The heart of the idea
Charlie studied here, there and everywhere. Not at colleges but in random jobs and apprenticeships. Printing architects plans, filling trays with peat at a nursery. He worked for a bricklayer for a year who called him his apprentice labourer, because he was so bad at it, perhaps because he mixed cement in the shape of a flower just to wind him up. A barman, waiter, location scout and photographer's assistant, Charlie was always listening; learning from others and discovering for himself.
His professional career started off in photography, where his work has been exhibited at galleries on four continents, is held in museum collections and has won numerous awards throughout Europe and the United States. If you ask him, he'll say his best work to date is his collection of stunning large-format photos collected under the title Welcome to Pyongyang, published by Chris Boot, which understandably received worldwide acclaim.
Eventually he became frustrated with what he could achieve with a still image alone and made the leap to filmmaking.
"Moving into directing felt like a fresh new chapter, one that I relish each day and enjoy more with every project."
"Everything I’d previously learned in photography started to make sense - like it had a purpose and was leading towards this. Moving into directing felt like a fresh new chapter, one that I relish each day and enjoy more with every project I take on."
As a director he's repped worldwide by Kucklehead, and has been well-awarded by the industry. Commercial work aside he's also pretty chuffed at having his first short; Talgar the Hunter, accepted into over twenty festivals worldwide.
Charlie enjoys talking about his process, and of course, we love to listen:
"My approach is to first understand the heart of the idea and find clarity within that. When you know what you want to say, the rest starts to fall into place pretty quickly. The development and craft then have a place to evolve from and the process of collaboration can begin."
"I love making stories, but everything for me starts with an image, that’s what I connect to first and foremost. Whether its the beginning of a five year journey to have a book published, or a single day filming a commercial. The story and emotion always evolve from that first image in my mind."
"I love making stories, but everything for me starts with an image, that’s what I connect to first and foremost."
And you only need to take a look at his breathtaking spots for Ikea and American Red Cross to see how both story and emotion can be so perfectly entwined that the piece itself transcends the brand it was shot for and becomes a relevant piece of film in it's own right. He continues:
"What I strive to provide is a quality of work and craftsmanship that’s both current and long lasting. Making work is great, but making excellent work with purpose is far greater. Whilst a reasonable amount of my work is inherently transient I hope to leave a little in my wake that has meaning and influence."
For his portfolio Charlie chose our Jute theme. Categorising his portfolio as Film, Photography and a looser Snapshot archive, Charlie's body of work makes great viewing. Throughout his photography portfolio, with such a dense amount of material on show, Jute's minimal, classic interface keeps out of the way of his visual content, conceding to the large format imagery with lightbox and block thumb layouts that allow it to breathe.
For his film portfolio Charlie has chosen to singularly present each finished article with a simple laout that focusses the video to the top of the page.
In closing we'll let Charlie sum it all up:
"As the production and consumption of both film and photography has reached an almost unimaginable speed, I believe that you need to do more than just produce work. You need to have something to say. An integral point of view that’s individual. One that people can connect to. Making thoughtful work that’s crafted and cared for with as little compromise as possible is what I do."