As an up and coming film producer and one of the best surfing photographers on the planet what is the greatest piece of advice you have been given in your career?
Get an agent.’ You can't do it all on your own.
What was your most extreme shoot so far?
We were pioneering a spot called Chopu in Tahiti about fifteen years ago. On my first day out the waves were small and I was stalked by sharks. The next day got to be dangerous. We found giant walls of water sucking up everything in their path – breaking below sea level. It was like standing on the edge of a black hole – seeing stars and planets sucked in and compressed into nothingness. Got the shots – some of my best stuff.
Have you ever been financially broke and how did you deal with that time?
At the start of my career I was always broke. Couldn't even buy film. I learned that when I gave away more money, more flowed back somehow. I'm still waiting for that flow back thing to happen this year.
Paul, John, George or Ringo?
My friend from the Grammys gave me front row tickets to Paul's concert a few months ago. It was me... and a bunch of the King's Basketball cheerleaders. Even though we were surrounded by 17,000 people, Paul kept looking to me and my new cheerleader girlfriends for encouragement. I think he was looking at them more than me though.
Matthew, Mark, Luke or John?
Luke. He's all about the details.
What is your future vision?
Of one united world government and a serpent with 12 heads... and bacon for everyone. Or not. I'd really like to connect people in the arts through networking and being generous with each other. I owe so much to great people who guided my career. I feel responsible to pass that on.
How do you react to criticism?
Bring it! How else can you improve? I'm always asking people what they think – how I can be better, how my work can be better. Even when the criticism isn't constructive, and it's just plain mean, I still appreciate the challenge. I used to think I knew everything but now I know that at least twenty percent of what I thought I knew to be true ten years ago was actually just, well... not true. So I try not to take myself too seriously. In the end we'll all know the truth – that's good enough for me.
Last thing you read that inspired you?
We've been shooting non stop this week and I haven't had a quiet time in a LONG time – I haven't SLEPT in a long time! I was feeling pretty unworthy. Well when I picked up my Bible this morning I opened it to Romans 4:3 which says, ‘He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.’ I think that verse is gonna change my life.
Most challenging film and most entertaining?
A song/ album that is a must for your ipod?
The videocast of the new Sci Fi Battlestar Galactica series – of course.
What has been your biggest encouragement?
Yesterday I did a helicopter shoot and driving to the helipad the sky was looking cloudy and the waves were choppy and disorganized. Not good for tow in, big wave surfing. It was costing us $800 an hour so I prayed pretty desperately that the sky would clear and we'd get good coverage. The sky cleared... but we went from spot to spot and the waves weren't coming. I could feel the money draining from my pocket. We were just giving up when we cruised over Pipeline to catch Reef McIntosh on the wave of the day, on what turned out to be the day of the year. It's the sickest shot I've ever taken out of the water. Like one of those posters I had on my wall when I was a kid that I couldn't stop staring at. I keep staring at this shot. I love these days!
How do you keep your faith central when away from home for so long?
It's tough and, honestly, it's not always central. But I've got (at least) two things going for me. Firstly, I have the most supportive and amazing friends everywhere I go, all over the world. They help me stay committed to moving forward with God no matter what. That's heavy. Secondly, I remind myself that Abraham and all those guys, they didn't have a Bible or know exactly how to pray this way or do this or that or... whatever. God just saw them and hung out with them and made them righteous because they believed him. I think God liked them too (boom, third thing in our collective favour!) So I just move forward, ask God to remind me to pray and be thankful, and trust him to make all things right in the end.