As every surfer across the globe will know, living in a city comes with it’s consequences – often missing the swell and the minimal daylight hours to meet deadlines, watching your mates score back home while you’re sat at a computer desk and, in my case, clicking away on a mouse in the edit suite far away from the ocean.
As a film maker, my job allows me to lose myself in my imagination, and this is what inspired the film.
From This City is based around that need and desire to escape to that place of solace, the ocean. Even if only for a few minutes, even if only in your imagination. Every surfer has mind surfed from a beach, and this is mind surfing from the city.
Given the sentiment of the film, we wanted it to have a dark, personal and isolating feel, so getting the locations right was vital. We began filming in late November in 2014 in Bristol, under the M32 carriageway entering the city. Our chosen surf locations dotted around South Wales and the Porthcawl area, with the refinery as a backdrop and murky brown waters, contrasted perfectly with the harsh city feel.
Each location had to feel as though it could be a part of a dream sequence, so we only shot during dark and wintery days. Luckily for us living and surfing in England and Wales, there were plenty of days to chose from, but the torrential rain and wind added certain challenges.
We continued to film over the next year, taking time in between a busy shoot schedule to pinch the odd moments of afternoon light and waves. Given we filmed this across the four seasons, the real challenge was finding those days with similar light and surf, then condensing all the footage down into a two minute short.