Behind the Section: Gabriel Villaran

Every section has a story. This is Gabe's.

By Nathan Myers

Gabriel Villaran may not be a big name in your town, but in Peru he's huge. Big enough to catapult him into first place over 55 other Innersection entries and never budge from the top spot.

"I thought we'd make Top 5," says Santa Cruz filmmaker Kyle Buthman, who put together Gabe's section, "but I was tripping how it worked out. He's like Slater down there. It's cool."

With high stakes and an injured knee, how was Gabe going to raise the bar for the final? Buthman flew to Peru and filmed a movie-style skit with Villaran on the streets of Peru.

Before he left, he asked for some last minute advice. I almost wrote: "Just don't do it."

Skits make me nervous. Pro surfers and acting generally don't mix well. We told Kyle, "If you must shoot a skit, better shoot it well. Focus on the shots."

We were nervous, and then surprised. Gabe fully pulled it off. Acting. Story-telling. It's like a little mini-movie inside Innersection…which is what's so cool about this whole project. Every two minutes, you're gonna get something new.

So how's Gabriel's acting? Actually, it's not bad. Maybe you can judge for yourself at one of this week's premieres.

"I'd shot something a little like this before, so I had some experience," says Buthman, "but there were more takes that you think. Then Gabe's uncle and friends styled us out with some Peruvian beats that make it feel really dramatic."

Dramatic? Innersection? Driftersections? Don't even go there.