Here & Now wins "Best Picture" at New York Surf Film Festival
We go to New York Surf Film Festival because New York is just so fun. So different. So electric. This trip, we caught waves, caught up with old friends, caught up on all the new films coming out this fall, and finally caught a Best Picture award for Here & Now. Congratulations to all the surfers and filmmakers who worked on this film.
As we said during the Q & A after the sold-out screening, Taylor and I really feel like humble servants of this film. It was such a collaborative effort and never would have been possible without all the amazing materials we were given to work with, the dedicated editors who stitched the film together and the surfer-musicians who came together to create the original score. Thanks, and congratulations to everyone.
The film is now in surf shops and should be up on iTunes on October 20th. Until then, check out this interview with NYSFF founder Morgan Rae Berk, who has some interesting things to say about the state of surf filmmaking and film festivals in general.
Ben Gulliver & Seven Signs
Ben Gulliver & Seven Signs
The first $10,000 filmmaker to sign on for our next project unwittingly helped on the first. Karma? Coincidence? Or just damn good luck?
Words/photos by NM
There’s a strange coincidence at work here, but I like to think that means we’re on the right path.
A few months back, Innersection Films made Here & Now as our first experiment in collaborative surf filmmaking; utilizing the full resources of the Innersection project to make something that otherwise would have been extremely difficult. This much you know.
Now, on The Day we shot Here & Now, I was in Central Java filming a day with Indonesian champ Dede Suryana. Also with us on the rush journey in and sleeping on Dede’s couch were two Canadians: Ben Gulliver and Noah Cohen. They were working on Noah’s Innersection and were surprised to find themselves sleeping on a floor in remote Indonesia next to the guy who spends all his time talking about Innersection.
But surfing is a small world. These things happen a lot.
Anyway, Ben was super generous about sharing his Dede clips from that day (several of which we used) and after that we went our ways. Nice guys. Real talented. Hoped to see a section from them. And obviously, we did.
INNERSECTION: Congratulations, you’ve just won our first filmmaker prize?
BEN GULLIVER: Stoked. Wow, that’s really an honor that people would select our section. I don’t know what to say.
Hopefully you’re more excited about working on Seven Signs than the money, because to us, that’s what this is all about?
For sure. I mean, I don’t fully understand what it is yet, but I’m just excited for the opportunity to be working with Taylor and you guys. It’s definitely not about the money for me – just trying to get some exposure.
You don’t need to understand it yet. All you need to know is that you’re one of six filmmakers who will receive an assignment next year. And those six assignments will all link together as a single surf movie.
I like it.
Enough about us, though. Tell us about making this section. Looks like you did a lot of travel.
It was my first time Indonesia. Bit of culture shock. We went to Java and Sumbawa. We were really trying to get some lefthanded barrels, but we got kinda skunked on that level. But we still got some clips and had an amazing time.
What’s Noah like?
Noah is a unique character. Being a young buck from Canada trying to make his way as a professional surfer is not easy, but I think he’s doing a good job of it. He’s just fun, positive and easy to be around.
So, were you going for a hot & cold theme?
Yeah, we wanted to start with some warm water and well known breaks, then moving on to our home in Canada and showcasing some of our good righthanded barrels.
How much is it a balance of your vision and the surfers’ vision.
It’s weird. Editing is a weird, stressful process. You spend so much time going through something that by the time you’re finished with it you just think it’s garbage, just a cliché. But Noah’s all about his style and does he have enough airs, enough frontside and backside…that’s how a surfer thinks. They want to make sure they’re showing off their range of surfing. But from my end it needs to flow and keep the viewer entertained. So, I think we found a balance between the lifestyle and the surfing… but it’s tough.
Do you have a favorite shot?
There’s a frontside railgrab turn that I slowed down quite a bit that I like. Before Noah paddled out that day we were talking about air reverses and everyone having so many of those in their sections and I was like, dude, just do a big frontside turn. Wait for a set-wave. Grab the rail. That’s my favorite thing. And first wave he did it.
And we did have a lot of help from friends back home who gave us water shots and helicopter shots, so it’s really a collaborative effort – certainly not all me. That’s probably the most important part of it; having other people who are willing to help us and Noah’s career.
Who helped out?
I gotta say thanks to Adam DeWolfe, Adam Chilton and Jeremy Koreski. Three really talented guys from Tofino. Those guys all grew up together and I’m still a bit of an newbie to that area. So, I couldn’t have done it without their help and direction.
