Charlie Kirk a.k.a. “Two Cute Dogs” is a 37 year old oxbridge educated Englishman who has been living in Japan for the last 9 years. He has been taking photographs for about 2 years and has been reasonably happy with some of his pictures for about the last year. He recently quit his job as an obscenely well paid lawyer to take a shortish sabbatical in order to scare more people with his flash.
A few months ago I had just finished a fiction short film project and was talking to a friend about what I wanted to do next. Film making had been a logical progression from my photography work and I had decided I wanted to make a short documentary film, but about what?
The friend I was talking to suggested making a documentary on Charlie, a mutual friend of ours who was a photographer we had become friends with in the previous 6 months or so.
At first I didn't really like the idea, but as we talked more and I thought about Charlie's personality, his style of street photography and his outspoken and controversial views it began to make sense.
When I first approached Charlie about the idea he was a little reticent, but after seeing my other work and a lot of convincing over many beers he agreed. Initially with some outrageous conditions that then took further “negotiation” to clarify, finally an agreement was reached (that I would have complete and total editorial control and he would just have to damn well live with it).
And so, I began filming him on the street, in bars and at his home.
The short documentary above is the result of that process, one that has at times not been entirely pleasant I might add ;-)
Charlie had several understandable concerns throughout filming:- that the piece would be a character assassination hatchet job designed to paint him in the worst possible light, that by agreeing to it people would assume it was his idea and a blatant attempt at self promotion from someone who hasn't been shooting for that long and, most amusingly, that he would look fat.
I hope the piece does none of those things, I hope it is an amusing but honest look at Charlie and his style of street photography.
It was never intended to be a feature length documentary and as such leaves many questions that I'm sure I could have asked unanswered, it was always intended to be a short look at someone whose photography I like and who is an amusing and interesting character.
I hope you enjoy it, and frankly f%^k what Charlie thinks ! ;-)
"My Cow Never Loved Elvis"
(used under Creative Commons Attribution share alike 3.0 licence)
Special Thanks to:-
Franck Collin & Danny Griffin
Clemens Schwaighofer, Damon Coulter and Sean Lotman
The utterly unnecessary technical information for those who may be interested:-
Shot on a 5DmkII, with a Sigma 20mm 1.8, Canon 24-70mm 2.8 and Canon 50mm 1.4
Audio recorded with a Rode video mic pro and a Zoom H1
Edited in Premiere Pro and After Effects (gotta love warp stabiliser!) on a Mac Book Pro.
(Please note embedding of this video is switched off, if you wish to share it then please share a link to this page or the blog post at:- blog.uchujin.co.uk/charlie-two-cute-dogs-kirk-a-documentary)
Jean Gaumy has been a Magnum photographer for nearly 40 years. He explains his photographic process and his history with the Leica M System. He takes Leica Camera's latest offering, The Leica M, to Normandy where he captures the scenery.
The Leica M was released on September 17 at "LEICA - DAS WESENTLICHE" before photokina 2012.
Kai Müller is a Berlin based photographer and web designer with a big love for music, people and urban surroundings. In this video, Müller attends Eistnaflug Festival, a music festival in Iceland, where he captures the spirit of the music and the fans.
Award winning Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden is drawn to strong characters for his close up street portraits, in a new commission for the Format International Photography Festival he turns his lens on Derby in England. BJP's news editor Olivier Laurent followed him...
Check out more on Gilden's work in Derby at bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/feature/2030422/exclusive-video-bruce-gilden-goes-head-derby
In our latest photo essay made in collaboration with Magnum Photos, we follow Bruce Gilden to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Bruce Gilden first traveled to Haiti in 1984 and made 19 trips over the course of 10 years, culminating in his book titled, quite simply, “Haiti”. In February and March 2010, he went back to Port-au-Prince to witness firsthand what had happened in the wake of the earthquake. What he found was a city destroyed and people who are poor of everything but grace, pride and a distinctive soul. During his most recent trip this past September, he went back to document a refugee camp that has sprung up across the street from the half-destroyed presidential palace in downtown Port-au-Prince. In this video, Gilden shares his audio, video and photo captures of this neighborhood of decorated huts built out of scavenged corrugated tin and cardboard, recreated with all the elements of Haitian life as if the people knew right away that this temporary settlement would be their long term home. You can also read our interview with Bruce Gilden on the Leica blog: bit.ly/BGSpirit