SINTRA BODYBOARDING FILM FESTIVAL: A PREVIEW

image

Originally published on Vert

The 5th Sintra International Bodyboarding Film Festival is about to kickoff next weekend and 2014’s documentary-spirited Passing Through, by James Kates and Phil Gallagher, is the on the spotlight.

The Australian production features a lineup with 20+ bodyboarding films from around the globe and these are the ones to get you pumped for some kegs.

PASSING THROUGH

James Kates and Phil Gallagher’s cut bounces back the documentary tone of past bodyboarding films like Mickey Smith’s ABC – A Blank Canvas. Passing Through rolls blandly through time so that its slow-motioned details and focus on blending cultures and lifestyles vividly resonates as bodyboarding’s overlooked cosmo. A thing of beauty that reshapes the pace and objectiveness of bodyboarding’s light-minded cinematographic releases.


HUBBOARDS – THE MOVIE

Fly. Fly as high as you can. That’s the motto of Hawaiian brothers Dave and Jeff Hubbard film. Hubboards, The Movie is the portrait of a family of World Champs that established a one-of-a-kind style in the bodyboarding world through an aim-for-the-skies punts. Matthew Tanaka’s edit returns to the action-only, era-defining footage ever so present in the No Friends series, which propelled Jeff’s reputation.


THE MEXICAN MIRAGE

At a time when bodyboarding is feeling unloved, a group of young riders keep the pace high and still make us feel warm and fuzzy about dropping some slabs with boogie and fins. Those guys are Pride’s international crew featuring saffa Jared Houston, French Pierre-Louis Costes and aussie Lewy Finnegan. The Mexican Mirage recalls an exploration mission along rural Mexican region of Pascuales, Northwestern side of the country. Black sands, unbearable heat waves, mirages and top-notch beachbreaks outlines a trip and keep us pumped for the next swell at home.


ALAMBRE

This is ought to be an international debut. Matías Spulveda’s Alambre absorbs the true essence of a documentary film and exposes an ample profile on the Chilean bodyboarding scene. This historical approach picks up Chile’s best bodyboarder, Alan Muñoz, and draws a context on the country’s past, present and future of bodyboarding and the fervent, passionate way Chilean riders and followers live the sport.

ART HOUSE LE BOOGIE

image

Originally published on Vert | LeBoogie

Phil Gallagher is done with the bullshit. Having been immersed in the bodyboarding universe since, well, practically ever, he lived and experienced the most notorious ups and downfalls of the sport, but never saw it in such a dark place as of today. So he’s one to point out the greedy, pocket-locked industry for not pumping some green ones into boogieboarding’s development and to gauge that not all riders rip as hard as you think.

So the 35-year old Australian photographer (on the right) has put himself in a place where he can actually extract bodyboarding’s cultural nectar. As the founder of photographic journal Le Boogie, he took the publishing built-in reputation to hammer out what he calls an “art house” by producing mind-bending films, representing underdog musicians and pushing bodyboarding’s unique culture and lifestyle forward.

After the release of SPLIT, Le Boogie’s latest film production, I swapped a few words with the Aussie creative about the publishing’s new face and the future of bodyboarding.

What exactly is SPLIT?

Four riders teamed up with four cinematographers to create a banging 30-minute film. They all created their own parts and we slammed them together and released it.

Why did such project come up?

Too much web content gets produced without purpose, but the success in the 2-3 days around it before becoming forgotten. We tried to get the guys to work on something they would be stoked about and have some fun challenging them against each other.

What impact are you looking for with SPLIT?

Bringing some sense of fun and competitiveness back into things. Trying to stop people from just pumping out mindless web clips to get likes and hits.

What challenges have you faced while producing this flick?

Four different teams means four sets of problems and, as the deadlines tightened up, it got pretty heated at the end, getting it all together and keeping everyone happy.

In this past year you’ve released a batch of films under Le Boogie – you are now you are promoting The 8 –  and added a music label to the publishing. Why this change of paths now?

