Bleronk, twin brother of Tonyo in some previous shots. These guys are all smiles all the time. This session was really fun to be out in the water for. End of day, rain, and low tide fast little barrels at 66 beach. The current was so strong out there, though everything looks pretty calm here.
Looking at the camera: when I started on this film, I had this idea that I'd film surfers as they lived their lives, and the camera would be invisible. The surfers wouldn't be looking at the camera. That was my idea. I thought this would make the film feel much more genuine. More like sitting in on someone's life, seeing what its really like.
When you have a camera out though, everyone wants to look at it. So that right there makes my original idea sort of hard to pull off. The more you film with someone, the more comfortable they get with having a noisy camera pointed at them. But guys like Bleronk will look at the camera nearly every time I have it out. Every time they pass me by, even if we've been filming a lot. They have fun with goofing off and getting shots.
Somewhat to my surprise, early on when I started getting footage back I realized I was getting some of my best shots when people looked at the camera. If they were comfortable, and looked at the camera, their real personality just shined through. The shots had feeling and soul. I decided well, with this film, anyone can look at the camera any time and its ok.
The moment you ask someone not to look at the camera, they are acting. They have to consciously pretend you are not there. And therefore, you are no longer getting the real person. You have an actor in front of you then.