Q&A with Modern Collective Director Kai Neville

30 11 2009

Years from now we might look back and say Kai Neville is the man who changed surfing. His film, Modern Collective, may be the vehicle that propels a new generation of surfers to heights that seemed unimaginable 10 years ago. After completing a trek across the U.S. two weeks ago, he’s is back in Australia after premiering the film across his home continent. Kai talks to Nugable about the process of making the film, Jordy Smith’s performance, his liver and ASP judges.—Nug

So you are back in Australia after premiering Modern Collective across the States. How did that go?
Couldn’t have gone any better. I organized the L.A. premiere so things were pretty wild right up to the first screening. After the bass dropped and the movie played through we jumped straight on the party program. Me and the boys went to around five premieres over the next week. It was non stop. All the crowds were hooting and that made us psyched so we watched the movie right through around eight times. Good to be home now… the liver needed some rest.

What goals did you have in the process of making this film and did you accomplish them?
I just wanted to showcase how these guys actually surf. What you see is what you get. We would film a session and try keep the continuity from start to finish in the edit. I love making surf films and wanted to make Modern Collective still amping by nature with an enjoyable location feel. No interviews or anything too setup (except the intro titles). Pretty much just cruise with the boys and document this unique group.

Everybody seems to be really enjoying the film. Especially the kids. Is that the true test?
I’m stoked to hear everyone is enjoying it. Youth is the target audience. I want to get them amped. Hopefully the next crop will feed off these guys and just try ridiculous shit. You hear some of the older crew complaining there is too many airs… but they should know that’s what we are about. Rocking up to some beachie and just trying the biggest punts. If you want to see perfect barrels don’t watch this movie. There are a few nice pits but riding the tube isn’t exactly something new in surfing.

When did you become interested in filmmaking?
At around 15 I started taking film class at school and eventually combined film with my love for surfing.

Surfing’s Travis Ferre called you the Guy Ritchie of surfing. I may be way off base but I thought I saw some Coppola influence. What filmmakers do you look up to?
(Laughs) That is pretty rad. I just see myself as a surf filmmaker. If people see some technical aspects that may relate to the likes of Ritchie and Coppola that’s cool. Obviously Lockstock and Snatch have been an influence, the editing especially. I like the films of Sofia Coppola, David Fincher, Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson, Tarantino to name a few.

The opening sequence and the editing were fantastic. The music was eclectic and fitting. Do you consider yourself an auteur?
I filmed, edited, directed the soundtrack basically covered all aspects of the film, so I guess in some ways I could be considered an auteur.

I was amazed by Jordy’s surfing in the film. Some are calling it the best performance in a surf film ever. Thoughts?
Best performance I have seen this year. He is going loony!

How involved in the filmmaking process were the surfers? Did Jordy, Mitch, Dion, Dane, and the boys give you a lot of feedback?
I tried to get them involved as much as I could… locations, angles, music. I would send edits over the web to try get feedback from the boys. Hard to get feedback though as the guys are so busy. Wave selection is key. I don’t want to use something in the movie they aren’t happy with.

I imagine every kid with a surfboard will now be hucking and spinning after seeing MC. Should they send doctor’s bills for broken ankles to you or Jordy?
(laughs) Yeah get out and punt… send bills to Jordy though, not me.

Will Modern Collective change surfing?
I hope so. I really want to paddle out and see groms trying crazy shit.

Can you do surf fans across the world a favor and send a copy of the film to all of the ASP judges?
They can’t tell a reverse from a rodeo. They should really study new moves… also the commentators. I piss my pants with some of the names they throw around on the webcast.

Are you working on a follow up?
Not right now, but something might drop in the distant future.

Modern Collective is available now on iTunes for just $8.99.


Transworld Surf to Re-Produce Surfing Mag in its Entirety

25 11 2009

Today it was announced Transworld Surf will forgo all original editorial and produce a magazine identical to Surfing Magazine every month.

