22-year-old pro surfer Chippa Wilson and 21-year-old filmmaker Riley Blakeway are two peas in a pod: They are both blossoming Australians with loads of talent to offer. They also love to have all the fun one can have in their early twenties when traveling the globe. They are on the precipice of doing great things in their respective professions—whether it be together or separate. Their latest collaborative effort comes in the way of a profile piece on Chippa called NOW, an Analog moving picture project. Who better to divulge wisdom on it than filmer/director, and Chippa’s good mate, Mr. Riley Blakeway himself.—Ryan Brower
How long have you been working on this project with Chippa?
Riley: We promised ourselves from the start we would only spend six months on this thing. A lot of guys are going out and putting two years into a movie and that is so not us—we just wanted to make something way less serious and have a good time doing it. We started in March and we’re just finishing up shooting now. I’m just fortunate enough to be able to work with a surfer that can fill a section in one or two surfs.
What have been some of the hurdles or speedbumps along the way?
The biggest problem we had was the amount of partying we did. We would have come close to going out more times than we filmed. We’re actually a horrible influence on each other. Chippa has some of the worst hangover’s I have ever seen, so a lot of the time we wouldn’t surf until late afternoon, or not at all even. When you’re traveling the world with one of your good friends it’s hard not to make the most of it. That said, we always get the job done. When it’s time to work we work, it’s just way more relaxed that way.
Chippa’s managed to stay under the radar until recently. Why do you think that is?
Mainly because the kid is so damn humble. It seems to me like he’s always let his surfing do the talking and when you come from a small town, sometimes that just ain’t good enough. From another perspective, people are only just starting to appreciate this kind of surfing in the past few years. When Chip was growing up if you weren’t winning comps you were unknown. He’s also pretty much doubled his ability since we started filming together a couple years ago.
Is the big spin the craziest thing you’ve seen Chippa pull?
The Biggie was one of our favorite clips from the project. We both love skate style airs. Would have been good if he landed one of the ones he was doing 4-feet above the lip though. He came so close on some pretty wild ones.
Where do you think he ranks among today’s modern aerialists?
In my opinion he is the most technically advanced aerial surfer on the planet. He’s also one of the most consistent.
So what truly can we expect from this project?
Basically the movie is about living and having a good time. What a gay cliche, I know, but I think this is what’s lacking in surfing right now. I’m so sick of parallel dolly tracks, ambient sound folly, and dramatic introduction climaxes. Making something visually pleasing is important, but making people stoked on surfing is what it’s all about! I guess the film is going to have a pretty strong skate vibe to it. We pretty much aimed to only bring in surfers with a bit of personality and all round fun guys [Dion Agius, Warren Smith, Thom Pringle, and Ben Goodwin]. Nothing too serious, just fun!
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