Through The 'Looking Glass'
Surfers, aspiring filmmakers, artists and supporters all flocked to the Corpus Christi, TX, House of Rock Saturday evening for a film festival like no other. Similar to the "Innersection" campaign by Taylor Steele, "Looking Glass" -- spearheaded by local filmmaker Nathan Floyd -- invited some of the best Texas surf filmmakers to highlight what's going on in the local scene.
"This eclectic group of individuals is constantly creating and striv[ing] for growth within the community -- a collaborative community documenting their lives, and the Texas surfing lifestyle and scene, and sharing," smiles Floyd from behind his bushy beard. "Instead of one feature film, we [gave] the opportunity to several Coastal Bend cinematographers to offer us a look into different perspectives of the same lifestyle we all embody."
Each shooter has grown up surfing and skating and sharing good times up and down the Texas Riviera, as well as learning and helping each other produce, edit and create new films. With a smaller community such as the Texas surf scene, this camaraderie and think tank is something rare, not usually found in larger beach towns. Each videographer is responsible for helping shape their own style, admiration and followers while growing up in Texas.
More than a competition, the "Looking Glass" showing was an exhibition and a "raising of the bar" amongst friends meant to inspire the younger generations to be creative and to enjoy the life that Texas beach culture gives them.
The different approaches, music and locations featured in the films had attendees reveling in what they were seeing by local shooters as well as anticipating the variety of the next projects on offer. Brandon Bunting and JR Watson shared two different approaches of California living and shooting with professional names like Pat Curren and longboarder Tony Silvani. Tegan Gainan and Morgan Faulkner took the DIY approach and filmed themselves, with Gainan taking the lower road of longboarding his local waves (see video above) as Morgan globetrotted to bigger barrels.
Jon Steele updated the crowd with clips of his most recent travels to El Salvador and a month's skating and surfing stint in Hawaii, while Ryan Cobb and Matt Barker worked as a team and complemented each other's editing and surfing style. Evan Adamson and Floyd worked hard in less-than-favorable, ever-changing Texas conditions to document the fall-to-winter surf transition.
Through "Looking Glass," Floyd and other contributing filmers helped spotlight the sometimes overexposed, yet underappreciated, Texas surf filmmaking world. "Different moods, situations or surfing scenarios all require different music. No two waves are alike and every surf break brings out its own vibe, much like the contributing videographers here tonight," shared Adamson. "So making videos is a way of projecting my phantoms while introducing people to a variety of music."
Local collaborations like this hopefully will continue, helping Texas surfers showcase their great surfing and filming skills. "Looking Glass" serves as inspiration for others to follow in the footsteps of this collection of talented filmmakers and helps preserve surfing as the Texas tradition it is.