Celebrating Australia day we pay homage to homegrown artist Clinton Harn, interviewing the cinematographer on his time-lapse film ‘Terra Australis’.
Clinton Harn, is an Australian who’s made his mark in the creative industry in the past few years with an impressive list of skills such as cinematography, filmmaking, producing and audio recording engineering. Internationally recognised, his peers refer to him as a renaissance man, whereas Clinton prefers to label himself as a quiet achiever, well versed in almost every facet of content creation.
Two-time academy award winner and director Malcolm Clark, recently commissioned Clinton to film parts of a documentary that looks at the political relationship between China and the US. Clinton’s breathtaking time-lapse film ‘Terra Australis’, features some of Australia’s most stunning scenery and iconic landmarks. We got the chance to catch up with Clinton and chat about his most recent work behind the camera and what tools make his work world-renowned.
You have a very impressive portfolio. What are you most proud of?
I would have to say creating CH Motion Pictures, the production company I built and now own. We specialise in video marketing content, music videos, documentaries and short & full-length feature films. I’m so proud of the company and what we’ve achieved based on the simple motto of serving anyone who loves what they do just as much as we do.
What do you consider is the one trait essential for photographers?
I’d have to say versatility. Rivalry and competition are growing among filmmakers, so it’s important to diversify and stand out—above and beyond the others who’ve started developing their own specialities. Responding to recent trends, having a willingness to learn and adapt new skills is part of being a professional in our industry.
Why did you choose time-lapse as your medium to showcase Australia?
When we started work on Terra Australis, my project partner and I knew we were onto something special. Moments can slip by in a heartbeat and we wanted to capture these fleeting moments digitally to prove that if you don’t grasp them, they will be gone. And this is something everyone fears.
What is your one fear in this business?
Losing my work! I’m sure most creative professionals recognise that losing important data is horrific. A lot of money and time goes into shooting or recording a project and all it takes is an unintentional drop, a lost bag or just an everyday mishap to kill a drive and all the irreplaceable and precious information on it. With this being my top professional nightmare, I expect it and thoroughly plan for the worst.
How have you ensured that you don’t lose any data from your daily work?
By having a solid, reliable hard drive. When I started work on Terra Australis, my partner convinced me to store the project on G-Technology drives—he trusted nothing else, and I haven’t strayed from the brand since. I store everything on my G-Technology drives and for any aspiring photographers, filmmakers or really anyone in the creative business, I couldn’t recommend them more. Just like my iPhone, my drives go with me everywhere, every day. I need a storage system that is easily portable and that I can take on the road with me while being high in performance—and my G- Technology drives do just this!
What types of drives do you use?
A wide range depending where I am and what requirements I have for storing data. I use the G-Technology G-DRIVE® mini for general file storage. For editing, I usually switch to the G-RAID® mini because of the drive’s high performance and lightweight of just under a kilogram. For postproduction and editing, I use a G-RAID® with Thunderbolt™, which is a high performance drive designed for the most demanding applications. At double the data transfer rates of USB 3.0, no other I/O interface can match the raw speed of Thunderbolt. And speed is usually of the essence in delivering the ultimate product to my clients after filming! For the ultimate workflow, the new G-SPEED Studio XL with Thunderbolt storage system is the icing on the cake for me. With the bay adapters and interchangeable modules, it expands my entire storage ecosystem.
What’s so special about these drives?
They’re built like tanks—and just work. A few years back, when I was on set, my G-Technology drive and laptop fell out of a moving vehicle—the drive survived, intact and fully functional, that’s remarkable. I’m a firm believer in maximising portability, so that’s the idea that dominates my storage strategy. Honestly, I would prefer to spend more time on production than archiving, so I need something that will keep my assets protected throughout my job cycles and that’s why my G-Technology drives are so special to me. Funnily enough, it makes me passionate about file sharing, data storage and housekeeping!