Identifying somebody to take a lead on this needs to be a priority. Great idea to get contributions globally but someone needs to be the producer/editor otherwise this will only ever be an idea.Also, there needs to be some agreement on film quality. Is this a plan for a professional DVD? If so, camcorders and GoPro's are out.If it's a collaborative thing for YouTube then I guess any decentish digital video will be OK. Still needs a producer to take on the editing role though and to plan the layout, eg is the narration one person scripted or contributions of audio narrative from contributors?CheersG
Mister Dirk Said...Related to that, I'd love to put together a 30-minute surfmat movie, the documentary slice of our time.Ramsnake said...Agreed would be sensational fun and a terrific learning experience. A doco on surf mat riding? Absolutely, let's do it! Very possible with the technology we have available nowadays!GRAYMAN said...So difficult to document something all abour feeling using audio-visual media. It would certainly need a solid narrative to make any sense at all to non-mat surfers.MAT MAX said...YES! Let's all make a movie about matting!!! What a good idea! We don't even need to all be in the same place, because as Grayman says, current technology can bring us together. Plus I like Dirk's idea as well. A meeting of the mat minds could be part of the film. Of course, the ideal situation would be to rendezvous someplace like Byron Bay, and then radiate out to long epic rides in East Australia - so as to really get the goods. However that is not really necessary to produce a cool 1/2 hour. I'm in, whatever it takes!!!misterdirk said...I'm thinking more about the notion of a mat film, and maybe we should do a separate post about it pretty soon. It's been incubating in the back of my mind for a while now, but other priorities prevail. "Crowdsource" filmmaking is an idea which time has come, no doubt. You may have already noted YouTube's "Life in a Day" documentary.I agree with you Grayman, that it needs a narrative arc to be meaningful. I can think of ways that might be pushed, but on the other hand it could also simply reveal itself if we just go for it and start scooping up imagery. Anyway, I'm stoked to feel the enthusiasm out there. Keep breathing into it and let's see if we can't inflate this thing.Ramsnake said...This is starting to get a little exciting. I wonder if we might be able to utilise a tool like Open Meetings to facilitate some initial discussion and planning.http://code.google.com/p/openmeetings
I nominate Mister Dirk as producer/zenmaster of the project.No offense intended towards anyone else, it's just that MD has a background in film production, and is a keen student of the craft.
Agreed Paul (if MD's up for it of course). A professional film producer is the obvious and correct choice to produce a film!!!There is no room for ego's with projects such as these; particularly if people are serious about producing a serious documentation of our art. Over to MD then.G
First off, I'm honored PG. But please understand, I'm happily married and place a lot of value on that, so if you expect me to sleep with the talent, then let's define our terms. Plus sometimes I snore.That said, I'll be pleased to tackle this, with collaboration. I have a respectable editing workstation, Final Cut Studio, and a decent collection of lights, camera, and audio equipment to shoot HD video. My water housing is sub-par, and needs improvement.As I mentioned earlier, I've been thinking about a mat movie for quite a while now, and I can see it going any number of directions. I'll summarize some of those shortly, but in the meantime I'd like to encourage some brainstorming. How do you envision the film?Ramsnake mentioned Open Meeting, and I've used Basecamp a couple of times. I'll nail down a project management solution asap and let the blog get back to what it does best.Meanwhile the languid Pacific is nearly motionless in my neighborhood, and all the surfers are at work.
Open meeting is an open source product and free to use unlike Basecamp although it is not prohibitively expensive for a small group @ $24 Us a month.I think with HD video devices ( both land and underwater - even Go-Pro is HD now too ) so freely available for a very reasonable price that a high quality movie could still be made with contributions from all over the planet. I think that would be part of the particular charm of the movie. The dispersion of mat riding characters on the planet and the diversity of waves in which they a ridden.
