Thursday, March 3, 2011

Filmmaker Q&A: Ariela Stern,"Physics of Surfing"

Wildly popular in coastal cities and towns the world over, surfing is more than a sport, it is a culture. But how does surfing actually work? “Physics of Surfing” delves into the mechanics of surfboards, surfers, and waves. The film puts a new spin on surfing documentaries by exploring and explaining the forces, energy, and mechanics of this popular sport. You can see “Physics of Surfing” at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, Saturday March 12th at 10:00 am.

What is your overall summary for the film?

Unlike other surfing documentaries, ‘Physics of Surfing’ is an educational film that uncovers the physical science of ocean waves and the art of surfing. Further, the film looks at how the modern technology of surfboard design affects a board's performance on the wave. Surfers play with nature's purest form of energy and power in this cinematic experience.

What was your inspiration for creating the film?

When creating the film, we didn’t want to produce just “another surf movie.” We really wanted to explore and explain the physical science of ocean waves in the context of modern surfing.

What was the most challenging part of creating the film?

Obviously one of the most difficult aspects of shooting a film that is so contingent on weather conditions is timing of the production. We were very lucky that on our second trip to the North Shore of Hawaii we caught a truly epic winter swell that made for some very amazing footage.

What do you want to impart on your film’s viewers?

We really wanted to present the magnificent and awe inspiring power of the natural energy of ocean waves and mankind’s ingenuity and skill.

What was the most enjoyable part of creating the film?

The film is a collaboration of a lot of talented and motivated people. The surfers are true artisans of their craft. For all members of the crew that had the opportunity to travel to beautiful exotic locations to create the film, it was an experience of a lifetime.

Who (or what) is your inspiration?

We were certainly inspired by the deep influence that surfing has had not only on American youth culture but on many cultures around the world.

Why did you choose to submit your film to the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival?

We chose to submit to the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival because we believe this venue is the perfect opportunity to showcase a film not just about surfing and waves, but the science behind the oceanic sport and the components which contribute to this beloved art-form. We hope that viewers will gain a better appreciation for our ocean while experiencing the thrill of surfing at the same time, and we feel the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival shares this same type of mission.

What was the most memorable moment in creating the film?

Probably the most memorable part of the project was the sheer camaraderie of the cast and crew. The whole project was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. I think everyone was disappointed when the production came to an end.

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