Up until quite recently, surf films lacked the production value, professionalism, and all around clout of the films produced in the snow and skate industries. Very few surf films could even be considered in the same league as snow movies such as THATS IT THATS ALL, or skate films like FULLY FLARED.
This is not entirely due to surfers being dumb.
Waves are a fleeting and limited resource, so paying a large scale film crew is very tough when the nature of the ocean is unpredictable. Also, cameras dont like water very much. And because the surf industry is mainly limited to the coastlines, the market isnt big enough for companies to afford blockbuster budgets on their videos. And lets not forget that in any ‘bro’ industry, being a talented filmaker is not as important as knowing the right person and happening to have a camera handy. The end result is the good but not great surf videos which have filled our daydreams since grommethood.
On to the now. The dark ages are over. Surf films look like films. Cutting edge cameras are being used. Dollies and the whole nine. Talented people are calling the shots. The cream of the film making crop have risen to the top. The music is eclectic. Surf films are now artistic enough to find widespread acclaim beyond surfing. We are finally making art.
(Oh yeah, and lets not forget that the level of surfing taking place in front of the lens these days is absolutely mind-shattering.)
Below are 3 upcoming film releases which really took my pants off…
Globe’s New Film. I love the dark abstract direction this trailer takes. Secret Machine was one of the few surf films ever made that I would consider to be a “film”. Absolutely amazing. And this looks even better…
The sequel to Sipping Jetstreams, which was truly groundbreaking in terms of cinematography, editing, and production value. The brilliant eye of photographer Dustin Humphery teamed up with surf porn kingpin Taylor Steele for a film of epic proportions. After 3 years of filming here is the trailer for the sequel, Castles in the Sky.
Josh Kerr is one of the most well-rounded and underrated surfers of our time. He was denied an injury wildcard in a year which saw the ASP mutate into a format which rewards surfing like Josh’s. Luckily this still means we get to see a years worth of his antics, but now with some amazing camera work and editing to keep us in awe.
Lastly, we have Julian Wilson’s new project Scratching the Surface. Red bull knows how make a film (i.e. THATS IT THATS ALL) And Irons bros productions have seemingly stepped up to the challenge of a project of this size.