Duct Tape Surfing
I was going to call this film 'Procrastination'. For some reason, it took some 5 months to get around to saying 'hey, we should make a film', after hearing of Pascale and Ty's tandem surfing capers.
In late December the West Coast was buzzing after the first Duct Tape Surfing wave was ridden during a fun weekend swell. I was winding down from the past 5 months of randomness and my cameras were packed away for the holidays, in favour of a longboard. Admittedly, when I heard about a surfer taping a paraplegic woman to his back to surf I thought it somewhat 'bad taste' and took a negative approach. Even though they were friends of friends, and I was in the area, I didn't think of speaking to them to see what they've been up to.
Fast forward to May and over drinks at a friend's party I caught up on their surfing over the previous months. Stories about the refinement of equipment, the waves they've tried to surf, and the 6 month surfing road trip they want to begin to escape winter - and the idea of a film started churning in my mind. At the same time journalists from the Adelaide Advertiser Newspaper were pushing them for a feature story, and although logistics were getting the better of them they didn't procrastinate. To the teams' credit they made it happen amongst a huge swell and made an amazing article, however the accompanying video was more of a montage of what they do, not who they are.
As the article went front page around Australia and the video went semi-viral; I was in two minds. I was due to head back to Adelaide then Sydney in 6 days time and could easily just skip the Duct Tape film idea to focus on my shoots ahead, but a last minute decision saw me drive up the coast to meet with Pascale and Ty to, again, talk over the idea. They were keen to get more publicity and raise funds for their trip, so we started a crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign and sketched an outline of what we wanted to focus on in the film, determined by what their schedule could accommodate.
The shoot went smoothly, we only suffered a few hiccups as the light faded and crowded lineup weren't as receptive as I had hoped, but shortly after with a smooth edit, flowing music, and most importantly Pascale and Ty's approval, I uploaded the film to Vimeo and went to sleep for the first time in days.
Then came the fun part.
I woke to an onslaught of emails, mainly from North America and Europe (which was about 200 emails a day) and initially received interest from editorial agencies as the news story was still fresh in their minds. As per usual they were keen to license and promote the film on their server, to gain advertising revenue for the elusive 'publicity' tradeoff. As the film was meant to gain traction for their Kickstarter campaign I agreed providing backlinks were embedded/watermarks, and over 100 agencies spread their spamming wings. From there, the interest came from commercial ventures, with a health care company licensing 20 seconds into their campaign, which again lead back to the Kickstarter fund. The overall 1.8 million views throughout different mediums led to donations which pushed the campaign over the line, and send the Duct Tapers west to warmer waters and larger waves.
What was meant to be a simple film about cool people doing cool things in the ocean led to some 3 weeks of full time work then 4 months of part time management, an incredible experience to happen from a film I'm more than happy with.