We cant’t sell magazines. Pure and simple. We have the largest current fan base and database and we can help people and make it profitable to a point by helping out. The music thing is just for fun and nothing too serious. But it feels good getting people to listen to some new tunes made by people we know. It’s a way of helping people and for us to keep busy.

What sort of music and artists do you represent?

All types from pop, rock, metal, electro and some others I don’t really know where they fall into the current name brackets. All these guys are music lovers with full time jobs who are looking to make music. If we can help getting people to their shows, we will.

Are you fed up with the print media? You still going to put out magazines?

Making magazines is like shooting film photography: you’re really doing it for yourself and, as a business, no paying client is going to pay for that extra effort, whether it’s photo based work or a guy looking out to get some bodyboarding content,. The internet is amazing and I use it daily, it’s brought many great things, but in the end there’s so much content out there, regardless of quality, so why would people pay money to see more? We have a very special photo annual due out at the end of the year and this might be it, who knows. If it sells and people buy it and we cover the costs, we are stoked, but breaking even ain’t the goal of the business really.

What do you look to achieve in bodyboarding with these projects?

Quality with a human touch.

Bodyboarding is actually at a crossroad: it doesn’t have a steady commercial culture nor a counter-culture side. Where is boogieboarding going and what’s it going to be in the next few years?

It’s a dark time, I’m not going to lie. If you love it, you will never stop, you know. But from a business point-of-view, it’s time to lay low and trim the excess. There just seems to be no money or will to invest in any projects or advertising. And I get it, trust me. If you ain’t got cash, you ain’t going to spend it. Maybe people are just not bodyboarding anymore. It’s crazy, I see so many people riding and all kitted out with the latest gear, but I guess it’s the lack of any main stress cash that hurts it all.

How do you define Le Boogie in the bodyboarding culture?

I hate to use the word, but due to a lack of anything more fitting, I’ll stick with art house. We try to put a quality spin on things and not worry about making a profit and blowing it all on a party or tour or premiere. I guess people love that stuff. We tend to tell it how it is and not sugar coat the crap that goes on and hurt us. Honestly, it’s what we are. If we played by the rules and said that everyone ripped and all these new products are awesome and everything in the industry was perfect, we would be fucking lying to your face and basically throwing the bullshit on pussy publications. Any one with a smart phone can be a blogger and do what we do. The difference is: do they have the balls to call people out and the trust of those in the industry who are in game to tell it?

What are the plans for the near future?

Photo annual is the main one currently. We had hoped to make a follow up to Passing Through, but a lack of backing from sponsors meant we had to put a hold on that. Keep shooting and try keeping the website turning, but really just taking each day as it comes.

SPLIT is digitally available for $5

BLAKE PARKER

image

Originally published on Vert | Photography: Blake Parker

On a hot Summer afternoon in August, blakeparker, an unknown user from Tumblr, began a chat with me through the platform’s PM’s inbox.

- You Portuguese?
- Proudly, mate! :D
- Awesome. I’m an aussie living in London. Just spent 3 weeks travelling up the coast [of Portugal]. Such an epic place! Do you boog?

The friendship was undoubtedly established with such final response.

As you can read by the nickname, he’s Blake Parker, a 22 year-old photographer from Newcastle, East Coast Australia, whom now lives in London, UK. Parker shares a bond with Portugal by way of his Lisbon-born girlfriend and not so long ago spent a few Summery weeks in this European edge and even enjoyed some waves in Ericeira.

A primary teacher by day and a photographer in his spare time, Parker shoots bodyboarding, surf and everything wave-related. He even got a few stills published in Riptide. However, his endless curiosity goes beyond the ocean and he just embraced film photography’s unpredictability to capture some of the cultures he comes across in his trips.

After swapping a few banalities via Tumblr, Parker accepted my challenge to share with Vert his 15 favourite moments captured until today in the sea and to tell more about his influences and style regarding photography.

Why are these your 15 favourite shots?

