I was nine when I discovered a Kodak Brownie movie camera in my parents’ attic. I couldn’t believe it. I ran downstairs yelling “You own a movie camera?”
What captivated me then and excites me now are the ‘magic show’ elements of drama, illusion and suspension of belief. The process of designing and creating the sequence of visuals and illusions that will lead an audience to connect on a visceral level is what I love best about filmmaking.
I am equally fascinated by both drama and documentary films. They feed off each other and pursuing both traditions strengthens my abilities as a cinematographer.
With drama, I love the design and thoughtful construction of visual elements, the challenges of carrying through with the plan, working with a team to create the product, and the excitement of the final screening.
A documentary provides an additional level of creative freedom and I enjoy the challenge of shooting with instinct and intuition, often without a script and with a very small crew. Documentary filmmaking also takes you places - both physically and emotionally - which you would never otherwise experience.
“I am fascinated by the moving image when it pushes boundaries and reaches for something”.
- Christopher Ball
I love travel and adventure and have sought out projects which have taken me to the Arctic, out on the ocean, in the air and underwater. As a hang glider pilot, ultralight aircraft instructor, diver, white water paddler, sailor and wilderness tripper, I thrive on challenges and derive great satisfaction from achieving the seemingly unachievable.
Shy of posing a risk to myself or others, there is little I will not do to make a sequence better, more dramatic, interesting or exciting. I am not bothered by cold, wet weather, remote locations or large seas.
I have an affinity for First Nations stories and traditions in Canada, having been partially immersed in Inuit culture while shooting Arctic documentaries, and during my younger years with Ojibwa culture in Northern Ontario.
Growing up, I dabbled with classical animation and was influenced by the experimental approaches of filmmakers like Norman McLaren. The National Film Board and it’s documentary tradition has always captivated me.
I am fascinated by the moving image when it pushes boundaries and reaches for something. Canadian filmmakers Jean Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve, Patricia Rozema and Bruce MacDonald inspire me as do the Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Guillermo del Toro, Pedro Almodóvar, Ang Lee, Akira Kurosawa and Carroll Ballard. I also enjoy the bizarre and unexpected from filmmakers such as Lars von Trier and Peter Greenaway. Fellini’s 8 1/2 and Bergman’s Seventh Seal are among my favourite films.