Kolkata. McCullin still revels in his craft, despite his 60-year career, and this was a last and unique opportunity for Clive Booth to chronicle a master at work, whose broad range of high quality work ranged from social documentary, war reportage, and portraiture, to landscape and still-life. Sir Don was knighted for services to photography in January 2017.
VIDEO: A MASTER AT WORK: SIR DON McCULLIN IN KOLKATA
Sir Don McCullin works through the crowds with cinematographer Chris Clarke (left): “We had to be quick on our toes, because of the fast pace of where we were shooting,” says Chris. “These environments were either really cramped, or places that were quite open but crowded with thousands of people.” Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens. © Lance Miller
For this project in India, Clive Booth used the Canon EOS C300 Mark II to film Sir Don in action on the streets of a city which averages some 67,000 persons per square mile. Clive’s moviemaking also made this documentary the first-ever 4K high dynamic range (HDR) film for Canon Europe, and the world’s first project to use Adobe Team Projects for a documentary film. This usual partnership with Canon has yielded an awesome and stunning small gem of a production.
Directing and delivering McCullin in Kolkata was a task Clive took on with relish. Following Sir Don around the hot, vibrant streets of Kolkata – with its rich, contrasty colours and dark, dense shadows – was the perfect place to fully demonstrate how an HDR film could give the audience its most realistic viewing experience possible, without actually being there.
Clive Booth in action
Clive’s team returned from their four days of shooting in Kolkata with more than 15 hours of footage. The process of editing the film took around three weeks and was done by Clive and his editor, Tristram Edwards. They became the first people in the world to use a new ‘hosted collaboration service’, Adobe Team Projects. Working via Adobe Creative Cloud, Clive, in his Derbyshire home, was able to see Tristram’s screen in London. Tristram would upload the cuts and they could both view and work on them simultaneously. Talk about “long-distance editing”, what !!
The resulting 19-minute film is an insightful and revealing portrait of a master of photography in action, in an environment that really pushed him to the limit. This is less about the resulting images, and more about witnessing how Don has successfully captured some of the world’s most celebrated images.
For Clive, it’s been an all-consuming project and he’s delighted with the outcome. “There’s no single aspect of the film I’m not immensely proud of,” he says. “That includes the subject matter, the cinematography, the music and the editing. It’s really about showing Don in a way that most people won’t have seen him before and I’m grateful to Canon for giving us the room to do it as we wanted. For me, hand on heart, it’s the best piece of work I’ve ever done.”
The closing scene of the film is a poignant reminder of Don’s long career and journey as a photographer. “By shooting in HDR, you’re future-proofing your work,” says Clive Booth. © Clive Booth
Before rolling the short film, Clive gave a presentation which gave a quick step by step overview of his process used in the making this documentary film. He showed video clips and some still images of his work and commissions, touching on pre-production, project planning and preparation.
The audience had several local media students mingled in with industry professionals, so Clive really interacted well with these upcoming new prospective and junior players in the industry. Clive‘s unique style, along with constant experimentation with new technologies and techniques, has attracted numerous international clients. These include fashion brands House of Holland, Hackett London, Louis Vuitton, H&M and beauty brands Amouage, Shu Uemura, MAC Cosmetics and L’Oréal. He also works for corporate giants including Asus, Intel, Fiat, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), and Aston Martin.
(See his behind the scenes (BTS, as he called it!!) of his shoot with Henry Holland: https://vimeo.com/81616695 And the the teaser about “Who is Henry Holland”, https://vimeo.com/95392395
Those of us unfamiliar with his work quickly saw that over the years he had developed his own distinctive style of selective focus with natural, available, continuous, found light. This was the style which gives his work an atmospheric, ethereal quality.
Clive also touched on several other topics, namely subject matter, crew selection, location finding, shot lists and shoot challenges. He provided his own experience’s input when it came to choosing the right equipment for the shoot, camera and lens choice. All this ties in to what goes on in post-production workflow, edit, sound, grade and, subsequently, the final delivery to one’s clients. With new modern technologies, there are obviously many benefits and challenges by using a 4K HDR workflow, but Clive underlined future-proofing your project.
See the Behind the scenes of his Hackett/Aston Martin advert’s shoot
We could all grasp that he remains hugely passionate about the art of photography and filmmaking. Clive’s deep level of understanding, along with his keenness to always be at the forefront of technological change and advancing processes and equipment, has meant that he has been one of the first in Europe to shoot stills and films using (to just mention a couple in passing here !!) the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS C300, Canon EOS C300 Mark II, Canon EOS C500 in 4K, Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Canon EOS 5DS, Canon EOS 5DS R, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS R.
Agents who believe in your work are key, Clive stressed, as they would support your claims and creative needs, not just the basic common commercial ones. That’s when he touched all about own project promotion, teasers, trailers and social media in today’s society.
Avantech spoiled us rotten then also, by providing on site their technical staff and Canon product experts who showcased a wide variety of Canon Cinema cameras and lenses, which were available for those in the audience to touch and try including, the brand new Canon EOS C500 Mark II. View Canon’s range on web URL: https://www.avantech.com.mt/cinema-eos/
For more from and about Clive Booth, visit: