Ahead of our exclusive screenings of The Seawolf, we decided to catch up with director Ben Gulliver to find out more about the project.
There have been a lot of incredible cold water surf movies over the last couple years, what were your goals for the movie and what sets it apart?
The goal for the movie was to make a cold water surf movie that was purely surfing and very little storytelling or emphasis on exploration and adventure. I think I have just seen so many versions of the same thing when it comes to surfing in cold and remote places. I think people get the idea by now. It’s cold. Bring a jacket and a wetsuit. You’ll be fine.
Tell me about the surfers in the film, how did the crew come together?
The crew is really just all guys I am friends with and are down to avoid crowds and try get good waves that aren’t blown out.
Chippa is obviously a legend. Good person, works hard, surfs insane and is as down to go to somewhere random and cold as he is to go to Macaronis.
Balaram is also just a solid dude who doesnt care about wearing a 5mm suit as long as it involves getting barrelled.
Noah and Pete are a couple of old Canadian boys who I’ve known the longest and worked really hard on this to get clips.
Cam Richards and Noah Wegrich I think are just starting to show everyone how good they are. I like their style on a board and the fact they are also willing to just commit to trips and try get clips in weird places. Kind of a rarity.
Finally Josh Mulcoy who is a newly acquired local in Canada and just is one of the most stand up guys I know. I wish he could have been on more trips but he is a family man and is busy a lot so I feel lucky to have even gotten handful of days with him. He really hates crowds. Everyone came together semi organically through friends and good timing.
We know there’s stuff from Scotland and Canada in there, can you tell me about some of the other locations you filmed in? Which was your favourite trip?
I have been trying my best to keep the locations kind of a secret in order to trigger peoples imagination a bit and also not blow out spots. People who are in tune will have no problem figuring out where most of the spots are or at least what country.
Basically every location is in the North Pacific or North Atlantic haha. Hard to say my favourite trip. We had a lot of laughs on all of them.
Were there some super hairy moments?
Not really. I high-centered a rental van once at 2am in the middle of a cold desolate wasteland. The boys pushed it out.
What were some of the logistical challenges?
Trying to align surfers schedules with swells is really difficult. Most of these guys have sponsors and managers booking them on projects all year round and because my film is directly associated with any sponsor it makes it difficult.
Do you feel like there’s still cold regions left to be explored?
There are so many good waves out there. We saw a lot of potential but…who wants to drive, hike and sit in the freezing cold for weeks on end to get them?
Obviously there are so many places around the world, Britain, Ireland, and a lot of Northern Europe included, where most of the year it’s pretty fickle and cold, is the goal of the film to get people in these places inspired to go out and explore?
The only goal was to make a film that was driven by getting clips the surfers were proud to share, in places we weren’t used to seeing. I didn’t want to focus on character or story I just wanted to find a cold water places with Indo like set ups and no one out.
Want to come and see the Seawolf as it was meant to be viewed, on the big screen in a room of fellow cold water frothers? We’ve got exclusive screenings happening in Newquay and Bristol. Find out more and grab tickets here before it’s too late.
Cover photo @marcuspaladino