STANCE | 2019 Nationals Adaptive Surf Open
We like to be kept on our toes - some of the time! When STANCE called us up one week before the 2019 Nationals Adaptive Surf Open, asking if we could film a piece about the surfers and the event we, once again, could not say no!
Researching into the competition, we found out that STANCE has played a major role in helping out Surf England with their Adaptive Surfing Championships, and the best part about it is they do it because they want to, not for the accreditation!
We travelled down from the northern grey skies of Manchester to the sandy beaches of Newquay to help out at Fristal, a well-known surf spot for the UK’s surf culture! This event has been getting bigger and bigger each year, and since last year the amount of competitors has actually doubled! With 45 entries across 6 divisions
We set out to create something unique for STANCE, something that their viewers could get their teeth stuck into, a short film.
Arriving down at Fristal on Saturday evening left us in a bit of a blunder, whilst the rest of the U.K was doused in a heatwave, Newquay had caught the brunt of some heavy clouds. Sunday morning, our cameramen open their eyes to more grey skies and some uncertain sea mist - not really what you want for surfing, but I guess the lighting helped for their interviews!
Hannah Clare from STANCE had rounded up a bunch of pro’s for us to sit down and interview, these would happen throughout the day on Sunday whilst shooting the surf in-between them. We had the pleasure of meeting Pegleg Bennett - a well known adaptive surfer from Cornwall, Spike Cain - the Adaptive advisor to Surf England, Benoit Moreau - the champion of this years adaptive Men’s Open, Darian Bayley Haynes - a Hawaiian goddess of surf, Ethan Jolosa - a welsh superstar of surfing and U.K’s own Melissa Reid - Women's Open titleholder from last years World Championships in California.
So all sounds great, right?
Well hell yeah, it’s not every day you get asked to Direct and Produce a film like this. However, filming in the outdoors can often be tricky! Our cameramen and sound operators had some tough weather to combat. With it being a surfing competition you need it to be windy, so our sound man often struggled against the noise coming through the mic, and often with our camera operator filming through such a long focal length, our sound operator wasn’t able to catch the action. However, filming ambient sounds and generally foley we were able to tackle the rest in post.
I wanted the viewer to feel close to the action so they can really feel submerged in the surfing and how well these para-athletes tackle the waves, so we shot the majority of the film at 100fps at 400mm. This gave us exactly what we needed.