It was a logical step in the evolution of the 10-year-old magazine which was lambasted online recently for “poaching” Surfing’s cover photo this month.

The move will save millions and put them on the path to profitability by 2212.

Yesterday, Surfing’s Assistant to the Assistant Photo Editor Jimmy “Jimmicane” Wilson posted a rant on Likebitchin.com titled “Jimmy Wilson is Used to this Bullshit.

In the post Wilson said, “This blatant lack of respect and order in surf photography will eventually lead to the downfall of professional surf photographers and also may eventually spell the end of surf magazines altogether.”

“It’s true,” admitted Transworld Surf Editor-In-Chief Chris Cote. We have been living in the editorial closet so to speak for years. It’s time to come out. We aren’t copying them though. Our generation calls it sampling. If Kayne West samples an R&B classic he’s considered a genius. How is this any different? Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long to notice the similarities. Surfers are stupid really. But if we throw in a few shots of scantly-clad females no one notices.”

Cote said the February issue won’t be an exact replica. “It just wouldn’t be Transworld without a Broism or two. Like this one. What do you call a Bro who wears no condom…someone who likes to go Ruff Ryder style? Give up? A Teddy Brosevelt.”

Breaking News: Billabong Buys Swell

23 11 2009

At Nugable breaking news isn’t really our modus operandi but as far as I know we are first on this one. Details are still a little sketchy but according to my  source Australian surfwear giant Billabong has purchased Swell.com.

Over the years, Billabong has built quite the dossier with brands like Element, Von Zipper, Honolua Surf Company, Kustom, Palmers Surf, Nixon, Xcel,  Sector 9 and DaKine brands all under its corporate umbrella.

No financials have been disclosed yet and it’s unclear what this means for the 10-year-old online and catalog surf retailer, but one can only assume they will no longer sell non-Billabong brands. Additionally, the timing is curious, since most retailers make or break their year during the holiday season.

One thing is for certain, they should have a large selection of flannel.

The Roundup: Sand on the Deriere Edition

21 11 2009


The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks this week in the world of surfing. If you have any suggestions, links, tips or just want to send me a birthday gift, email me at nugable@gmail.com

Alana Blanchard won the first event of the Vans Triple Crown. Suck on that Anna Kournikova. (Vans Triple Crown)

Andy Irons knows a little something about world title showdowns in Hawaii. He lays down the scoop to Derek Rielly. (Stab)

Perhaps you’ve been hiding under a rock or have been on a week-long drinking binge? Here’s the trailer to Who is Job. Now in HD. (JOBtube)

Jimmy Wilson is in Puerto Rico shooting Surfing Magazine’s Swimsuit Edition. Lucky bastard. (Super Spectacular Adventures)

According to this map Ludacris’ ho’s to area codes ratio isn’t all that impressive. (Major League Jerk)

Is that a coffee bean in your afro? Buttons Kalauhikalani has launched a coffee line. (Sean Davey)

Here’s the invitees to the 25 anniversary of the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau. Let’s hope there’s a swell to run it this year. (ASL)

Joel Parkinson talks about the pressure and pleasure of fighting for that ever-elusive title. (Joel Parkinson’s Blog)

In the interest of equal time, you can buy Tim Baker’s book about Mick Fanning here. (Mick’s Blog)

Westside Santa Cruz surfer Ken “Skindog” Collins has a new web site. (Skindog)

A Sanuk store at Downtown Disney? What the…Hey, when Skechers basically rips off your shoe that’s really a sandal, you know things are good. (Boardistan)

Former longboard champ Joey Hawkins looks for redemption after an arrest for allegedly possessing methamphetamines and carrying a loaded 9 mm. (OC Register)

Foto Feature: Matty Thomas

20 11 2009

Matty Thomas is California-based photographer who’s been shooting for more than 20 years. He once held the photo editor postion at Water. I’ve known Matty forever. He’s a super nice guy and a good surfer too. Recently, he returned from the European leg of the CT with some good shots and some great stories. Dave Mailman was even nice enough to let him crash on his couch.

