2019 documentary ‘Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could My Mind’ is ‘one of my favorite movies I’ve worked on,’ says Elizabeth Clink
Collingwood resident Elizabeth Klink has traveled the world for the past 40 years and says South Georgian Bay has nothing to offer.
Clink’s career as a film researcher was recently covered in Hot Docs. 2023 Focus on Spotlight Series. Clink, who has been dubbed “an icon of Canadian documentary film” by the association, is currently working on his latest project in Europe, and was asked to spare time from his schedule for an interview. Collingwood Today We talk about her 40-year film career, her love of cinema, and her plans for the future.
During Hot Docs’ 30-year history, the association has honored documentary directors through its Focus On series. This year will be the first time that a person other than the director will appear.
“They decided they wanted to pay tribute to the person who worked on this technology, and I was the first they suggested it,” Clink said. Collingwood Today. “I was there from the beginning, so it was a great tribute to their 30th anniversary. It felt like a good trajectory.”
Clink and her husband, John Martin, who also works in the industry as a positional sound recorder, moved to Collingwood about 15 years ago.
“My husband is from Prince Edward Island and I always thought Georgian Bay was the closest place to the ocean on the continent,” Klink said with a laugh. “We had friends who lived there. We’ve always been drawn to Georgian Bay and its natural beauty.”
Clink, who holds degrees in English and history from Queen’s University, said he remembers being first drawn to international cinema after finishing secondary school.
“[Films]have always been a big thing for me. My father was an amateur photographer and we used to go to the movies as a family,” she said.
After graduating, she moved to Winnipeg and worked with the Winnipeg Film Group. Soon after, she moved on to her role in Montreal’s National Film Board of Canada.
“I had some great mentors there and really learned the craft. I was very lucky,” she said.
As a film scholar, Clink works with documentary directors to help them realize their vision for narrative presentation.
“They would explain to me what their ideas were, if there was a need for archival research, if there was footage that needed research, discovery, and licensing negotiations. I also work in music licensing, so if there’s a song you want to include, I can help,” she said.
“In the early days, we were looking for movie protagonists, experts, and sometimes locations.”
Mr. Clink boasts a résumé that reads, 300+ movies A standout experience for her in her career was a recent engagement. Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer.
“It was to mark his 80th birthday. I worked with some German researchers and got to see his entire film collection from his young student days. I’m one of them, and it was a real honor,” she said.
she was also working Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Minda 2019 documentary about an Orillia-born musician.
“It was one of my favorite films that I worked on. His early studies of singing in Orillia had a local connection,” she said. .
Her passion for her craft comes through when Clink talks about her work.
“At the end of the day or at midnight[at work]I look at the clock and wonder where the time has gone,” she said with a laugh. “It’s something I’ve always had great love for.
“I also love sharing information. It was frustrating.”
Asked what advice he would give to up-and-coming filmmakers interested in film studies, Clink said a healthy curiosity can get you going.
“You have to be very diligent and meticulous when it comes to cleaning up because there are so many things to keep in mind. You have to have a good understanding, you have to know how to negotiate well,” she said.
“If I were to talk to a young person who was interested, I would tell them to find someone to mentor them.”
Clink currently works on passion projects with filmmakers and teaches workshops around the world.
“I’m not going to slow down,” she said. “I am pleased to share the information I have gained over the last 40 years.”
She also speaks lovingly about the global impact of her work.
“One of the things that makes me very happy is that whenever I work on a film, I try to preserve material that could be lost due to the nature of my work,” she said. “By working in this field … we believe we can preserve our history for generations to come in Canada and around the world.”
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