I'm not so sure the international contribution thing is a goer to be honest. I absolutely agree that a broadcast quality movie is the way to go and you're not gonna get that with anything other than professional equipment. GoPro's, even HD ones, fall far short of this. What's more, I can't think of anyone in the UK with even an HD GoPro, let alone a top quality camera unless they keep themselves to themselves and don't get involved in the UKMS site which is a possibility of course but then are they gonna get involved in another web based project? Assuuming not, that takes the UK out of the mix. Perhaps not the end of the workd but I do feel that could dent the degree to which the movie represents the modern mat surfing scene.Also, if you're looking at half an hour, that's gonna be a difficult thing to fit anything other than snapshots of the global scene into. Not that that would be bad but I feel that if the aim of this is the definitive doco of modern mat surfing, it might be better to zoom in a bit.Given all that, I wonder if some footage from the US west coast featuring the top mat surfers over there might be the way to go to ensure consistency of footage quality and a camera man/cast in one place consistently to wait for the best conditions so that the film is full of mat surfers riding proper waves. The international feel could come through the commentary with audio narration from people from the 4 corners of the earth giving the mat surfer's perspective on what it is and why it is.Secondly, some insight into the "how" of mats and mat surfing might be a good idea with interviews and soubdbites from the likes of PG and Dale and perhaps even an update from GG (kinda linking the Crystal Voyager days to the present????). I'm pretty sure the latter would be tricky but what a coup.Anyway, something to think about. I do think a colab project might be an idea but I don't think it would be achievable in broadcast quality unless one of us wins the lottery and kits crews around the world out with $8000 cameras!!!Stuff to think about anyhoo.CheersG
GREAT IDEAS, everyone! I agree with both Ramsnake and Grayman - worldwide contributions would be optimal to get the varied voices of the many matters out there BUT, yes, quality and continuity is also paramount! Here's something to think about, even if the best equipment was sent around, it is really about who is using that equipment. Any person with too much money can buy good stuff, but can they make anything with it? A not level or shaky shot is still that whether it is in HD or otherwise. Conversely, people with a flair for photography/editing etc etc can utilise a polaroid camera and turn it into something incredible and memorable. Food for thought. In 2008, I was lucky enough to work in a production crew on two separate feature-length films in europe. I love working in a team and would love to be part of this, if possible.NP
and I forgot to mention, I hold a bachelors degree in photography. I would love to work with some better experienced photographers out there both on land and in the water.
What if we each send whatever we have or can get on video to one central repository? Such a collection would at least be a starting point, and it might eventually grow into a whole movie.
Older film/vid formats can be converted to HD for broadcast. Poor quality classic clips are still worth including.
My back grounds in music production. With todays technology I think it would work well.It may take a while to get all the footage together but I dont reckon you need so many top end cameras and stuff, just creativity. Theres a nice little film called "A Short Surf Film in Super Eight" by Justin Bullock. The quality of the footage varies a lot but the continuity's there and it works.
there is a guy doing a "handplane world project" over at the blog."Daily Bread" with some good ideas.GoPro even donated them a free camera.You may want to ask him.http://dalybread.blogspot.com/
My instinct is to say, "content over quality." Good or interesting footage should go in, even if it's poorly shot. Afterall, mats aren't wallhangers, so the mat film doesn't have to be "glossy" either!
Well put, PG!It's about time I put in my 2 cents.I could volunteer some time on the lo-fi end of things. That said, I'd love to contribute any 16mm or S8 footage regarding mats. Granted, any footage shot requires transfer into the digital domain (telecine) or, nowadays, datacine. The expense is only half the equation. Coming up with the "magic moments" well...there's no price on that!
Luckily "poor quality" is my strong point so I'll see what I can come up with!CheersG
So where do we send our vids and picts? And how about if when the film is edited, we can then submit audio narratives, timed so as to accompany our sequences (if one is so inclined).
I won't have much time at the keyboard today, but this evening I'll submit some more thoughts and direction. I just registered "matmovie.com" to use as a repository, etc. It's unhosted for the moment.
I think this movie might need to be a little longer!
Hey NP, do you have access to gear here in Oz? I've done a bit of guerilla filming and have a few years of proper photography training that I've forgotten all of, so I'd be down to trade back and forth between shooting and surfing if you've got access to a camera. Won't be in Oz too much longer though, so once I switch hemispheres again I'd be stoked to link up with Dirk and whoever else is around the west coast.
I agree PG re content over quality and would like to raise 3 further points I believe are also worth considering. 1. There has to be level of inherent individuality ( not just following the crowd ) in those choosing to ride a mat.2. Many who do so, have been stand up surfers for many years prior to unpacking and discovering the joys of mat riding 3. There are intricacies, relating to the technique for riding a mat successfully, that can only be obtained over many years which could be ideally portrayed using slow motion footage with a commentary from someone like yourself.I think capturing some degree of each of those elements along with interesting footage of reasonable quality from throughout the world would go a long way towards encouraging further interest.
Is it too soon to start tossing out "working title" ideas?
