“For this Mexico piece, we wanted to incorporate a trip somewhere in this series to get out of the California bubble. So we headed south, and didn’t get the best swell on earth, but still managed to get some fun ones. We definitely had our fair share of awkward Mexican standoffs as well, including but not limited to a visit from Montezuma, a shady Mexican narco turned surf camp guide and terrible luck with transportation. All in all, we didn’t quite nail an Innersection or anything down there, but got some fun uncrowded waves with warm water, so we can’t really complain at all.” –Matt & Jason
This is the third installment in the Dirty Harry series, an 80% self-funded collaboration between filmmaker Matt Payne and HB surfer Jason Harris [Volume 1 is here and Volume 2, here]. Matt is a 20-year-old student at Long Beach State and an intern at Globe under Joe G. (Year Zero, Secret Machine). Jason, 23, is a member of the Analog family with a penchant for “mostly going right at River Jetties.” We asked them about the origins of Dirty Harry and their vision for the project.
MATT PAYNE: The Dirty Harry project was sort of born one day in the parking lot at River Jetties. After watching Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry (the real film) the night before, I heard someone call Jason by his nickname “Harry” in the lot and an idea sprouted in my head. I figured that it’d be cool to venture out and film a surf video with a theme, and the moniker “Dirty Harry” would work perfectly. Within each piece, I wanted it to feel like the voice-overs were people talking about a figure from an urban myth, somebody the world had only heard about, but never seen. It makes Jason sort of seem like a fugitive on the run, tied together with surfing as the substance. I try to flesh it out using sound-bites from the actual films or the promotional radio spots circa 1970s too.
Each video starts with a good foundation of clips, although Huntington Beach isn’t the most productive as far as good waves are concerned. I’ll try to mix it up from digital by shooting Super 8 to keep it consistent with our old school aesthetic, but the price tag can be steep when we have to fund it from our own pockets. Then I’ll drag everything we have into the edit bay and cut something that naturally feels like a progression from the last one, whether it’s a subtle development in the story, a new setting like Mexico or a different tune.
JASON HARRIS: We’re not trying to out-surf anyone, or out-edit anybody either. Basically, we just wanna find ways to portray surfing in an original fashion that’s different from your everyday webisode. We just feel like we’ve found a little niche for our vibe, and we wanna show the world in the best way possible. This project is just trying to show that you don’t have to be a prodigy to have fun.
MP: I know we don’t get the best waves or the most groundbreaking surfing, but for Jason, I feel like he’s just trying to show that there are other options out there to stay on the surf world radar. He’s really got nothing to lose. And although he may not have those sculpted marketing good looks, he’s open to thinking differently. And in that, I feel like Harry can open up a little niche with videos from this sorta angle.
As for me, I just wanna be good at what I do. I strive to make timeless work, regardless of who it’s for. It’s for me, really. I’m not worried about getting 26,000 views or whatever on Vimeo, I just want people to know that I exist and am fully capable of creating rad videos that kids can be stoked on.
JH: I think that Matt is going to have a bright future with filmmaking. He can adapt to just about any condition, and will have no problem expanding his career. He has such a good eye for what looks good, and insane creativity. Initially when we were starting this project, I just thought as long as he doesn’t make me look like I’m trying to save dolphins or anything, I’ll be stoked.