All photos by DJ Struntz
Joe Guglielmino is a surf filmmaker that will forever have his name notched in the books as one of the greats. From works like Secret Machine to Electric Blue Heaven to Year Zero, Joe G has gifted us top-shelf cinematic surfing in a way that no other filmmaker ever has, or likely ever will. Recently, we spoke with Joe en route from Globe headquarters to his mid-century modern home in Long Beach, California, to find out what he’s been up to. Now, being a year removed from the massive undertaking and whirlwind of a tour that was his most recent film, Strange Rumblings, we wanted to catch up with what he’s been vibing on as of late, and most importantly, to ask him, what’s next? —Peter Taras
SURFING: What’s been happening Joe? What’s new in your world, post Strange Rumblings?
Joe G: That was such an exhausting project. So many people did so much for that movie over such a long period of time, so it was nice to go into hiding for awhile. Rest the brain. But, we’ve been doing some smaller skate projects and we just finished a short film with Dion for his + / + collection, which we’ll drop in conjunction with the apparel line that he designed with Globe. It’s not a major film piece, but I think it’s pretty rad.
How much is Dion involved with creative direction at Globe?
The cool thing at Globe is that the brand has enough faith in us to allow us all a bit of creative control. They let us develop our ideas, and if everyone is collectively backing them, we can go out and do ‘em. I think it’s why all the films have had so much success. I love coming up with an overarching idea, or a feeling, and then bringing that to the guys. That’s where everyone’s brain starts flowing. Dion especially. Him and I will sit around and drink wine until two in the morning and come up with 50 different ideas and how we can bring them to life. So yeah, we work really close with Dion on a lot of things, but really, the best part about is that everyone we involve with our projects has a hand in them, and that’s really cool.
How do you decompress after a big project like SR?
I usually go home and I’m sick for a week. [laughs] My body just blacks out. And then, when I’m laying in bed, that’s usually when I come up with my next big idea. Honestly, that’s the only way to come up with fresh ideas. You gotta lay around and quiet your mind. When you think about it, that’s something we don’t often do in our day-to-day lives. There’s alway so much going on.
What gets you excited right now?
You know what movie is insane? Nebraska, by Alexander Payne. I saw it on the plane home from Australia a few weeks ago and watched it like 5 times in a row. It’s a really cool, really simple film. Shot in black and white. It’s insane.
We know you love the long form motion picture production, as opposed to the surf flick. Do you still want to go that route with your next project?
I like to invest my time in stuff that is more of an undertaking. More cinematic. More of an all-consuming effort. Maybe it doesn’t always translate or maybe the level of detail that goes into them isn’t always appreciated, but for me, that process makes me feel good about them in the end. So yeah, with the things I create I’d like to stick to that approach. I love shooting in film and thinking through things, despite the fact that so many of those looks can be replicated with the REDs and all the new digital technology. But on the other hand, the stripped down stuff Noa Deane has been doing? The next – level web clips? Those are all rad. I love watching that stuff and I think there’s a craving right now for no-nonsense shredding. That said, I feel like my place in all of this is to tell a bigger story about going on great adventures, celebrating the unbelievable beauty of the world, and surfing your face off while your friends cheer you on. That’s still the funnest stuff for me to try to communicate in my films.
Is the next big film already in the plans?
We are gonna do some shorter stuff this year. 10- to- 20 minute projects. We have one we want to do with Noa, Brendon and Creed. Short. Fun. And we’re doing this thing with Dion now. But after those, we’ll develop another big one. Every major film we’ve done has spoken to a bigger audience than the last, and I’d like to evolve our filmmaking process and do that again. We put the Iceland part from Strange Rumblings online and the Huffington Post picked it up. It was cool that a mainstream media outlet like what we were doing. They took notice. That tripped me out. It meant that there’s something we are doing that transcends surf and interests people out outside of our little world. As I get older my goal is definitely try to do more of that.