We are all used to the hype that surrounds a Taylor Steele or Kai Neville Feature Film release; all the surf forums light up with anticipation, teasers drop incrementally online to stoke and maintain the grommet froth, the stab.com comment feeds get heated and before we know it we are all glued to either the TV or the computer screen watching the action.
Now, for me, winding back to my grommet days, a surf flick was something that could be used to kill a good portion of time. I would whack in the cassette tape, grab a snack, and kick back for at least an hour to surfing mixed with punk rock soundtracks. Sadly, the last 10 years has seen that hour plus wind back to increasingly be less than 30 minutes. Surf movies are getting shorter, and the amount of fluffy stuff in them is getting longer. Don’t get me wrong, I love a quick fix, in fact, life is so busy these days a quick fix is generally all I have time for when it comes to surf movies, but I still get saddened when I over prepare myself for the occasion.
What I want in a surf movie is honesty, good old fashioned “This is what you’re going to get.” honesty, and when I stumble across a surf movie that I know is going to deliver this, I get excited – and last week I got excited.
An email came across my desk brining to my attention a surf film project that had grown out of two mates hanging around Byron Bay filming and editing and having a genuinely hell time with a bunch of artistic and spirited free surfers.
Josh Simpson and Jack Lynch knew after a few days of filming that they were sitting on enough juice to give the project a more substantial platform than a web edit and a share amongst mates – so they decided to inject some love and time and money and come up with “Surf Cassette” – a short film featuring:
- Ozzie Wright
- Otis Carey
- Jack Lynch
- Ellis Ericson
- Jared Mell
- Carl Gonsalves
Now when you add “Short Film”, two young creative lads and the above list of personalities, I know exactly what I’m going to get. I’m going to get an incredibly good way to spend my lunch break, the perfect flick to watch while enjoying beverages with buddies or the perfect way to spend my evening your evening on the 22nd March at the world premiere at the Wild Things Gallery in Manly.
We were lucky enough to catch up with the two forces behind the Short Film, and they were kind enough to take the time to answer our questions. So take a read, and then check out the trailer at the end of the interview – then make sure you put aside some dollars to buy a T-Shirt to ensure the lads have the opportunity to break even and get straight onto their next little adventure.
Dan from SurfStitch: So tell us a little more about how the project came to be? We tried to do a little research but the project has a mysterious air about it (code for we couldn’t find a thing!).
Josh Simpson: It only came about recently. Jack and I had been doing some filming, and I had been doing a bunch of filming in Byron the month before so I thought it would be cool to make something out of it. Since then I’ve done a few trips for the movie and have been filming around the northern beaches a lot with Ozzie and Otis. The film is low budget, we are going to give away free DVD’s. That way if people don’t like it they can’t really complain haha. I did this project for fun. Hopefully we can break even on t-shirt sales.
Jack Lynch: I decided to spend some time in Sydney at the end of January, and try pull together a stall of sorts for the world log riding day. One of the ideas we had was to play a movie on the day. Josh had been in byron and then we shot a bunch when I first got to Sydney so we just decided to make something of it. Then it just kinda snowballed into a full project with merch and everything.
Dan: There are some pretty epic personalities in the film – was it the first time you had worked with a lot of those guys?
Josh: I’ve worked with all the guys in the movie before, which is cool. I’m still trying to get some more people involved last minute so hopefully i can get some footage together and add a few more surfers that I haven’t worked with much before. I didn’t plan to work with anyone particular on the film, just whoever was in front of me on the day shredding is in the movie.
Jack: Yeah most of us have all spent a fair bit of time with each other before, so that kind of just flowed into who is in the film.
Dan: Who do you felt brought out the best in you creatively?
Josh: Jack has helped me a lot with the film. We’e been throwing ideas around since I started working on it. He’s organised all the t-shirts and merch for the movie. Ozzie is always a huge inspiration as well. He’s been my favourite surfer since I was young and he always has really good ideas.
Jack: Well Josh is a creative mad man when it comes to making his films and always trying to push in a different direction to what is out there at the moment. I have been working on the tees, merch and a few other parts of the whole project. But we both agree on the creative vibe that we are trying to show people from the project. The tees, and few other bits and bobs all work in around Josh’s creativity in his movie making.
Dan: Did any of the surfers blow your mind performance wise, more than you were expecting?
Josh: Otis blew my mind on one trip we did to the south coast. He did one of the craziest airs i’ve ever seen. I got a few grand worth of camera gear stolen on that trip from my car. Luckily they didn’t steal my hi-8 camera which all the footage was on!
Jack: Yeah Otis for sure, Josh sent me some clips from that trip and they are pretty damm good. Otis is a legend and its so good to see him pushing new levels.
Dan: So what’s next? How long does this project linger for before your creativity needs another canvas?
Josh: This project is going to be done in a couple of weeks. It’s still pretty far from being done edit wise. So I’m going to lock myself in for a couple of days of editing. But I’m already looking forward to starting some new projects. I have some trips coming later in the year that I’m really looking forward to. Nothing concrete yet but we’ll see what comes out of it.
Jack: Well we show the whole project on the 22nd of March in Manly then maybe a another showing someplace else if we can pull it off. Josh and I are pretty close friends so we are always thinking of what we can do to make surfing a lot more creative and fun.
Sit back and enjoy the preview clip shown below – and maybe even grab a snack, clear the schedule and sit back and watch just like the good old days.
Photos from the amazing Mr Henry Cousins.