What’s your favorite surf inspiration films.
Well Taylor and Kai are my idols. I don’t feel like anything I do is entirely my own because I pull so much inspiration from those guys. And also, Thomas Campbell’s films are some of my favorites. I know he’s probably not the type of guy who’d be winning Innersections, but I just love his work.
What do you mean? We love Thomas Campbell. He was a judge, back in year one. And certainly a pioneer of filmmaking style.
I just pull a lot of different inspirations and try not to bite anything specifically, but pull it into what you do and create something that’s unique. It’s definitely difficult though, but maybe that’s what we love about it.
Well, we’re looking forward to working with you on the next project.
[See? Weird coincidence. Here & Now was really the inspiration for us to make Seven Signs… and now one of the unwitting contributors of that project is the first to sign on for the next. Karma. Coincidence. Fate. I like to think we’re just on the right path.]
What’s Up Now?
What’s Up Now?
The reason we changed everything… again.
“So, what’s up with Innersection these days?”
People keep asking me.
I mean, just when you’d figured out the rounds and eliminations and twisted rhythms of competitive freesurfing... we go and change it up all up again. WTF?
“Competitive freesurfing.” There’s a term. That’s what’s been twisting us up. We invented a competition for people who don’t like competition. Even we don’t like it. And each round of eliminations just made us squirm and apologize and wonder what got broke in the invention of this awesome idea.
There were some other flaws in the system too. Vids went up, but then they disappeared. Where’d they go? And WTF?
We created Innersection to be home for freesurfing and filmmaking. To reward and give a voice to rising talent. So, when it came time to re-thinking the model…that’s what we kept in mind.
The new “one round” Innersection keeps videos live on the site indefinitely. Vids go up, they stay up.
Also, videos hosted on Innersection can be embedded and re-posted anywhere else. So, if you’re making a single surfer section for your blog or your team site or just to send off to the mags, if you post it on Innersection.tv first, you can enter the contest and still go about your normal blog-o-life. Appease your sponsors. Stoke your fans. Fuel the mags. It’s all good. (We just need to host ‘em to count the views and comments in a single place.)
In December, we’re going to pick the best sections to make another Innersection DVD, just like we’ve done over the last two years. However, to inspire people not to wait until the last second to post their section, we’re also awarding one filmmaker a $10,000 contract to work on our next film project, Seven Signs next year. We’ll also be giving the sections with the most views Wild-Card entry onto the DVD just for being fan favorites. “People’s Choice Awards,” we call it.
We’ve had an opening trickle of first-blood entries…but know a good crew of talent is out there cooking up some thrillers. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know each time a new section hits the site. Your job: drop a comment with some feedback to the surfers and filmmakers, and spread the word on the sections you get psyched on.
So, yeah, that’s what’s up with Innersection. Thanks for hanging with us.
Now check out this week’s three brand new sections…
It’s Alive! Innersection 2012 has Officially Begun
Yes, we are live once again. And we’re going to stay live this time, until something catches fire or the cops show up. Innersection 2012 has a different pulse than our previous years. A building groundswell rather than all that furious splashing around. But the end goal is the same: the discover the year’s best surf sections.
The sections you see on the site now will remain on the site until the end of the year. There will be more in the weeks and months to come, as well. A gathering storm. Time for you to get to know them. Time to really settle on your favorites before the final vote. But there are a few things you might consider, before you do:
Each month we’ll be awarding one filmmaker a $10,000 contract to become part of Seven Signs, our upcoming Innersection Films project for 2013. These filmmakers will be decided each month by Innersection members – starting with a vote this month. So start watching the sections in terms of styles, cinematography and over-all concept to decide who you’d like to see more filmmaking from.
Filmmakers, we realize your project is never quite perfect, just keep in mind we’re only picking one winner each month. Ten thousand dollars could probably go a long way towards that new camera you’ve been eyeing.
Surfers, the main vote will go down in December, but we’ll be giving wild cards to the sections with the highest total views. So once you’ve based your section with us, you can use the YouTube/Innersectiontv link to embed the section on your blog, your team site, or any of the mag’s sites. Anything that gets you more exposure.
For the rest of us, it’s back to business as usual. Watch the sections. Give the surfers and filmmakers some thoughtful feedback. And spread the word on the ones you like.
