The First Glimpse of Taylor Steele’s new film Castles in the Sky

posted by / News / April 20, 2010

Why write words when you can watch some of the most unique trips to grace the pages of SURFING Magazine come to life? Start getting excited. The world premiere is Tuesday May 4th at the Tribeca Theaters in New York City.

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  • Snore

    As much as I love the dreaminess of his movies, I’m tiring of the theme of layabout crusty over-privileged 1st world surfer blending in & being one with similarly crusty looking locals who are that way because of circumstance despite working themselves to the bone.
    They have nothing in common, there is no harmony, only the awkward state of two parties not knowing what the other is saying and sharing lots of polite smiles and pregnant pauses.
    Don’t gloss it over.

  • pete

    THANK GOD SOMEONE SAD IT. like having the travel budget to jet around the world to try and feel beat, down and out, beat, with the beat, the beat generation. rich kids from MA already did this. Bababooooeeee fa fa flooooey. howard stern

  • taino

    well, im still going to see it to watch surfing….not the theme.

  • ray

    Agreed with the post above. The hippie/drifter surf theme is over-played. Everyone is all happy making “friends” with the locals. I don’t buy it. It shows a tribe of people and then next 3 air reverses by some pro to a background of hippie jingles. Can you say over-used template?

  • TRB


    How should these privileged 1st world people travel around the world, disrespectfully? I travel a bit, not as much as these guys obviously, but I like to see other places and get psyched to go to other new places. What do you think the 3rd world locals would rather be happening, no one coming to visit and spending their 1st world money? I understand the friction and the unequal circumstances, but does that mean we shouldn’t travel and observe other cultures and learn what we can from them?

  • Ben

    I just hope we see some actual surfing. Sipping Jetstreams had some nice montages but too much non-surfing. I’m down for creativity, but people are throwing down $30 to see surfing.

  • O Boy

    Oh boy so original. More of the same old same old. It does look like high quality maybe the red camera. Taylor sure has improved from his momentum auto focus and auto iris days. Can we please get a differnt type of film, I mean come on already.

  • dave

    if this isn’t the type of movie you want to watch, then DONT watch it. seems like a pretty simple concept to me

  • Alexander

    looks real cool. cant wait to see it!! i defo think everyone should just chillout and appreciate the epic shots. like you kno its showing some of the culture of where theyre at and u kno i can dig that. id rather watch one of these “hippy” or “arty” films than some super agro thing with like shitty metal or punk music. haha

  • FLoatmeal

    I think this theme is overplayed, but that’s not Steele’s fault. This is obviously his style and I can promise you he’s not constantly at work, traveling, interviewing, and sitting on the shore watching/filming dope surf just because he wants to portray this “theme”.

    I do agree I’d love to see much more surfing than lifestyle and culture. When I’m watching a film I definitely want to either be learning or yearning to get out and do what it is I’m viewing. When I see constant 3 second flicks of old tribal people and kids and roads, it doesn’t arouse any thrill or emotion in me. But I do like seeing people rage with the locals or stuff that’s wild.

  • ray

    In my post above, I don’t mean any disrespect, but only fair criticism. Taylor Steele is the number one if not the top guy in putting together surf films, no doubt. My simple mind could not come up with the creative angles and vision that he has, but I just would like to see maybe something else. Something other than this predetermined “said adventure” into some country where some pro is laughing and body-surfing in between the main surfing parts. It is completely absurd and predictable.

  • Jesse

    Would you all rather see some kooks surfing these spots? Sounds like you’d be happier? I’d rather see these places surfed by the best surfers. Not some D grade movie at these spots with D grade surfers. Think about it. Dont be jealous!

  • Ray

    Congrats Jesse on reading into nothing.
    I never mentioned kooks surfing these spots. Are you trying to put words in my mouth? You seem to enjoy rattling cages with nothing in them. Hope that works out for you.

  • a

    WHAT the FUCK r u guys bitchin about???

    Video is for entertainment or learning. If ur not entertained by the beauty of some amazing places u may never be able to travel… than maybe u can learn something about the simplicity of life which is portrayed here???

    Yeah sure these prosurfers are mostly spoiled rich hippys, who i dont care too much to watch except in the water surfing. However id rather see them experiencing and respecting poor countries which is reality for the rest of the world than bein jackass americans partyin in Huntington and surfing Lowers.
    I travel a lot! and this type movie absolutely inspires me to get the fuck out of the ratrace. KEEP IT UP TAYLOR!!! i cant wait to see this!!!!!