Ha, that is such a coincidence PG. I have come back to comment again because I forgot to mention I had a title in mind. One of my favourite series of surf flicks is Jack McCoys series from the early 90s that featured Occy rather a lot and one of which was called "Sons of Fun"!The mat riding movie title?"Tons of Fun"
Good contributions from you all. I'm very stoked at the level of engagement! A few miscellaneous responses:*** Shot resolution and quality -- Should be as high as anyone can provide (up to hi def 16x9, 1440x1080), but it makes sense to accept lesser resolutions as long as the imagery is compelling. They can be "conformed" to the hi-def parent resolution of the project. The heterogenous mix of clips will supply texture and atmosphere. The key to making that work is to establish and maintain a backbone of pro quality shots, and once that bar has been set, viewers will happily accept a variety of coarser clips as long they carry the story forward. So if a rougher shot or sequence gets answered by a crisp full-rez complement, we're fine. The same goes for sound; good audio can uplift the lower rez clips and elevate the overall quality of the picture, just as bad audio can kill it.*** Length -- I pulled 1/2 hour out of thin air while I was still in "bucket list" mode. Realistically, there's no telling what the overall length will be at this point and I don't want to set a limit yet. Conventions do exist for certain purposes (broadcast, film festival, etc.) so we're going to have to make a decision soon enough. I'll be thinking about that as we acquire footage. If we decide to just put it on a DVD and/or offer a download, then we can let the material dictate its own length.*** I'm setting up matmovie.com to be the virtual production office, initially just a receptacle for clips. I guess that's the working title that jumped to my mind. There are a zillion details to track on a project like this, so I'm keen to get a project management solution established. If you have knowledge or opinions, please let me know. (Ramsnake, I've seen and noted Open Meeting which could certainly be good for putting our heads together in real-time. Tell me more if you would.)*** Interviews and voice-overs -- Once we have a substantial body of work to reflect upon, I bet that people will have some interesting things to say, and we'll get that added layer of commentary. The primary mission right now is to start shooting waves and mat riders, and getting some raw material.*** Tone -- Again, the material itself will set the tone, but I'll let you know where I'm coming from. I imagine something light, fun, snappy, swift, bright, and sincere. I'd like to see a gamut of riding -- some heroic grinding power walls, some grandmas with little kids in the soup, a laughing squad doing bumpercars, some hairy feral animals lurking at a remote mysto break, the whole range. I'd like a respite from pros and logos and contests and competition. Oh, and I'd like to get some good long looks at gliding sea birds riding updrafts from the swells.
Grayman and I have been discussing this title as an option:"The Innermost Limits Of Rubber Ducks.":)In any case, I would love to have Ramsnake put together a soft, soulful acoustic guitar cover version of "Keep On Chooglin'" as the main muscial theme song. Along the lines of the guitar music for the mat riding in Crystal Voyager...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjWhqgs4uEo8:55
No use my song!!!http://ukmatsurfers.forumotion.com/off-topic-f4/my-music-t348.htm?sid=01003e7fa1c3eb582b05fcd5f7d45ce0#2221Not really. Wouldn't suit a mat vid at all, just shameless self promotion! :DAnyway, back to movie land, I guessing Mister Dirk would like raw footage rather than slowed, messed around with, editted stuff.On to other issues such as naming, I came up with the following:"Bubble"Either soulful genius of ponsing rubbish. I'm undecided so over to the masses.G
Every day during my wife's pregnancy we picked at least one new name for our child. I had so much fun doing that -- most enjoyable.As an aside, a friend of mine who does analytics for https://www.withoutabox.com/ says that the title hardly matters -- compared to other factors like length, number of characters, subject matter -- when it comes to winning festival awards. But to me it seems like the name is the character, and character is destiny.Yes, Grayman, clips should be as close to the raw native condition as possible. Also, leave generous "handles" of about 2 or 3 seconds on the beginning and end of each clip. Give the editor all of your slack.I'll formalize these instructions before we start the official process of submitting.
Plenty of good sounds there, Grayman! I'm amazed at the cornucopia of talent that we're working with.
This may sound silly, but how about SURFMATTERS as a title?
I volunteer to ride my mat badly in front of whatever camera is pointed in my direction! I will help in whatever way you guys need me to help.
"Surfmatters" sure does get to the nub of it all.Surfsister, looking forward to aiming your way before long.
Much obliged MD.G
hey JAMIE,no, unfortunately i have no access to decent equipment at this stage. How 'bout you? any equipment at all?
Nah mate I don't have any gear here, just some still cameras (dig and film), but I'll ask around, should be able to scrounge one up from somewhere. I'll let you know if I score and definitely give us a bell if you're heading south. Had a go at the Alley today, there's a bit of swell bouncing around under those northerlies at the moment.Hey PG-- Has anyone talked to Wardie about this??
Pretty interesting way to shoot surfing...http://vimeo.com/13304483
Sign me up for an rc helicam. I can pay it off in like 2,000 years or so. Great shots. And no wonder GG is spewing. Thankfully this is still a large and somewhat unpopulated planet. What if the hordes were all matters? Everyone could go for waves at once. Sort of a metaphor for our global predicament at large. Maybe this is part of the educational fallout from the mat movie: Go lightweight, share, evolve...? Hmm.