It’s good to be back. Thanks for your support.
INNERSECTION 2012 BEGINS JULY 1ST
“THIS IS AN EVOLUTION.” Those are the first words I ever wrote about the Innersection Project — and they continue to ring true.
This year we took a brief hiatus from our normal eventschedule to experiment with Innersection’s unique filmmaker community in a different way. In early May, we asked a selection of our regular contributors (plus a few wild cards) to film their entire day from dawn to dusk. We collected the hard-drives and edited it all into a movie, shot around the world in a single day. “Here & Now” will release in early July, and stands testament to Innersection’s evolution. Click here to watch the episode >>
We can’t wait for you to check it out – but that’s not why we’re writing you now.
Continuing on our evolution, Innersection’s main event is going to run differently this year. To keep it simple, it looks like this:
-Innersection 2012 will run a single continuous round from July 1st to December 1st.
-Sections may be added to the site at any time during the round. Views, comments and viral activity will all factor into the final decision.
-Qualifying sections will be decided in a single vote from Premium Members on December 1st.
-Each month, Premium Members will select a single filmmaker to be part of the next Innersection Films project, which includes travel budget and a $10,000 pay-day.
In the wake of an exciting International Surfing Day premiere of Here & Now, we’re excited about the future releases and constant content that these new evolutions are going to create.
We’ll see you next week when we officially launch the new program.
INTERNATIONAL SURFING DAY – JUNE 20TH
Here & Now Premiere Schedule
ALBEE LAYER, INNERSECTION WINNER
This year’s big winner on Innersection just happens to live next to last year’s. How’d that happen?Words and photos by Nathan Myers There was a bottle of champagne. There was a bottle of whiskey. “Either way, we’re drinking,” Albee Layer wrote on Instagram. The conclusion of this year’s $100,000 Innersection contest played out like some of social media cat-and-mouse game, with filmmaker Taylor Steele dropping cryptic digital hints as he traveled from his adopted home in Byron Bay, Australia to deliver the prize money for this year’s Sanuk “Section of the Year.” With the immediate nature of social media, most people had already figured out that the voting had come down to Hawaiian all-arounders Jamie O’Brien and Albee Layer. The two were texting back and forth all afternoon: “Call me if you win.” “There were definitely some highs and lows while we were waiting,” says Albee. Last year’s $100k winner, Matt Meola was less nervous. “Argh, Captain Steelebeard it appears you’re running late,” he pirate-voiced a voicemail to Taylor Steele, “get yourself over to me friend Albee’s house.” In the end, Taylor did arrive, Albee drank both bottles, then hovered around his porch around hugging the friends and family. Yes, he had just won $100,000, but that wasn’t the reason he was celebrating. Read More >>
WINTER ROUND 2012: starts MAY 1st – Visit Innersection.com for full details and music.
Full details coming soon, but let’s not get sidetracked. Like we did last year, we’d thought we’d give you a peak at our Top Five contenders for the $100,000 (did you know last year’s Grand Prize came down to just a handful of votes? Every one counts).As of today, the Top Five contenders (in random order) are: PETER DEVRIES w/ filmmakers Jeremy Koreski & Adam Chilton
JAMIE O’BRIEN w/ filmmaker Damien Robertson
HARLEY INGLEBY w/ filmmaker Tom Woods
ALBEE LAYER w/ Elliot Leboe
BRETT BARLEY w/ filmmaker Sean Benik
SEBASTIAN ZIETZ w/ filmmaker Lachlan McKinnon
LEIF ENGSTROM w/ filmmakers Etan Blatt, Will Skudin & Calvin Knowlton What do you mean that’s more than five? Well, it’s really close (even behind these guys), so anything could happen at this point. Just thought you should know. Cheers, Innersection.
Innersection Announces The Next $100,000 Winner
Just one month left to cast your vote for the $100,000 “Section of the Year” winner. (Don’t you hate it when subject lines mislead you?) Have you voted yet?Voting closes March 30th, and shortly after we’ll be announcing our second “Section of the Year” winner via our 2012 Channel A YouTube series. A month after that (May 1st), we’ll be launching the first round of another full year of Innersection. There are a couple exciting changes that we’ll be announcing soon via our new website, not least of which is the $10,000 “Best Filmmaker” prizes we’ll be awarding every round.