Behind Daze at Sea

Q&A with Filmmaker Victor Pakpour, Ryan Callinan, and Creed McTaggart

Billabong's Daze at Sea, which premiered last Friday, is a film with a simple, effective recipe: an all-star cast, epic waves, and good times. On a foggy Monday in Laguna Beach, I sat down with Director Victor Pakpour and two of the film's stars, Ryan Callinan and Creed McTaggart, for a chat about their experience making the film.

What was the concept behind Daze at Sea?

Victor: With Daze at Sea, we took a different approach from the last movie, Blow Up. It was more based on locations that we went to, and it was the first movie where I got a chance to film the whole thing. Blow Up was kind of a last-minute edit of a lot of footage from a lot of people.

Where did you guys go, and where did you score the best waves?

Victor: We started in France with Ryan, Jack [Freestone], Frederico Morais, Brent Savage, and Creed. Then we did the whole Hawaii season, staying on the North Shore for two months. From there, we went to Australia and filmed on the Gold Coast with Jack, then went to the South Coast, and then spent some time in West Oz. These guys [Ryan and Creed] did a trip to Indonesia, and that finished up the movie. The most fun trip that we did for the movie was probably France. We got super fun waves the whole time, and, you know, the women are beautiful there.

Would you like to talk about the nightlife on that trip?

Victor: No comment.

Ryan: It was just people getting hammered. It's not like anything crazy happened.

Victor: That's where we got the haircut scene with Ryan. Everyone seems to like it. It might be the highlight of the movie.

What was the dynamic like on the trips?

Victor: Everyone got along really well, but everyone was trying to get the best clips.

Ryan: It was pretty cool. There is definitely a certain competitiveness between everyone, but we still wanted each other to make big stuff. There was a lot of cheering out in the lineup, and everyone was psyched if someone stuck something huge.

Is it ever awkward getting lifestyle clips?

Ryan: Yes. How about the one in France? We got changed and ran down to the beach and Victor wanted to get us running down the track. He was standing there waiting for ages and he was like, "I guess they’re not going to come." So he gave up...right before I ran past. He was like, "Dude! You have to get back and do it again!" I was like, "I'm not going back!" He really wanted me to, but there were people watching and if I just walked back to walk down again it was going to look so weird. Finally I said okay. I walked up and the French dudes on the steps were just staring at me like, "What is this guy doing?" That stuff is super awkward.

Victor: Yeah, that was a forced lifestyle. With Jack, they're impossible. He just doesn't want to do it, so I'm always running around trying to get whatever I can.

Who do you think got the best wave of the film?

Creed: I think it might have been Seth Moniz. That backhand reverse he does is so big.

Ryan: Maybe Ricardo [de Santos]. He got some nuts ones in Hawaii at Off The Wall.

Blow Up had a few girls biking around town, and you started with some girls in this intro as well. Is that becoming your signature?

Victor: It's just a fun way to add a little pop to a surf movie. It's just something different.

Ryan: Surf movies these days don't have enough chicks.

Creed: You can never have too many chicks.

How do you feel about the modern explosion of free Internet clips?

Victor: For companies, it's the best marketing tool. Everything is on the Internet. You don't make money off of surf movies that aren't DVDs. I personally like DVDs more, but it doesn't get half the views it would online.

Ryan: I don't know, I guess for an individual, it's the best self-promotional thing too.

What's next?

Ryan: I'm going to start filming Victor and we're going to make a movie on him.

Creed: He's been ripping. He got one of Jack's old boards and he's been shredding on it. We watch him surf and he's just like Machado, or Buttons or something.

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