If you missed the first part of the interview, click here.
Where have you fallen short?
It’s been tough to get the voting system right — but, I guess you’d find the same complaint anywhere in surfing. It’s a subjective sport. We knew this was going to be an issue from the start, so we just jumped in with the idea that we’d evolve as we went. We really want “the people” to be able to decide who’s in the movie, but sometimes “the people” aren’t the most accurate filter of good surfing and good filmmaking (like when the crowd goes wild for a flyaway pull out). Often they just root for the home team, their countryman or their buddy, and don’t really take the time to watch the sections and pick out the best surfing and filmmaking. And if we left it up to ratings or views or something, there’d always be someone trying to beat the system. So, as a result, Innersection’s voting system is a bit complex at first, where ideally it should be simple. In the end, our main goal is that it’s as fair as it can possibly be, and that the best sections make the movie.
What were some of the unexpected issues that have arisen thus far?
Making movies is all about solving problems. Problems arise, and you find a way to overcome them. Any filmmaker will tell you it’s hard finding the funding to make movies these days, or that it’s tough juggling all the pieces of a project like this on top of normal life. These probably weren’t unexpected issues. The thing we totally overlooked in creating this — which is so obvious now — but we developed like our own dream contest, but we’re not allowed to enter it. We’re stuck doing the managerial work while the filmmakers and surfers get to be creative. We’ve talked about giving Taylor a wild card, but then it would be too weird if he somehow won. And if he can’t win, then what surfer would want to work with him? Catch 22. But we’re working on ways of filtering Innersection stuff into some more creative offshoots for ourselves.
Why aren’t there more views?
It just hasn’t been a priority. I mean, to technically answer that question I’d say because we make you watch the full vid for it to count, because we host all the content on our own site so it can’t go viral and because we pull the sections after a week to keep the clips fresh for the DVD release. Sometimes we talk about the need to pump these numbers because that’s all marketing people can sink their teeth into, but my eyes just glaze over. Meola’s section got a 100,000 views on vimeo in one week when we let it go viral and everyone picked it up. We’d probably be way better off spreading our content all around, but then it’s tough to pull it back. It’s hard showing stuff off and at the same time protecting it for an exciting DVD release. In the end, we’re more concerned about quality projects than view counts.
Is there a certain coolness factor that it’s missing? Certain surfers it’s missing?
Oh, you’re asking about Dane? Right? We’d love to see him show up some round, but so would everyone else. He’s probably pulled in a lot of directions, being the focal-point of everyone else’s media attentions. Maybe someday he’ll break off a session for the cause — we’re as excited by his surfing as everyone else, but we know how busy those guys get. It’s rad when the big name guys enter sections ‘cause it legitimizes the project to a larger audience and also reminds us why they are The Big Names. Those guys are the best. But the big name guys are also pulled in a lot of different directions. There’s a cushy spot on a team movie begging, so why risk competing with a bunch of underdog scrappers on Innersection? They’ve already made it. We understand that situation well. Completely valid. We’re trying to fix some of that in next year’s system…because we really do want to have these top surfers in the mix of sections. Not to mention the top filmmakers, who get to work with the big-name surfers. We’re evolving.
Return tomorrow for the final installment, and we learn what plans Taylor Steele and Nathan Myers have for Innersection. [Hint: They’re diversifying their portfolio]