Look at that crowd!!! I would hate that. Slightly worrying to see the credits which say the pilot and camera operator were the same person!!! Mister Dirk, let me know when you set up the site and I'll put a banner link on the UKMS site.CheersG
I can seen an opening where there is complete darkness. The only audio is the sound of 23 breaths going into a mat, with the sound of breaking waves in the background.As more and more air is added, the shape of the mat comes into being, and so does enough early morning light to see the mat. We see a man (or woman) with the now inflated mat on a beach, looking out at the waves.
http://helivideo.com/services/I contacted this guy a few months ago. Obviously it costs a lot, but seems attractive for commercial jobs, especially compared to actual helicopters. Way out of my league right now, but good to know it exists. I certainly don't expect to ever fly a camera myself. My uncle is a helicopter pilot, and the times he's let me try the joystick have been .. uh... "uncoordinated."Grayman, thanks so much, I'll let you know asap.
Dig it, PG. Maybe we can let all the air out during the final credits.
Thematically, I think the idea of a mat being inflated and/or delflated on film has merit. It also kind of gives a nod to the "Coming Of The Dawn" title in Innermost Limits, with the lettered balloon serving as the title.
Way cool opening for the film, PG! I'm jetting to Gold Coast on 4 November @ 5:30pm and would like to meet up with all mat mavens to maximize my NZ visa-dash in order to get shots for the mat movie. I have a watercam that shoots low-res vid but looks okay. My plan at the moment is to stay in a tent a Clark's Beach, but that's just an HQ. Am up for adventure. My email is email@example.com Let's get on with this and get the goods for Dirk to edit into a fun production!
The ritual of inflating/deflating is a big part of the mat experience. I always think of myself as inspiring the mat with vitality before I go out.
The title "23 Breaths" would fit this idea for an opening. It also has a French new-wave feel to it. (The 400 Blows, Breathless)Of course, there would be the lawsuit from Pranaglider, and all the ugliness that comes with it!
YE-AH! Most wondeful to glide like a pelican on one's own exhalations!
"Vingt trois souffle de vent"
23 BREATHS is super-suave. I can puff my mats up in 18-20, but that's beside the point. I say yes!
"Vingt trois souffle de vent"Very cool, MD!
I'm not so sure about naming a movie after blogs/websites. Gonna confuse people (although both blogs do have great names), especially when googling..I have another suggestion"Flow"I don't have time to type loads but it has the movement of the ocean, highlights the beauty of mats, but also relates to "Flow States".I don't have time to explain the latter right now but may later or some could Google it but it's essentially the psychology of being in the zone on a completely physio-emotional level. Utter absorbtion in the moment.My other idea is to just call it "Mat Movie"G
I must have missed a day of comments on the movie project.But at this moment in an underground bunker at an undisclosed location my cadre of lawyers are spinning up to speed just waiting for a nod to launch into a litigious frenzy...Personally I like BLOW UP!But 23breaths does go with the inflation /deflation begining / ending
Maybe we could have our cake and eat it too...Call it "22 Breaths," and avoid any confusion/litigious activity while maintaining the same basic vibe.Also alludes to Joeseph Heller.:)
I've been enthusiastic about the notion of "multipublishing" ever since the late 80s. I guess the term has changed a little bit and people are talking about "transmedia."http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2010/07/29/allowing-transmedia-approach-processI thought that link was appropriate, as I'm trying to set up the production of this film to be as transparent and open as realistically possible, so that for better or worse the making is kind of a performance in its own right.
Thank you so much for stepping up, Dirk. It's going to be very very interesting and rewarding to see what content matters around the planet pitch in. We are a thoughtful and conscientious demographic. There is a solid message that will show through. Matting is an amazing excursion through both the nature of waves and the human condition. We get both encouragement and disrespect from the various surf denizens. Yet smiles and acceptance far outweigh scowls and anti-social comments. Especially in Australia, where GG has blazed the trail, and matters get major respect. Hopefully, we will produce meaningful side content, like fascination with bicycles, minimalist travel, the low impact surf-sustainability aspect, overarching need for sensitivity both when matting and in life in general, being super-stoked with less stuff... Anyway, cheers mate!
on that note from Mat MAx,how would 'life matters' suit?
"Blow Up" is the name of a 1966 movie. Not a surf film so might not matter too much.How about calling it Maturbation?;)G
Gman, Matterbation is a strong candidate! Blow up is used up, bummer. Ok how about"Attack of the Variably Inflatables!"MacDonalds could have a cup and toy tie in!PG nice banner this morning!
