Wave ridden film days

07 Feb

Filming of Strange Beautiful Life, episode 12

Whilst in the UK we have been braving Mother Nature’s natural wonders and bracing ourselves for the storms ahead; Stokesy is basking up the Costa Rican sun, riding waves and exploring the jungle. We’re a tad jealous to say the least, but the good news is that Stokesy packed his videographer and editor, Tim Davies to capture it all on film for his twelfth episode in his Strange Beautiful Life series.

We wanted to catch up with the boys mid filming to see how they were getting on.

Stokesy, before we begin, there is something we have to clear up. We read in an interview with you recently that banana, prawn and sprinklings of coconut is your desired pizza topping. Is this true?
Yes it is but only from a certain pizza restaurant in Foster Australia best pizza I’ve ever had.

If yes- we’re going to need evidence.
Haha! The evidence is in my belly.

Who’s your new buddy?
These guys are classic and super inquisitive but they will have your lunch if you’re not careful, it’s a Costa Rican Coati.


Tell us about your jungle pad. It looks epic.
It’s pretty cool isn't it, I like to think its a tree house but it’s not, just kind of up in the trees. Its made from an iron and wooden frame. We had a small 5.5 earthquake the other day and this little house really magnified its force, a few more seconds and me and Celine were about to bail. It’s awesome living up in the trees, the monkeys wake us up every morning and are only a few feet away from the windows eating fresh leaves. If that doesn't put you in a good mood for the day nothing will.

Jungle pad

As well as exploring the beautiful Costa Rican land and entertaining cute creatures you’re busy filming the latest episode in your SBL series, can you let us in on any plans?
We have been filming for a week straight now. We’re on it from sun up till sun down, the long days in this climate are exhausting so we are really starting to feel it now.  But with the best part of an episode in the can we are pretty chuffed. The surf has been really fun and we have captured some of my best surfing so far so I’m really happy with it. I’ve also landed a few tricks that have taken us 12 episodes to capture so that has really stoked us out! Also some of the wildlife over here has been really kind to us and we have some amazing footage of that too.

Recently you’ve been sharing your top clips from the series; do you have a favourite episode so far?
My favourite episode so far is always the latest one as I feel my surfing is progressing with each one. If I had to pick one from them all I would go with Maghreb Dreaming in Morocco. It’s a good one from all aspects. We knew Morocco was going to be a special one to film and it didn't let us down.

How is the Costa Rican swell treating you?
So far it’s been getting better and better. We always get lucky with some good surf when we film an SBL episode and it’s happened again. Double shacka!

Your inspiration behind Daze of Winter was pretty cosmic and we saw an insight to your hippy tendencies. What’s led you to the creation of this latest episode? (Keep it cosmic)
Ha! I do have a tendency to get all cosmic I just feel like there’s a bigger picture out there and if you want to be part of that energy it’s up to you. Maybe it’s make-believe, I don't know but it makes me feel good inside, making me feel contacted in some way to everything and everyone. That connection allows me to think, feel and act in a certain way; a good way, open minded and full of heart. Good stuff happens when I’m in that place so I try and stay on the cosmic path.
This episode has led us back to where it all began SBL was conceived here in the Costa jungle so it’s been rad to come back to film things from a different perspective now, ride a wave with a different line. I think I can speak for both of us that over the last three years we have learnt a lot and changed in many ways so it’s been cool to be back here with a new challenge.

Alan Stokes

Wow! That’s pretty cosmic, we love it!
Coming up for SS14 you have your very own collection of clothing based on your motto- Live Life Now capturing your travels, way of life and adventures– What was it like working with our menswear design team?
Yeah I’m really happy with my own Animal line, the designers have been rad and pretty accommodating with what I wanted to do so it’s been fun I’ve learnt a lot from them. We have used a bunch of my photos from travels all over the place so I really feel a part of that collection. Live Life Now is kind of like a mantra I’ve been repeating, it grounds me and makes me aware and present. Words are powerful when used in the right way and these ones fitted the line we were creating.

Do you have a favourite tee from the collection?
It would have to be the Live Life Now tee it has some rad colours and images and just puts you in a good mood if you’re wearing it.
Thanks Stokesy, we’re fully excited to see the next episode now.

Let’s get Tim involved.
Tim, 3 years in and 12 episodes down how is it being back where it all began and what new challenges has that thrown at you from a filming perspective ?
It’s amazing being back here, I love the tropics everything is either aqua blue or bright green and wherever you point the camera seems to be a shot! It’s tricky though as we have already filmed in this area and want to make each episode original, so we have to come up with new ideas in and out of the water to ensure this one is completely different from the first. So far so good though and I’m really happy with the footage we’re getting so far.


Why do you love making surf films?
It gives me the opportunity to travel and see new places, be artistic and creative, meet new people and hopefully get people excited about surfing and traveling!

And who inspires you?
I would say Taylor Steele has inspired me the most, he was the first to really put an artistic edge on surf travel exploration. Outside of surfing I love all the Attenborough series, the cinematography in them blows me away.

To make an episode how much work is involved from filming to editing, take us through the process. Do you just rock up at a beach and the magic happens or is there a whole lot more to it than hanging out on the beach?
Haha! I wish, firstly we plan out where we want to go, so a place that has great waves that suits Alan's surfing but also a lot of culture. We are normally chasing a chart so it’s all about trying to nail the best surf stuff we can, either by swimming around trying to hook up with water shots or running around beaches, cliffs etc. trying to get an unusual angle. In between surfs we’re trying to get culture shots, so stuff that best reflects the place we’re at and the vibe of the trip. It’s usually first light to sun down filming until the job’s done, which can take up to 2 weeks! Once we’re done filming it’s about a week in the edit suite trying to bring everything alive!

[gallery ids="8106,8114,8107,8104,8113,8110"]
Film grabs (surf) by Tim Davies
High res surf photos by Juan Cruz Gutierrez
All others by Stokesy.
Oh! Hammock pic by Celine Gehret