  • ray

    Thanks for your insight. I was definitely interested in “partying in Huntington” and “surfing Lowers.” You have me pegged.

  • taylor steele

    Thanks everyone I like hearing all the different opinions on the movie. For those that hate this style tell me a style that you enjoy. Give me some ways to get better. I am open to ideas.

  • Chris Grow


    Thanks for dropping in on these message boards.

    I am excited for Castles because I really enjoyed Sipping but I think I understand where some of these guys grief is coming from.

    In all the Drifter previews and advertisements it looked and felt and sounded like Rob really did get overwhelmed and literally wandered around Indo for six months without anyone really knowing where he was.

    Some people in the surfing population (definitely myself) may have latched onto this idea a bit to literally and thought that Hurley really couldn’t find rob and his manager was panicking and his passport was lost and rob was off in a bush searching for answers to life in a life that really has no answers.

    I fell in love with this idea because it made it seem like even with sponsor contracts and travel budgets and a house on the hill above an okay reef break a guy who “lives the dream” could still have the same problems I do and freak out about life from time to time and end up in a puddle of mud in a weird jungle.

    I realize where I was wrong now because if it was just rob roughing it where would the fucking movie come from?

    But did we really need 6 guys following him and a red camera and “re-creations” of stuff that supposedly took place back when Rob was supposedly REALLY wandering on his own?

    Timmy Turner made Second Thoughts with a normal camera and made a movie about killing goats and getting staph – But I think it was a success because it was real.

    And I think thats what people above are complaining about when they reference Drifter or Castles or crusty over privledged pros doing 3 air reverses to hippy jingles in a world where there is no harmony between tribesmen and rich kids from Massachusetts. A lack of reality and an excess of storyline.

    But Taylor since you’re open to ideas, heres my idea:

    Dane and Dion both have blogs and they both upload webisodes every few days. Danes seem to be a real account of a session (makes, falls, goofing off) and Dion uses makes, falls and goofing off as well but not so much in surfing and more so in his personal life (driving down the freeway, having a house party, making out with girls in Europe)which seems to be a real account of his personal life.

    Both these guys webisodes have a strange feel of reality.

    So put Dane and Dion in a house and film it for a week (the surfing, the partying, the makes, the falls) and make a video out of it. And lay off the need for a storyline or a message or a happy ending. Whatever happens just edit it and release it. Then get a different house and different guys and do it again. Maybe this time with Paul Fisher and Dusty Payne.

    Chris Grow

  • Peter winn

    NEW YORK CITY ???????????????????????
    WHERE’S H.B.

  • taylor steele

    Good points.
    I love Timmy’s movies. He has a new movie coming someday called “Cold Thoughts” and it should be awesome. Not everyone is like Timmy. That is his deal and style. He is good at it. I am finding my own way. Right now traveling is my bug. I have a wanderlust for new places.

    I am proud of Drifter. I think the main problem is it wasn’t marketed to surfers better. The movie is made for mainstream and core. Its a different style its a narrative not a documentary. Sort of like an endless summer kind of deal. So it should have been explained better to core surfers.

    While Castles is a movie of visiting locations off the beaten path.These are locations that i always wanted to see. My dream list so to speak. Its not a narrative like Drifter. Its about the feeling of the place or spirit of the journey. Its not about the latest grab or exposing the next surfer. We have other movies for that.
    Also the surfers we chose are ones that want to go to those locations. Not every guy wants to visit India or Iceland. The guys that went were stoked to go. So that is how crew is chosen.

    I like the idea of stuff with Dion and Dane. I’d watch that.

  • Matt Corwin

    Very cool to respond to the dialog on here. I have always liked the music selections in your videos. I would have to agree that some people don’t enjoy the “lets manufacture a story line” that’s seen in a movie like Drifter.
    The idea of going to new places is always going to touch a cord with surfers. As far as ideas how about when you put together your next trip taking some guy like Reef who is never seen outside of Pipe. Could be interesting.


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  • Ola

    Ray remove the chip, neither a or Jesse were pointing fingers at you, I guess they were just “sharing fair criticism”! “Something else” there lies the challenge! In my mind Sipping and Castles is “something else” and far superior to the predictable template that most surf films fit in to!

    Film makers are Artists and Story tellers, the value lies in their personality/style shining through, it is their perspective the way they see the world, their story, they should tell it, not the masses! You either love it or hate it, but no need to mock it when you yourself don’t have the skill set to even attempt it!

    Keep telling them stories Taylor!