A few years back, surf-film auteur Taylor Steele blew up the genre by introducing the idea for Innersections. The concept was simple but powerful, one that has completely democratized surf movies. Surfers -- both renowned and obscure -- team up with filmmakers to produce their own high-performance video segment. Segments are submitted to Steele, who selects the best 20 for a feature-length movie. The best section of the year wins a $50,000 grand prize.
The inventiveness of the concept should not have come as a surprise. Steele has been redefining surf cinema for two decades, ever since cutting together his groundbreaking 1992 flick, "Momentum." It was a low-budget barnburner that featured Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Ross Williams and Rob Machado but none of the genre-standard elements, such as slow-mo or narration or plot or water photography.
Steele's methods were emulated by video makers everywhere. Since then he has been the creative muscle behind more than two dozen surf films, many of them mainstays in the genre's canon -- "The Show," "Loose Change," "Slipping Jetstreams," "Shelter," "Stranger than Fiction" and "Castles in the Sky."
Steele is now poised to once again redefine what a surf movie is capable of. On Wednesday night -- International Surfing Day -- he will premiere his latest film, "Here and Now," an epic effort to document the world of surfing in a single 24-hour period: May 2, 2012.
To make the film, Steele dispatched 25 cameramen around the world to shoot the likes of Slater, Machado, Stephanie Gilmore, Dave Rastovich, Alex Knost, Ozzy Wright, Conner Coffin, Matt Meola and others.
The San Diego Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is teaming with Paradise Point Resort and Spa and WAX Media to present the world premiere at Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego. Fittingly, the film will be premiering that same day, on the other side of the world, in Australia. The movie will be available on DVD.
When asked about his new film, Steele recently told a reporter, "I think there just needs to be an emotional attachment to the surfer, however you get that, so that when you watch the surfing you can relate to that person or you’re rooting for them, in a way. In this film, it’s an overall attempt to humanize these athletes and make their lives more relatable. The surfing is almost secondary, in terms of what’s entertaining. It’s just a real intimate view of what these lives are like."
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