Sunday, October 19, 2014

Surfing on the Silver Screen

I don't really watch all that many surf movies any more.  That is, apart from one four-day weekend every year in London when the London Surf / Film Festival is on and I binge on airs and barrels on the big screen.  The other 361 days of the year I usually click on any one of the handful of three minute web-edits that are posted on a near daily basis, and after about ten seconds I either get enormous work-guilt or I get bored of seeing the same old thing yet again and click away.  I don't think that I've got A.D.D. but my attention span for surf films without any narrative is definitely pretty short.  That's where the LS/FF swoops in and rescues me; a carefully crafted line-up of surf films balancing documentaries with adventure and art, feature length flicks with quality shorts, and all on a massive screen.  If anything is going to hold my attention more than the screen of my laptop, it is a full-size cinema screen in an auditorium full of hooting surfers.    

This year I had the pleasure of multi-tasking for the four days of the festival; I was invited to be the event photographer, as well as exhibiting both a selection of my photography and a display for Otter Surfboards.  It kept me good and busy, but I still managed to sneak into the back of a choice selection of movies and get my fill.  Here's a stack of images that I shot, alongside one film selection from each night for you to take a look at…

Thanks to LS/FF Directors Chris and Demi for inviting me along again and for putting on such a great festival.

This year the festival moved to a new venue at the Genesis Cinema in E1, and in one fell swoop both doubled its capacity and damn near filled it.

Surf photographer, cold water adventurer and plastic pollution campaigner Tim Nunn gave an incredible slideshow presentation on Saturday night.

5x ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore paid the festival a visit for the UK premiere of the biographical documentary film "Stephanie in the Water".  She smiled constantly and and posed for photos for a good couple of hours with fans, as well as throwing some shakas with the big painted cut-out of Rob Machado produced by Chris from Makemake.

I carried the Otter Surfboards exhibition across London on the tube in a hold-all bag, and managed to bring it back to Cornwall in one piece too a few days later.  Thankfully my exhibition, on the other side of the corner, was delivered for me in a big cardboard box.





Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Way The Cookie Crumbles

Brad's backhand foam climb, somewhere north of Hossegor.

"We've got plenty of time, I'll definitely make my train." were the famous last words that I uttered as I walked backwards up the beach with Harry, still firing off shots of the rest of our friends surfing an empty, head-high peak on the beaches somewhere north of Hossegor.  We ran up the sand dune, got back to the car and set off along the track through the forest to rejoin the main road, both pretty confident that we would get there on time and that I'd catch my train.  Well, get me there on time we did, but I hadn't accounted for the queue that I would face at the ticket office which was clearly running on a skeleton staff.  I watched the clock tick down from quarter to twelve towards the departure time of midday; I was fidgeting, huffing and starting to get anxious.  With three minutes to go I left the queue and tackled the automatic machine which spat my ticket out at 11:59.  I ran under the underpass and up onto the platform where my train to Bordeaux was waiting and, just as I reached out to press the button to open the door, I heard the ominous clunk of the doors locking.  "Non, c'est parti monsieur.  Le prochain train est à quinze heures" the conductor shouted down to me, as I watched my train leave without me and taking with it any hopes of me making my flight home and getting back to work the next day.  Harry doubled back to pick me up, and on the drive back to Hossegor the exhaust fell off his car on the péage.  Clearly it wasn't our morning.  We limped back with the car sounding like a motorbike and rejoined the rest of our friends who were spending the afternoon watching the WCT surf contest, and I fired off a few frames of the world's best surfers in action.  
Sometimes a morning really doesn't go your way and there's nothing at all that you can do about it apart from try your best to make the most of the afternoon.  It's just the way that the cookie crumbles, but at the end of the day cookies still taste good.   

Julian Wilson, teasing me for missing my train 
by pointing straight at 12 o-clock.

Ol' green eyes on a nicely backlit green wave.

Contest winner John John Florence entertaining the crowd 
way down at the southern end of the contest zone.  
The beach was absolutely packed in front 
of the peak and the grandstand.

Miguel Pupo casting a shadow in round 3.

Taj Burrow and a rooster's tail.