16/09/2012 16:15 BST | Updated 17/09/2012 09:04 BST

Metallica, George Clooney, U2 All Contribute To Documentary Putting Anton Corbijn In Front Of The Lens For Once...

Bono probably isn't used to be asked to move out of the way.

But that's exactly what film-maker Klaartje Quirijns had to do to get the shot she wanted - which was of U2's longtime creative director and the subject of her documentary, Anton Corbijn.

"I'm sure most people would be more interested in getting the shot of these amazingly famous musicians," she laughs, "but I just wanted to make sure I had Anton."

Corbijn is not used to such attention, to be sure, with his customary role firmly behind the lens.

The enigmatic Dutchman has become the go-to photographer and videographer for some of the world's biggest bands, from U2 to Metallica, via Depeche Mode and Arcade Fire, all featured in the documentary exploring his work and thoughts, Inside Out.

And, following his much-lauded debut feature Control - telling the intimate story of Joy Division's tragic frontman Ian Curtis - he has become already a trusted hand with big screen budgets and personalities. He directed George Clooney in The American, and is now at work with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Willem Defoe on John Le Carre's A Most Wanted Man.

anton corbijn

Anton Corbijn is unused to being the subject of the lens

In the midst of this, documentary-maker Klaartje Quirijns has sneakily turned the camera on Corbijn, capturing him hard at work - dashing around the world, gallery exhibitions here, sessions with Metallica and Lou Reed there, off to film Clooney and Co in Italy in between - and, less often, in the rare down-time he affords himself for relaxation and reflection.

Because the film captures Corbijn during one particularly strenuous year, when then there was little time to be sociable, it presents him as a character firmly alone - perhaps lonely, although he never says - and someone whom his relatives worry about for working too hard. Viewers needn't worry - it seems the celebrated image-maker is no longer as solitary as the figure captured on screen, something Quirijns reveals made for a strange first screening...

"His family were all saying, 'You got him, that's Anton,' while his girlfriend was asking, 'Who is this person? I don't recognise him,'" she laughs. "I could only go with the material I had, which showed a man deeply engrossed in his work. Maybe he relaxes a bit more these days."

It must have been intimidating, surely, to make a film with the all-seeing gaze of Corbijn looking back at her through the lens. Did he try to second-guess or direct her, I wonder?

"No, he left me to it," she happily confirms. "But it was a wonderful learning process to have him as a subject. I'm very analytical, while Anton is very intuitive, so we met somewhere in the middle."

Anton Corbijn: Inside Out is in UK cinemas now, and out on DVD from 17 September. Watch another clip below, where he shows the fruits of his work to Metallica and Lou Reed...