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Entering The Zone
Welcome to an alternate surfing dimension. One where creativity and imagination are boundless, and the vicissitudes of life pale in comparison to the utter joy of experiencing the moment. Where surfers entwine with their environment, to create, and express themselves, in a place called THE ZONE.
I have been working with my mate, an American filmmaker named Jack Coleman, on his latest independent project – The Zone Surf Movie – and on the 14th July 2016 we had the world premiere at the Brunswick Picture House, NSW. What we had intended to be a 6 month project turned into a 3 year adventure, through Costa Rica, Mexico, California, South Africa and Australia, showcasing an array of unique surfers from different walks of life who share an aptitude to morph effortlessly into their aquatic surroundings. Jack also has an amazing ability to pair his imagery, shot both digitally and on Super 8 film, with a surreal soundtrack to enhance the viewing experience. It’s one of my favourite surf films ever and not just because I am extremely biased!
The title, The Zone, refers to that state of being when the planets are aligned in your favour. The right place at the right time. When you’re in your natural element, doing what you love, focused on nothing but that moment of existence. Through artistic and often erratic movement, the surfers ride unique surf craft and draw lines which captivate all who behold, becoming one with the ocean and the environment. They optimise being in ‘The Zone’ and their ways of being attracted Jack and I to find them and capture their abilities.

The actual premiere evening was a success. We sold out the 200 person capacity theatre which had newly been reopened and renovated since the 70’s.  We were also able to screen another film project before The Zone, called Soft Spaceman Vol. One, which is the world first “softtop” movie. Compiled over summer in Australia, Vol. One was a throwback to the home movies you’d make as a kid, poorly shot and edited, but extremely funny and amateur in nature. Nothing serious, all fun!
Both these projects were a hoot and to screen them both on the same night to an audience of people who wanted to be there was a surreal experience. I stood at the back of the theatre with Jack and just watched the crowd mainly, had a quiet chat. It was cool, we’d both seen the movies hundreds of times so this time, watching the reactions was the treat.

I think the two loudest cheers on the night were for my girlfriend’s two wave section in Soft Spaceman and a particularly dramatic wave in The Zone where Derrick Disney navigates his was through a solid tube while not only standing on his feet but also using his hand as a balancing point behind him on the board to form somewhat of a human tripod. It was outrageous and both moments were exactly the type of surfing that I like to watch, rather than the run of the mill overproduced surf blockbusters. I think there is a changing of the paradigm in surfing where the emphasis is shifting from performance and ripping the waves the shreds to have fun and just doing whatever feels good. Why stand up if you’re having fun lying down?
Now that these projects are done, we have a quick time to breathe and refocus. Jack has gone home to California for the American summer and I’m hibernating the winter in Byron Bay. We have plenty of ideas for new film projects and the waves don’t stop breaking so we will see what the next trip is soon enough. 

All photo’s thanks to Jack Coleman.
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