Back In Action

WormNoserideJust finished up “Weekends” featuring Nora, Worm, Mele, and Margaux.  Thanks to everyone that watched it and the kind words and support.  I hadn’t been filming very much in the last year or two.  Maybe I was a little burnt out or just needed a break.  The last video I did was Worm, which took almost a year to finish.  A year for a four minute video!  The problem was that we got one amazing session and then felt that we had to live up to that caliber of waves for the rest of the sessions we needed to fill out the video.  However, we kept getting skunked repeatedly.  It was a bit discouraging.

I also suffered from something of a burnout in terms of a stressful feeling that each video I made would have to outdo the last.  Better waves, better surfing, better skating.  I don’t know.  It’s similar to what Dane Reynolds wrote about in his description of his recent short film “Sampler”.  He felt like he had to keep outdoing his last effort, and it just led to the inability to even do anything.

man… expectations, what a stoke killer. every time you do something, the expectation is that whatever you do next has to be better. do you understand how unsustainable that is? the pressure caused by this principle has stressed me out, burned me out, i eventually cracked, hid out, dropped out, turned away… but then it get’s to a point where you’re just like ‘fuck it.’ that’s when i’ve done my best surfing. when there is a complete absence of consideration for what people expect.

I read this and I was like….that’s exactly why I don’t want to start any more projects right now.  I felt like I had to meet some lofty expectations.  So I took it down a notch.  I made a silly session edit with Sara Taylor (Interlude No. 1) and decided I just needed to not care if every video was a Film Festival Entry.  I just needed to start shooting again and having fun with it….and who cares if people think it’s necessarily the BEST.

I thought Sampler was one of the best surf shorts I’d ever seen.  Hell, it was better than Cluster (Sampler was apparently all “B Sides”…shots that didn’t make the cut for Cluster).  I don’t think Dane Reynolds is capable B Side surfing anyway, but that’s beside the point.

So, Weekends was an attempt to just shoot the girls over the course of a couple days, and just use THAT.  Don’t try to go crazy and get a “better” session next time.  Don’t worry about the edit too much, just have fun.  Try out a different color scheme.  Try an edit with zero slow motion.  Just do it for myself first.

My favorite surf videos are the ones that make me want to go surfing.  It doesn’t have to be the best surfing, best filming, best editing.  I mean, those are nice and all, but if I don’t leave the video feeling like I want to go surf then it wasn’t successful in my mind.  So I want to make videos that make people want to get out there and surf and skate.

It certainly helps that I have some of the most talented females in surfing and skating at my disposal, and coincidentally they are some of the goofiest people I know.  They’re always down to go out and have a good time.

Here’s to hoping that this will get me going on some more projects.  Some will probably be better than others.  But I’m excited to go out and try some new styles and get going on some ideas I’ve had.  Stay tuned.


Super Blood Moon

After researching where and when the super moon eclipse would be here in San Diego it became clear that the moon would be rising while already under partial eclipse.  I thought this would be amazing to see.  Sometimes it’s hard to get a good view of the eastern horizon here in San Diego due to the mountains and hills and the haze that can sometimes crop up.  So some friends and I decided to find a high point to watch the moonrise and the eclipse.  So we headed to nearby Cowles mountain to watch and shoot photos.



Noosa Surf Film Fest

“Worm” has been officially selected to screen at the Noosa Surf Film Festival.  We are super honored, and stoked for the opportunity!  If you’re in Australia October 23 and 24, check it out!


June Gloom

Things have been a bit quiet here at but I’m hoping to start filming again soon.  Took a much needed break from finishing up Worm, and also shooting and directing two short commercials for Pizza My Heart which both star Wingnut.


Went out for a surf today with Worm at Churches and the sun made a brief but very welcome appearance.  June gloom has been hitting So Cal with a vengeance!  Can’t wait for actual summer, which is generally delayed here in San Diego.


San Diego Surf Film Festival ’15

I’m happy to announce that my most recent short “Worm” has been officially selected to screen at the San Diego Surf Film Festival this year.  I’m extremely honored and thankful to be included this year, and I hope to see you there!

My film will be screened Friday, May 22nd during SET 4, from 8-11pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.


Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 5.06.05 PM

Water Housing

Got a new water housing for my Canon T3i.  The first two sessions I took it out it was cloudy and difficult to shoot.  Finally got a decent session today.  Still figuring out the best ways to shoot from the water, although I like using the 35mm lens (it’s a crop sensor so closer to 50mm in reality).


Kelly Nicely having some fun


Kelly Nicely with a great 10….too bad it was far away and the focus seems off


It was harder to line up for the shortboard shots. Here’s Sara Taylor about to hit the lip. I was too close though and had to dive before she made the hit.

Encinitas Thunderstorms

Encinitas was witness to a rare band of summer thunderstorms this morning.  I was awakened by the loudest bang of thunder I’ve ever heard in my almost 6 years of living in So Cal.  I have seen lightning maybe once or twice since moving here, but this summer I’ve witnessed three days of legit thunderstorms.  The weather is pretty weird this year.




Women Of The Seven Seas Surf Film Festival

A little late here, but I wanted to update that Summer Salad played at the Women Of The Seven Seas Surf Film Festival in Rockaway, New York.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend, but I did last year and it was an amazingly fun event.  Special thanks to Davina Grincevicius for reaching out to me.

Here’s an interview she did with me for the festival:


Van And Taylor at Pipes

Met up with Van and Taylor at Pipes in Encinitas for a short session in the tiny peelers

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

Surfing Storyteller’s Dinner


About a month or two ago I was emailed by Ari Lurie of the High Line Surf Film Festival regarding a dinner he was putting on for filmmakers and photographers.  It sounded very cool, and I was all in.   The only thing I knew at the time was that it would be covered by The Surfer’s Journal.  Recently he’s been revealing who the other attendees are, and I’m floored by the lineup.  Taylor Steele?  Art Brewer?  Chris Burkard?  Jeff Divine?  These are people I’ve looked up to since I started surfing.  Taylor Steele’s videos got me into the idea of making surf films in the first place.  I remember going to a screening of The Drifter at La Paloma when I first moved to California and I waited until the end so he could sign my copy of the DVD.  I was star struck.

I’m so honored to be a part of this event, and I’m even starting to feel nervous about it!

I’ll write about the event here after it happens.  In the meantime, check out the High Line Festival Of Surfing