Matty just launched a new site. Hey said he’ll be updating it with a lot more shots in the near future. You can check it out here. When he’s not globetrotting and shooting photos you can usually find him surfing at the mouth of the Santa Ana River Delta.

Matty Foto

Video of the Week: Alana Blanchard

19 11 2009

Kauai’s Alana Blanchard is a Hawaiian jewel and a ASP Women’s World Tour rookie. She has been a Nugable fave ever since she showed us how to properly execute the frontside bottom turn. Enjoy.

The Internet is Making Me Stupid

17 11 2009

Admitting you have a problem is the first step. The Internet is making us stupid. Everyone has a friend who constantly sends them useless emails. You know the guy who CC’s everyone he knows two to three times a day with bogus information aimed at people who think the liberal media is destroying the fabric of America? Ironically, these same people will believe anything that shows up in their email inbox. Retards.

Then there’s spam. I hate that too. And Twitter. And Facebook. Really, I could care less if you are putting the kids to bed or plotting to kill your neighbor’s dog. I really don’t need the update. Thanks. The Internet is a gigantic waste of time (except this site of course). It’s useless. I’ll bet 90 percent of the people who just read that last sentence are at work. Wasting precious work hours. The Internet is good for two things—porn and wasting work hours. No wonder the Japanese make better cars. They aren’t on Redtube and checking swell charts all fucking day.

Screw the Internet. I’m dusting off my Encyclopedia Britannica collection and getting rid of my high-speed connection. I might even subscribe to a newspaper. It’s probably considered a charitable contribution now and a tax write off. Additionally, I am going to kill the next person over the age of 13 who uses the phrase LOL. Spell that shit out motherfucker.

Let’s take a look at what we’ve “learned” recently on the Internet. Shall we?

-We found water on the moon and locals are pissed because Surfer Magazine already exposed three perfect pointbreaks.

-Barack Obama is a Muslim who wants to turn us into socialists. He wrote the forward to Mein Kampf and had a three-way with A-Rod and Kate Hudson last night.

-Now underground surf writer Lewis Samuels is in Tavarua counting barrels with Billabong executives. And he’s winning.

-If I boycott Exxon and Mobil, gas will drop back to 1988 prices, and Notre Dame will win the BCS Championship.

-The world title race between Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson has become so fierce their dogs aren’t even hanging out anymore.

-The People of Walmart have outstanding fashion sense. Billabong flannels are on sale now.

-I can gain six inches and roll my cock down the stairs like a Slinky in two easy steps.

-I met this super-hot girl online. She’s from Farmville, wherever that is.

-We finally found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Saddam Hussein is alive and well and is the favorite to play Magnum P.I. in a new film being distributed by the Weinstein Company. Carmine “The Big Ragu” Ragusa is pissed because he didn’t get the part.

-Osama bin Laden works at a 7-Eleven in Los Angeles and can’t make coffee for shit.

-Illegal immigrants are going to kidnap your children and make them gang-banging strawberry farmers and/or customer service representatives in India.

-Tommorow will be the swell of the decade. Magicseaweed, Surfline, Wave Watch and the guy down the street who doesn’t have to work is telling you so.

-French fries are laced with a genetically engineered drug that makes you gay and speak with a Massachusetts accent.

-The disposed prince of Nigeria has great investment ideas.

-It was recently announced Sarah Palin can not only read and write, but she also wrote a book.

Modern Collective will win an Oscar, a Palme d’Or and a Sundance award. The trailer for Billabong’s Still Filthy will win the Surfer Poll.

-I qualified for a great new mortgage today. I don’t have any idea what that means, but the payment on a 500K loan is just $13 a month. I can afford that.

-I can buy Xanex and Vicodin online. (Ok, I’m looking into this anyway.)—Nug