Shorts on Sundays: If in Doubt Paddle Out

A Deadpan Scandinavian Take On the Cult Keanu Reeves Surfing Movie Point Break

With news of a 2015 remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s cult 1990s buddy movie Point Break, surfer and filmmaker Andrew Blackman’s indie homage to the Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze crime capper is a serendipitous comic tale. “The way Point Break talks about surfing and the mysticism embodied by Swayze’s character Bodhi is so amusing,” says Blackman, whose short that follows a wannabe wave rider “If In Doubt Paddle Out” is an allegory of how the surfing subculture is portrayed in popular culture. “The character Thomas, played by Thomas Persson, is so profoundly phoney that all of his characteristics and traits are stolen.” Shot on location in Ericeira, Portugal, the Copenhagen-based New Zealander ensured his shooting schedule saw him in the ocean everyday. “I woke up in the dark to get a wave in before crew call, snuck away at lunch time and surfed after we wrapped until it got too dark,” says the director, who recently returned from a surf trip to the Catlins, on the South Island of New Zealand. “I was taken there by an old friend; a great surfer and a deeply spiritual guy. You could say the spirit of surfing took us there, or you could argue it was his 2010 Subaru Outback.”

Who are you: Keanu or Patrick Swayze?
Andrew Blackman:
Good question. Swayze on the beach, Keanu in the water (RIP Bodhi!).

Is surfing a way to get the girls or spiritual enlightenment?
For some people, me included, surfing is really addictive. Maybe this is what the kid in Point Break means when he tells Utah, “Surfing is the source man, swear to God it will change your life.”

What’s a ‘kook’?
I’ve heard a kook being described as someone who does not respect the surf-spot and/or others in the water. Someone who is unprepared to surf a certain wave and does not adhere to surfing etiquette.

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    Shorts on Sundays: My Friend Kills Time

    A Young Artist Slides Off the Grid in the First Installment of our New Film Series

    Crisp mornings and solitary fireside evenings punctuate My Friend Kills Time, a contemplative short from emerging Norwegian filmmaker Jakob Rørvik that portrays a young man's self-imposed exile in rural Britain. The work’s star is Thomas Duggan, a friend of the director and a design graduate from Central St. Martins who has made sets for London theatre company Shunt, as well as his own products and installations such as chandeliers made from test tubes, sofas from hemp and trays of crystal-forming liquids that catch the light as they transform. In Rørvik’s film, however, he appears as a handsome man with high cheekbones and plush lips who attempts to go about a daily routine in an isolated cabin, whittling down his character to its core. Rørvik’s sensitive narrative films include Scratch, which won the Best Fiction award at the Aubagne International Film Festival 2010. My Friend Kills Time marks a step towards a looser and more documentary form of storytelling for the director—and ushers in NOWNESS' “Shorts on Sundays” series, dedicated to premiering innovative work from emerging filmmakers. As Duggan’s protagonist builds a house of cards and watches them collapse or drums his fingers on the table to pass the hours, the only interruption is the occasional ring of his mobile phone, reminding him of the outside world. “I wanted to bridge something naturalistic and spontaneous with something poetic,” explains Rørvik of his process, which involved working with Duggan to draw out a fictional character. “The idea of not being around people and the hustle and bustle of London frightened me. Questioning that fear was my starting point.”

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    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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