Elliot Leboe, undefeated champion of Innersection filmmakers.
“Talent in front of the lens,” says Elliot Leboe, the soft-drawn man from Maui who has never lost an Innersection (okay, there’s only been two). “It sure makes it easier to edit with.”
The island of Maui certainly isn’t running short on surf talent. From longtime underdogs like Hank Gaskell and Kai Barger to potential next-big-things like Tanner Hendrickson, Dege O’Connell and Ian Gentile…the list goes on and on around here. Something in the water, we suspect, and blowing on the wind.
Still, Innersection is based on undiscovered talent, so for Leboe to dominate both years with undeniably worthy sections, it’s obvious he knows what he’s doing. With the online freesurfing challenge just a few weeks away, we figured we ought to ask:
YAH: So what was the difference between the two wins?
LEBOE: With Matt [Meola], I knew he already had the footage for a legimate edit. Albee [Layer] entered the same year, but he didn’t have as much footage. It felt like one of those edits you’re building up just to get enough length. This year, Albee really got focused. Our first session together was at this insane left that rarely breaks – it’s the first clip of the section and right after I got that I knew we were on the right track.
What’s Albee like?
He’s the first guy I ever filmed that kicked out of a wave and flipped me off. He’s so amped to get the clip that when he doesn’t he gets really frustrated. He’s had some ups and downs in his career, but this year he really put a lot of heart into his surfing and it paid off. For me, someone who’s willing to paddle out going after a specific clip, it’s really big. You have to be motivated, because you can spend a lot of days shooting and not get anything at all.
Are those really his trophies he burns in the section?
Yep. Those are his trophies. We talked about doing that on the first edit, but then decided to hold back until he made it into the movie. The theme really applies to Albee. It’s who he is. And that’s important as far as getting viewers to relate to his surfing.
Are you gonna 3-pete? Who’s the next best potential from Maui?
I haven’t even thought about that, really. There are so many talented guys around here, but as far as a young, highly underrated kid, I’d have to say it would be Ian Gentile. The $10,000 filmmaker prize for each round is going to motivate some filmmakers I think. That’s a lot of money for an edit.
What did winning Innersection do for your career?
I’ve been working for Billabong full-time since Matt’s section. It’s really just a great outlet for filmmakers who have talent to film but nowhere to go with their footage. It’s a place to launch a career. And Matt took good care of me after his win, so that was pretty good as well.
[*Leboe would like to acknowledge the seven other filmers who contributed to Albee’s $100,000 win: Dylan McNeill, Jason Potavianco, Chris Thompson, Dan Norkunas, Ivan Florence, Dean Christianer, Justin Clark]
Year Three of Innersection begins June 1st.