Ben Harris is a traditional wooden boat builder based in Cornwall, UK.
This film documents Ben Harris’ love of woodwork and boat building, how he acquired his skills, and how incredible it is to be able to take something that you’ve built with your own hands out onto the water and sail it across the sea.
Who is Ben Harris?
Ben has always loved wood. His mother said that his first word was ‘log’. He has been working with wood throughout the UK since the age of 15. First as an assistant to a cabinet maker, where he started by sharpening the tools and clearing up. He then developed his skills in furniture making and his passion for wood and forestry by working in broadleaf woodlands. Later he tuned his skills in bespoke oak-framed carpentry and went on to establish a sawmill and oak framing business in Scotland, sourcing timber from the local estates. In 2005 Ben moved to Cornwall to study boatbuilding. He has been building boats and sailing them ever since. benharrisboats.co.uk/
Shooting from timber to tide
We spent three days with Ben, staying with him in the idyllic handbuilt wooden cabin he lives in, in Constantine, Cornwall. When we arrived Wednesday, late afternoon, the plan was to make pumpkin soup and couldn’t believe our luck when we discovered the open fire cooking area in the garden. Within an hour after arriving we were already shooting some lovely material. The next day we covered the area around the house, the two workshops, the woods and recorded the voice-over. The real treat came on Friday morning when we took his self-built sailing yacht Alva out on Falmouth’s waters. First, we covered the beautiful yacht from a motorboat with skipper Matthew Dale and dog Ruben, before we stepped on board ourselves and got close to the action. What a great experience.
Credits and technical information
Directed by Remco Merbis with Fern Scott.
Cinematography, grade and edit by Remco Merbis.
Sound recorded by Fern Scott.
Music by Jonny Pryor. vimeo.com/pseudohaiku
Thanks to Ben Harris, Jack Adair Bevan, Jacob Dodd and Matthew Dale.
Metabones Speedbooster Ultra
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 II USM Lens
Manfrotto 546GBK with 504HD head tripod
Shot at 25 and 50 fps at 1080p and 4K.
Graded in DaVinci Resolve, using Impulz cinematic film emulation 3D LUTs at 1080p HD with added 35mm film grain.