Inside “The Seawolf”

Director Ben Gulliver shares six peak moments from his new coldwater film

Commenting on Jack London’s 1904 novel “The Sea-Wolf,” the tale of a shipwreck survivor who is rescued by a wicked sea captain, journalist Ambrose Bierce wrote that, of the book’s successes, “The great thing—and it is among the greatest of things—is that tremendous creation, [captain] Wolf Larsen…the hewing out and setting up of such a figure is enough for a man to do in one lifetime.” The scope of director Ben Gulliver’s new film, “The Seawolf,” is a similar case of narrative heavy lifting, especially as more and more filmmakers seek out snow-capped backdrops to document the world’s coldest line-ups. Front and center for Gulliver was his vision for a high-performance parade, from a cast that includes Balaram Stack, Chippa Wilson, Pete Devries, Noah Cohen, and more. "We wanted to make a coldwater feature surf film that was more about surfing than the adventure of exploring in the cold," Gulliver says. In anticipation of the film’s California premiere on Friday, August 18th in Huntington Beach, we reached out to Gulliver and asked him for some of his favorite screengrabs that were taken during months with a hi-def camera frozen tight to his hand.

Pete Devries

“It felt like we were living in a Stephen King novel on this trip. Noah Cohen tore his knee is three places surfing the morning before we flew to this little island, so Pete Devries and I cruised for a couple of days, just the two of us, looking for waves. This was by far my favorite spot we filmed.”

Chippa Wilson

“Chippa is a freak. His backside rotations are as unique as the man himself. We traveled around a whole country to find this little air bowl. I’d go back for that place alone.”

Pete Devries

“We showed up on the first day to this spot, saw overhead, chunky waves, and thought, ‘If this is the first day, we’re going to get some gold.’ It went flat for the rest of the trip, but what a backdrop!”

Chippa Wilson

“Another example of getting the best waves on the first day. This wave is really close to shore, which is great for shooting, and there was nobody around. A best-case scenario, in my book.”

Pete Devries

“I shot with a 35mm lens for a while in order to capture the huge mountains looming over us. I like how Pete is doing one of the biggest full rotations he’s ever landed here, and you can hardly notice him. Sorry, Pete!”

Noah Cohen

“Simply put, I love this backdrop. Not to mention the overhead wedges all the way down the beach.”

[Catch the California premiere of “The Seawolf” at the Pacific City Outdoor Amphitheater (21010 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648) on Friday, August 18th at 7:00 PM. For more information, visit the film’s website here.]