Filmer Ryan Moss currently has three sections in Innersection’s Top 10. Over a transcontinental phone call, the 27-year-old videographer discussed shooting waves to suit songs, putting your heart on the line, fighting Nat Young, and making himself vulnerable. —Casey Butler
How did you end up with three Top 10 Innersection segments?
Well, Mike Losness approached me earlier this year about doing it. I naturally said yes, because I thought his section was killer last year. He was the first one. Dillon was the second. We were on a trip for Transworld, and the round had been pushed back to May. We thought we might as well just throw it in, and if we get lucky, make Top 5. Nat was the last one and probably the hardest one to convince. I think a lot of the kids are still unsure about [the format]. They want to do it, but kind of see this as a backburner project, which, I mean, you can look at it that way, or you can look at it as something totally different. Nat wanted to make sure that he had a solid part. We both agreed that it was strong enough and he was like, “Okay, let’s do this.” I finished with his part literally a couple days before the deadline.
How was working with each surfer different?
With Mike’s, all the footage was given to me, and I just sorta came up with the concept and had to direct how everything would go. He would tell me what he liked, what he didn’t like. Dillon just took full faith in me and trusted that I knew what I was doing, and it was just a Hail Mary type thing. We shot for three days and came up with that whole entire video. And with Nat’s, we were only home for two weeks together. I feel like Innersection should just make a requirement that you make it in two weeks, because that’s pretty much what everyone does.
Did you expect them all to make the Top 10?
Well, I wouldn’t have put them in if I didn’t think they’d have a shot. If you actually break down what each section’s about, it’s a very unique story for each one and they all kind of shine in that way.
Do you have a favorite?
I’m not allowed to say.
What kind of camera do you use?
I have a Canon 7D and I’ve been using that to shoot everything.
How do you choose the music for your videos?
I’ll just have my headphones on and hear a song and be like, “That’s the song I want.” In my head, I’m hearing the song and I’m picturing the shots, and I’ll jot it down in the back of my mind. Then when that opportune moment comes to shoot that, I’ll do it. It’s just one of those things that you feel while you’re traveling.
Where are you living at the moment?
In between Santa Cruz at Nat Young’s house, my parents’ house in San Jose, and then Hawaii and Mexico right now. Depends on what’s going on. I’ve adopted an older brother role with Nat. We’re pretty close. We talk a lot, and he’ll keep me up-to-date with what’s going on in the music scene and with surfers and stuff. But then when it’s time to perform, we’re both pushing each other to do different things. For his section, he made me climb a tree to get that overhead shot.
It’s funny that he was the hardest one to convince when you guys are such good friends.
Oh yeah, we totally were at each other’s throats last year. Literally, I think we were ready to put on the gloves and go at it. We both just realized it, took a step back, and acted like adults. We compromised. I think that’s the biggest thing we came out learning. We know we can get under each other’s skin, because we are so close. At first, it was like, we’re just friends making this for shits and giggles. And then toward the end, we were both freaking out.
How much do you have riding on these parts?
I’ll be bummed if Dillon’s part doesn’t make it into Innersection, I’ll be bummed if Mike’s part doesn’t make it. Or Nat’s. But I know if I didn’t feel like I was bummed, then they probably didn’t deserve to make it in the first place. So I guess in retrospect, I do put my whole heart into things and make myself very vulnerable at times, to criticism, but I’ve learned over the years to take criticism with a grain of salt.