Break Line: Stephanie Gilmore

Todd Cole Hits the Ocean With the World Champion Surfer to the Sounds of Liars

Slicing her way through breaking waves, professional surfer Stephanie Gilmore stars in Trestles Forever, filmed on the Pacific Ocean by NOWNESS regular Todd Cole.  The 24-year-old Gilmore rose to international prominence in 2007 when she seized the Women’s World Title for the first time, an award she has regained in four of the five years since. “I love working with people from outside the world of surfing,” says the New South Wales native. “It’s so refreshing to see their take on what we do every day.” SoCal-based Cole turned to the famously ocean-adept cinematographer Sonny Miller to swim after Gilmore with a 16mm camera locked into some custom-made underwater gear and loaded with black-and-white reversal stock. “I wanted to create something emotionally true and elemental,” explains the filmmaker. “Light, water, and a strong, talented, beautiful woman, all dancing around.” Overflowing with saltwater bubbles and chiaroscuro the film is set to “The Exact Color of Doubt”, a new track by LA band Liars from their latest album WIXIW. “I’ve had the pleasure of surfing with Devendra Banhart, Megapuss and Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer Gregory Rogrove,” says singer Angus Andrew. “They’re real surfers—none of that poser Beach Boys crap!”


The Trestles, San Diego County.

Shoot duration

One day; a few hours in the morning, then off on a boat looking for clear pools of water, and then another hour of surfing at sunset.

Number of waves surfed


Number of surf choreographers used

One: Sonny Miller.

Two Arri 16mm film cameras in custom-made underwater housings.

Food consumed on set

Bagels and cream cheese, chips, guacamole and salsa.

Drink consumed on set

Water, coconut water and some tequila at the end of the day.

Approximate calories burned surfing


Surfboard used

5’9 DHD (Darren Handley Designs).

Kris Zero.

 and makeup
Angelina Cheng.


Bikinis by Zero, Maria Cornejo and Cali Dreaming. Wetsuit by Quiksilver.

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Conversations (3)

  • Loza
    Amazing video so beautifuly shoot, so hypnotic !
    • Posted By Loza
    • November 03, 2012 at 11:12AM
    • Share Comment:
  • Duarte Catela
    Amazing video. Music and surfing are my 2 passions and it really is incredible when both meet. I had to post this at my blog: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
  • james mccash
    seems to stick after 5 seconds

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  • NOW-IST of the Moment
    NOW-IST of the Moment

    Photographer, Filmmaker and Arbiter of the Cowboy Thang

    Todd Cole, Los Angeles

    The “bad” habit you have no intention of breaking:
    A little tequila more often than not.

    Your most extravagant purchase:
    Martin Margiela suits.

    The work of art you would most like to own:
    A James Turrell Skyspace or a Robert Irwin installation.

    The place in the world you feel most at home:
    Most places in the American West.

    Your workplace essentials:
    Sunlight, white walls and some Christian Fennesz records.

    Your celebrity crush:
    Cate Blanchett. 

    (Read More)

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