Surfing’s most prolific filmmaker talks about premiering his long-awaited Rob Machado profile, The Drifter. —Nathan Myers
SURFING MAGAZINE: We heard that a hand-held bootleg appeared on YouTube after the Bali premier of The Drifter — how classic Indo is that?
TAYLOR STEELE: Yeah, in Bali you can buy all these pirated Hollywood movies where someone gets up and walks across the screen. They set up a cheap camera in the back of the theatre and just shoot the movie. So to have someone do that to our movie gives me mixed feelings. I like that people really want to get it out there like a big time movie. On the other hand, a lot of people worked hard to make this movie high production. I want everyone to see it with its proper colors and sound. [BTW: the YouTube version was rapidly removed.]
What was the weirdest thing that happened during the Japan premiers?
Japan is so weird and futuristic so it’s more like what was normal. I love how different it is there and the people are cool and respectful. The weirdest thing was doing a promo where Rob, Jon Swift and I went surfing and they videoed us. That doesn’t happen where I get videoed trying to shred. A lot of pressure to turn on one-foot waves. It was comedy. Luckily, Rob was there to get the clips for them.
Why is the US the last to see The Drifter premiers?
Well, the first show was at a Bali Film Festival and that makes perfect sense. [Editor’s note: The Drifter took first prize at the festival.] One of the movie’s main stars is the location. It was nice to have guys that helped on the movie that live in Indo see the film. Then, with everyone’s schedule it just worked out that we would go to Japan before the craziness starts in SoCal. With all the events in September going on Trestles, ASR & premieres, we decided to stay clear of that and release our own deal a bit later on. September 25th we will be showing it at the New York Surf Film Festival then it will be rolling through everywhere else soon after.