The Making of “Here & Now”

Twenty-five international surf filmmakers around the world collaborate to document a single 24 hours in the world of surfing.

With Taylor Steele at the helm and me getting attacked by monkeys, what could possibly go wrong?

Dede Suryana, there. Photo: LawrenceDede Suryana, there. Photo: Lawrence

By Nathan Myers

As the monkey leapt to tear out my throat, all I could think about was: “I wonder what other interesting stuff is happening in the surf world?”

Strange thought, I know, but soon enough, I would have my answer. I’d just spent the last couple weeks with filmmaker Taylor Steele coordinating 25 talented filmer/surfer teams to film their entire day. From waking to passing out, hunting waves, prepping boards, driving around and whatever other goofing off might occur. The idea was to document the whole world of surfing in a single 24-hour period.

Both easier and harder than it sounds.

We gave up trying to pick the perfect day. Somewhere was gonna be flat. Somewhere was gonna be pumping. Somebody was going to be busy doing something else. Somebody was going to pop up out of nowhere ready to film everything. What the hell – it’s only surfing.

We threw a dart at a calendar and came up with May 2nd. Why the hell not? We started calling surfers. There were a lot of guys from the Innersection roster actually, because we knew they knew how to get the job done. Peter Devries. Reubyn Ash. Matt and Albee. Then were some Taylor Steele guys, Rob, Kelly, Rasta and Ozzy. Some old friends. Some Indo bros. Some randoms who just appeared. We had someone in India, someone in New York, someone in Western Oz and a few guys on boats. Byron Bay. Snapper Rocks. Portugal. Costa Rica. England. Peru. North Shore. Where else has an ocean? Oh yeah, pretty much f–king everywhere.

We gave up on the idea of covering everywhere. We got a filmer to follow photographer Steve Sherman at the Nike Trestles Pro. We got a filmer covering a beginner taking her first lesson in Kuta. A couple shapers. A contest and a camping trip. A boat and a homebody. We cast the net wide and it would never be wide enough. We couldn’t miss.

And so here I was, in the jungles of Java with Indonesian surf champ Dede Suryana. We’re eating lunch after our morning session and these monkeys cruise over to say hi. How cute! I start filming them because today I film everything.

Twenty four hours with Dede. Got to eat. Fish for dinner. Photo: MyersTwenty four hours with Dede. Got to eat. Fish for dinner. Photo: Myers

One of them climbs onto my back. One of them perches on my camera. He takes the shotgun microphone from my camera and scurries away. I try to give chase cause that shit costs money and momma monkey jams over and nearly bites my face off. F–king TEETH!!! Monkey teeth! I fall in the mud and lose my sandal and consider myself lucky. Goodbye microphone. And I hate you, monkeys. You owe me, like, a hundred bucks.

We filmed all day. It was fun as shit. Filming everything. Food. Fishing. Barrels. Motorbike rides. Strangers. Sunsets. When I finally put the camera away, these other stories started trickling in.

“I’m composing a shot of Rasta’s shack and look down at my feet and there are at least 20 leeches on each foot,” wrote Aussie filmmaker Bali Strickland. “He and his girlfriend were riding around the dirt track hills on his moped and it started to seem like some romantic French film whose name I can’t think of because I haven’t seen it.”

“Shooting on the NYC subway system with my full camera set up on a shoulder rig almost got us in trouble until I showed my FDNY ID card and they cut us some slack,” says New York filmmaker Etan Blatt. “By the end of the night my brain could not function and my shoulder was numb from having my camera rig on it most of the day.”

“When the boys couldn’t catch any fish,” wrote 2-time Innersection winner Elliot Leboe, “they starting shooting guns: AK-47s, AR-12, Auto 12-gauge and pistols are rapid fired until all the ammo is spent. Then the boat wouldn’t start.”

The stories just keep coming. Stephanie Gilmore dancing with the didgeridoo player on Snapper Rocks. Alex Knost and Ford Archbold at band practice. A Brazilian alaia maker. A Portugal camping trip. An 11-time world champ’s last second dash to a bombing Fiji swell…

Somewhere out there, we had it all on film. Everything that ever happened…minus a few things we missed.

The hard-drives are heading to Taylor Steele’s house. And so am I. This film is going to be gorgeous. Nothing but the best shots. An original score, with an in-house band of musical magicians. And we’re going to do it all really fast, so you can see it in June and look back on May and remember if you were attacked by leeches or a monkey on that day or not.

I’m guessing you were.