I had a long talk with Mr Dirk the other evening, and we worked out some practical aspects of the upcoming mat cinema extravaganza...At my continued insistence, Dirk will function as both the producer and director. As you know, even in the best of circumstances, film making is a dictatorial process. Somebody has to have "final say." Knowing Dirk's background in film, his personality, and his mat riding background/prowess, I can say without exaggeration that he is the best person I could imagine to take on this project. So, barring any grumblings from the peanut gallery, Dirk's the man.This means that whatever material gets submitted to him over the coming months will ultimately have to pass through his artistic filter. Surely someone – or maybe even everyone -- will feel slighted at some point...but that's the nature of this kind of thing. We all have to stand back and appreciate that what he is doing is costly in terms of money, time, and effort.Dirk has agreed to assume the production costs (beyond the expense of shooting footage, which falls in the hands of you, the submitter). Summarily, I assured him that whatever revenue comes back will be his. The rest of us are working for gratis.The odds of this being a black hole of negative cash flow is hovering around 100%. So again, we owe it to him to defer to his vision.Dirk isn't clear at all on what the final product should aim to achieve on a practical level. An underground film festival gem? An on-line smash with over 3 million hits? A major theatrical release with the muscle of Steven Spielberg behind it? The ultimate choice will be Dirk's as time goes on.In terms of the artistic tone, Dirk and I are in agreement that we should not try to give a linear, Point A to Point B, historical treatment of mat riding. Rather, we should focus on the ethereal nature of what it feels like to be on a mat in the ocean. Of course, your footage and input will help shape its destiny. But, striving for the intangibles that are the foundation of our passion is both a lofty and worthy goal. Dirk believes that there should be a website/forum dedicated to this project, and the participants will have to register with their full names in order to post. This is probably a structure that is called for in the post-modern internet world. Anyway, that’s kind of where things stand as of now. Your further thoughts are welcome…
P.S. I have no idea what "post-modern" means. I just like saying it...:)
I'm a bit surprised by how exciting this project has become. I keep thinking about it, and the ideas keep gushing up -- it's such a fruitful dimension. Sometimes I'm pretty articulate, but other times (like right now) my mind is racing faster than I can compose sentences, so bear with me a while and I'll lay things out clearly over time.I'll have the website running in another day or so, basically just a blog to keep the world informed, a discussion forum for us to wrangle thru the process together, and a method to aggregate the footage. The world hardly needs another blog and forum, but it's the easiest way for me to focus the intelligence and creativity of the members worldwide and guide it into a movie. I'll be keeping track of a lot of disparate elements that way. But also, I think that it's essential that every collaborator has a legitimate sense of ownership and that each contribution is a part of the solution, and I believe that's achieved by working together in an open forum. The project is open to anyone who wants to contribute, and I'll spell that out as well as I can on the front of the blog.There are costs involved, but we can keep them low, spread them out over time and space, absorb them into our regular surfing lives, and overcome them with creative passion. We have a huge advantage in that we're already motivated by an intrinsic fascination with surfmats. The incentive to make a movie about our peculiar and wonderful form of play is perhaps a mystery waiting to be solved. But I have no doubt that it's a real force, a fuel for productive creativity, and this is our chance to act on it.If you're a shooter, start getting some footage. If you're a matter, hook up with a cameraman. The work, once it's set in motion, will feed itself and the project will grow.I hope your ideas are burbling as much as mine. I can't wait to hear about them!
Now that Dirk has so graciously offered to be our producer/director, I would like nominate PG as title namer, with ultimate decision making capability in this regard. Does anyone second the motion?
Why not save up suggested names and vote on the title? A poll could go on the new site.Might also be worth waiting til it's finished... You never know what inspiration will come up in the making.G
This is Dirk's baby. He makes the choice of title when he feels the time is right.:)
I picked "matmovie" as a name for the project because it was descriptive but generic, but that's just a husk that the butterfly will soon shed. The film in our heads deserves to be named something more lyrical and evocative. Let's give it time, and entertain a slew of suggestions for a while; I'll make that a topic on the forum. No doubt PG's wise influence will resonate thru the final decision : )
Fair enough, Mister Dirk it is!
Alrighty, I got the framework in place at matmovie.com. There's a blog (with no commenting as of yet), and a forum (with no categories yet). But you're welcome to jump all over it, get your self registered, and I'll continue to flesh it out over the next few days. Then it's all yours.There's a big Fiesta in my town over the next 5 days, and I'll be occupied filming some of the events. But during the interims, I'll attend to the site, so your registration approvals will happen asap.
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