The China Syndrome

November 21, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The factory floor in NingboThe factory floor in NingboChina I 've done many exciting projects for Clipper Motor Yachts Australia such as the Hudson Bay 50  Project however  this gig was  up there as  one of the  most exciting I've done for them to date. When I was first approached by Clipper to travel to their shipping yards in China to shoot the boat building process I was thinking about how I would apply treatment to this next project? Probably one of my greatest challenges yet as a director, cinematographer and storyteller.

it's fun to put on a great show in front of my clients, I really thought about the practical side this time round, do I really need to take  all  that  gear? Determining the  shot  list  before  I  left  was  a  big factor in deciding what goes and  what stays. Brett and  I  had  worked  on  the shot list before we traveled and I would recommend   pre-planning   the production  beforehand  is  vital,  but  I also wanted to be  flexible  for  the  shoot as well. While I had a headline for the storyline, filling  in  the  details  of  the story came with inspiration as the shoot and  post  production  progressed.

What I packedWhat I packedBrisbane, Australia. Amazingly I managed to get everything into 3 bags for the journey to China. 2 bags went into the  belly  of  the  plane, that was my bag  of  clothes  wrapped up in  that  bag  were  tripods,  slide  along with my PAGC6  battery  operated  lamp. My Miller Video tripod also went in as a separate  bag.  On  board  in  the  cabin was my lowepro backpack where-by I managed  to  pack  my  2  x  5Dmkii's bodies,  24-105,  16-35,  80-300  lenses and  the  Zoom H4N  with  Sony  radio mic's.

One  thing  that  struck me  about  this great Australian company  was  the personal approach the owner/operator Brett Thurley has with their  clients  and also service providers. The passionate hands on front and centre approach by Brett and his team from the first enquiry right through to handover and then the yearly regatta's with their clients is a winning formula I believe. I think this is one  of  the  very  important  keys  and what  makes  this  luxury  yachting company successful during challenging times over the last few years  in  this market.  Clipper  Yachts  Australia  is  one of the survivors and for me  it  was  an honor to  provide all  the visual marketing  over  the  last  decade  for them.

Based on the above I felt the  treatment for this  project was  to reflect the personal connection and  create  the feeling of what you can  expect  dealing with Brett and his team. That is their passion and dedication not only to luxurious high quality hand crafted boat building craftsmanship  and  design  but the personal and caring approach they have with the customers, listening to every detail and implementing requirements  for  the  most important part in the whole boat building  process that is  you  the  potential client.

Production &  Travel.

Hotel foyer interviewHotel foyer interviewNingbo, China. What  was  I  going  to  take  with  me? I knew I  wanted  to  travel lightly  as possible without comprising production values.  After  recently  returning  back from the Philippines I learnt that I took a lot of  gear  that I  really didn't use. While leaving  Brisbane on the Monday morning  arriving China later that evening. Brett and I met for breakfast in the hotel next morning running over the shot list one more time then it was off to the factory to work through the shot list for the entire day. Wednesday morning I shot Brett's interview in the hotel foyer then back to the factory to pick up extra  work activity including timelapse sequences etc! Later that evening back to the airport to pick up the return flight arriving back home  Thursday, then  I was back out doing a twilight real estate photography shoot Friday night :) "What a week, what planet was I  on?"

Post Production. Pick up shots in my dining roomPick up shots in my dining roomBrisbane, Australia.

All in all it took about 4 months to bring  the  final  edit  together  including Christmas  and  New  years  in  the  middle of post production. I must also thank my wonderful assistant editor Leticia Mora Tena  (Such  a  talent)  who  really  broke the back of the  timeline  under  my direction and brief, then it was  just a matter of colour  grading  and applying the finishing touches to the storyline. One idea I had was to  include the drawer or logo designer as  the backbone of the storyline that underpinned the whole story. This extra pick up was  shot here back in Brisbane on my dining  room table.

Clippers OfficeClippers OfficeNingbo, China. We were all very thrilled with the end result and for me I felt very proud to be associated with  this  great  company  for the  last  10  years, in  some  ways  it reflects the pinnacle of my  relationship with clipper thus far, I must admit I do share there passion of luxury boats. But the  end of  the  day  the audience/potential  clients  will  decide... As  the  director  and  storyteller  I  hope I've  shown  the  personal  side  of  this great company along with visually communicating  an overall understanding of the boat building process when you engage Clipper Motor Yachts Australia to build your next luxury hand crafted motor yacht.



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