I’ve picked these shots because they hold significant memories in my mind. Half of them are from travels, the other half from home. [Considering the former] I think the journey involved that goes into creating a photograph is just as important as the surf/shot itself and during these journeys I have seen some pretty incredible things. The other half are from memorable sessions at home regardless of who I was surfing with, the quality of the session itself or the light that I was dealt at the time.

What do you try capturing when photographing waves and bodyboarding?

I think this is what is changing or developing within my photography the most since moving overseas. I try to capture the essence of the place where the surfing is taking place rather than focus 100% on the wave or surfer. Attempting to capture the qualities of a location as well as the surfing that is taking place allows the photo to hold more value. Also, when photos contain more of the location it helps me remember the session more vividly when I look back.

Who or what influences you? 

There are so many amazing photographers, especially the ones interested in shooting bodyboarding, that I don’t think I can pinpoint anyone in particular. I always enjoy what Ray Collins, Mark Tipple and Trent Mitchell produce. I really enjoy hearing stories and watching videos of people who generally love and hold a special connection and passion for whatever they may be doing. Above all, I think the people who are having the most fun are producing the most compelling images, which is something that I try to keep in mind. Right now, my motivation for photography and life in general is to work hard to save money for my travels and I’m lucky enough to be in a profession that allows me to do this on a regular basis.

When and why did you start shooting?

I started shooting in the Winter of 2011. My family got an entry level DSLR so when I convinced my parents that I’d take care of it I started taking it to the beach and generally going for a surf and taking a few photos afterwards. The following Winter, my parents went on a holiday, which resulted in not having a camera with me. So I saved some cash, bought a Canon 7D and since then I have slowly upgraded and gathered gear to what I have now.

You were in Portugal this Summer. Tell us about your experience. Did you catch some waves?

Portugal was epic! If there was a professional opportunity there, I think I could definitely live there. The way of life and the attraction of the ocean really appeals to me. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay at a few different spots up the coast with my girlfriend’s family, which gave me a good insight into the Portuguese culture. I managed to get some waves in Ericeira on my boog and stand up, which was fun. Also meeting some locals was really cool, the vibe in the water was relaxed and not as competitive as back home.

What’s your next plan regarding photography and boogie?

I have a couple of trips planned for France during the back end of the year for some surf and snow. So hopefully we’ll be lucky to go into some fun beachies during the week we are there. As for photography, I just hope to keep developing my skills and eye and keep having fun with it. I’m starting to dabble into a little bit of 35mm film stuff, which helps to keep things fresh and interesting. As for the start of next year, the chase for some cold water slabs will continue, potentially Iceland or back to Scotland or Ireland or Portugal. The Canary Islands are looming as well. Oh and try and scrap into what England has to offer.

image

Links: Gallery on Vert | Tumblr |  Lighton35

BLINK*, THE DEBUT DEMOTAPE

Video: FDO

On the chilly evening of February 22, Inês Mourão aka BLINK* made her debut on a stage in Lisbon, Portugal. Then with 17 years-old, the Portuguese rapper was on the verge of a nervous breakdown before spitting her first rhyme, but as the show went on she gave it all and her egotrip lyrics immersed the crowd in the mood she fancied. BLINK* just led the audience through her state of mind and seized the moment to present herself as the future of Portuguese rap.

Half a year after the show, the also designer released online her first demotape. The 10-track sample blends Portuguese-to-English bars from her latest productions under electro-influenced beats, collaborations with Dublin based rapper Sam Ajjuri and low-fi tunes from the her young beginnings.

Hailed by some of the most renowned rappers in Portugal, such as Capicua, the mixtape showcases BLINK*’s promising productions and foresees a future EP to be soon available.

Release Date: August 2014 | Official Download: Click Here

Video: Andrew Melby and Evidence

To make a new album and record it— it’s a dangerous thing for artists who take a big break for a long time and come back out. In my experience, it’s usually for an ulterior motive. Someone’s broke, or they need to make a payment on something, or they need an advance or whatever. They end up making a pretty regular record and ruin the discography. It was very important that if we were to make a record, we’d have to want to make it, not have to make it.