There's a real gap in the market for well-shot, longer-form surfing movies that are released on the web. That space is usually filled with a whole range of two-to-three minute social-friendly cuts that engage the I-want-it-now mentality – and then they're gone, forgotten.
But when a 30-minute film drops into the pool, one that is well made, crafted with a loving touch like a hand running over fine silk, then it stands out from the masses.
It's our pleasure to bring you Elude an odyssey of a film that spans six locations featuring Noah Wegrich and a supporting cast including; Nat Young, Jake Kelley, Gearoid Mcdaid, Ben Coffey and Conor Mcguire. It is probably the first film of the decade that you should dig into.
Here to tell you more about the film is director Perry Gershkow, who we tapped up to give a bit of content to the above. Once you're done, just hit play, crack a cold one and enjoy some of the purest surfing you'll see in quite some time. Also, why not check out Perry's website, too, HERE.
Tell us a bit about the film?
It's a bit tough to summarise the film in a short space of time, but I guess I can say it's a visual surf odyssey through six different locations, including Ireland, Indonesia, Scotland, Hawaii, Canada and USA.
Each section of the film is unique in that; I wrote a poem for each section, in hopes that I can trigger some sort of feeling from the audience. I want not only surfers to enjoy the film, but also people who don't surf.
When you're able to combine elements of surfing with other art forms, your audience grows immensely, and that was an important factor for me.
When Noah Wegrich and I first started filming this project, we were originally just going to make a short film that we could show potential sponsors, because at the time Noah had no sponsorship.
As we started gathering footage, we quickly realised that we could make something that could hopefully not only get him sponsored, but also create something we could both be proud of. I've done a few films in the past, and I knew with the right trips and the right motivation we could produce something special.
So Noah's the lead, who else is in it?
The protagonist is Noah, with a supporting crew of Nate Tyler, Nat Young, Jake Kelley, Gearoid Mcdaid, Ben Coffey, Conor Mcguire, Colin Moran, Zac Haynes, and a couple local friends, Michael Taras and Robin Caddell.
What’s in the name Elude?
Noah and I were on a boat in the middle of the Mentawai Islands, on one of the biggest swells of the last decade, surfing by ourselves at a reef pass, and as we were sitting there, a name popped up in my head, Elude.
I think it was the feeling of knowing we were pretty much as removed from everything as you could be. No one else in sight and no phones, just a boat with a few buddies. I looked at Noah and said, "Elude, that's the name of the film”. We were able to avoid the crowds and all the hype, and just be present.
Cutting a 30 minute edit is becoming less of the norm nowadays for the ‘I want it now’ generation, what was the inspiration behind some longer form film making?
I think when some people watch a surf film, whether it be three minutes long or an hour long, it's assumed that it was all filmed within a few months.
But when you're trying to make something that stands out amongst the rest, it takes time. Crazy amounts of hours filming on the beach, looking at swell models, getting people's schedules on the same page, editing.
When Noah and I first started chatting about the film, I told him I didn't want to use one clip in the film that wasn't an A-grade clip. He jumped right on board.
The film also didn't have any main sponsors, so there was no crazy rush to finish it. Creating something special takes time, and we decided to enjoy the whole process rather than feel rushed. The best part of making a surf film is the actual filming and spending time with your friends, those are the moments I'll never forget.
When Noah and I first started chatting about the film, I told him I didn't want to use one clip in the film that wasn't an A-grade clip. He jumped right on board
Sitting in a boat, in the middle of the Ments, drinking beers, meeting new friends in Ireland and Scotland, or being in California and driving the coastline, lots of memories I'll cherish for a while. It's a bitter-sweet feeling finishing a film, because you don't get to have those moments again unless you make another film.
Back when I first started in the surf industry, which was about 10-years-ago, all I did was two or three minute edits. It's all I wanted to do, and I did a lot of them. I wanted to assert myself in the surf filmmaking industry, and so I blasted through surf edits and soon found myself wanting more.
As I got older, I became less infatuated with that feeling of instant gratification, and decided I wanted to start creating films, and that's when I realised I could take what I had been doing with the short edits, and apply that to something bigger.
Making a lengthier film allows for a lot more freedom with story telling. And with surf films, if you're able to tell a unique, original story, then you're already winning.
The cinematography is great – did you have a list of shots to film or just go and see what happens, talk us through that creative process?
Yeah cheers, cinematography is my biggest passion. It's my main gig outside of surfing, and it's what brought me to where I am today.
For the film, I had a handful of shots I really wanted to nail. Some of the driving shots throughout the film, shots of the beach from way pulled back, and a few staged shots that I wanted to add to the overall arch of the story.
With all the epic locations we were able to visit, it made the cinematography that much more visually appealing. For instance, Ireland and Scotland are absolute dream locations for filming. Cliffs that fall into the water, dramatic weather, epic colours, raw coastline, it's all so rad.
I also wanted to implement a variety of different angles, unique water shots, and some drone stuff. I was fortunate enough to have the help of some talented filmmakers who helped with second angles. It was definitely a collaborative effort and everyone crushed it.
What would you say to people who don’t know about this project?
If you haven't heard about the project, which is totally understandable [laughs], then I hope you can take a little over 30 minutes to sit down at a friend's house, or your own house, find yourself a big screen, and press play.
I make these films so that people can enjoy them with friends and family and whoever else they feel like watching it with.
There is something to be said for being able to turn your phone off and be present and enjoy a a film. Almost brings you back to the late 90's, early 2000's, where all you could think about was when the next big surf film was coming out.