There's no denying it; Torren Martyn's Lost Track Atlantic series is the greatest thing in surf edits right now.
Stylish cruising, waves that you wouldn't hesitate to pull into, a feel-good, old-school jaunt through the Atlantic's hot spots; it is wanderlust-inducing in all the right ways. This isn't surfing junk food. But it is eating wild, overlooking your favourite point.
Watch the full series HERE
But Torren's and photographer Ishka Folkwell's journey wouldn't have been possible without the backing of sponsor Need Essentials, the logo less wetsuit brand that has been redefining marketing across our humble little surf space.
Anyway, Ryan Scanlon set up Need Essentials eight-years-ago and because Torren and Ishka have been talking about Ryan for some time now we hit him up for more.
How do you make the choices around something like this?
RS: We keep it pretty simple, The basic idea is to travel and enjoy the process of making a film and create something beautiful that we are proud of. Torren is an amazing surfer with a unique approach and Ishka is fantastic at capturing his surfing in a considered way. The Lost Track series usually starts with a simple idea for a low budget trip.
The series is a celebration of being a travelling surfer and the films share a journey along a stretch of coastline over many months with simple means. For needessentials the trips are an opportunity to test the gear in real conditions and making sure the stuff works well. These trips are always happening anyway, so combining the odd film just adds to the experience.
The series is a celebration of being a travelling surfer and the films share a journey along a stretch of coastline over many months with simple means
In between designing wetsuits my role in these films is just helping to pull all the bits together. So many hands go into making a film like this. It’s a passion project for all of us and we have a bunch of fun helping to make them. A lot of the music in this series has been produced for the film by Headland who are a group of very talented musicians, and to be able to work with masters like them is a lot of fun.
The series also features local artists from the areas that the guys passed through and it’s been rewarding working with such a diverse group of artists from around the world. The track by my good friend Maanyung and Headland that features in this final episode blows my mind and to be a small part of producing an important track in language makes us proud.
When I started needessentials in 2013 I didn’t think I would be helping to make films like this but I feel that sharing films like Lost Track is a more enriching experience for everyone in the surf community. It’s a better alternative to creating advertising materials that end up in land fill. We hope that they inspire people and viewers find something enriching within them.
These shows have reminded me a few times of various seemingly unrelated TV shows of the past in the indie travel adventure vein, like the Leyland Brothers and such. Do you experience flashbacks to shows like that when setting Torren and Ishka off on their trips?
My childhood hero was Malcolm Douglas. My mates would be into video games and Star Wars but I’d be geeking out on Malcolm’s films, and planning my next camping trip on the family farm. I would watch his work over and over and get right into the adventures and cultural knowledge he would tap into.
His films across the top end of Australia are timeless works that are as relevant today as they where when they where made. Torren and Ishka are cut from a similar cloth, and share a passion for adventure and a thirst to understand different cultures and ways from around the world. Lost Track really is their story and I can help them pull it together, but they are shaping the narrative.
I have always travelled light and far and try to take my time to really experience a place, and this is what I love about Torren and Ishka’s approach. We share a spirit of adventure and Ishka’s films have a pace that is not rushed. It allows the viewer to slow down and get in rhythm with the film and feel like they are along for the journey. In a world where the pace of entertainment is getting faster and more disposable, I really find Ishka’s more considered stuff really refreshing and many people can relate to that.
Doing stuff of this nature always runs the risk of incoherence, but that’s never the case with LT, it always seems pretty tight. Torren and Ishka both talked about your help with figuring out what storyline/s pop out of the material they bring back. Could you describe how you’re able to help them?
Yeah I offer my two cents from time to time, but it’s only as another perspective, Ishka spends a lot of time in the editing room and he can use people to bounce ideas off and help get different perspectives.
The main aim is to make something that is a true reflection of a journey, the highs and lows and the things outside of surfing that we all love about a good adventure. Torren has never been out to make the most progressive surf edit, his surfing sections feature the highs and lows, the trips over the falls, the tubes not made and the close outs. It’s all part of the experience and a reality that we all have to face when we paddle out. Lost Track Atlantic was filmed over many months and there were so many things that just didn’t make the final cut, but I love how many imperfections find their way into the edit. It’s real and I like that.
Ishka’s film making and Torren’s surfing really are the genius behind the films and it’s their eye that helps bring the films to life.