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August 30th, 2013

last call: vote for your favorite SMASH 24-hour short surf film

By Tyler Breuer

We partnered with the SMASH (Surf/Movies/Art/Shaping/History) Film Festival to host their first 24-hour short surf film competition. Five directors representing different New York surf communities came together to write, direct, shoot and edit a short film in only 24-hours. Today is your last chance to give an act of kindness by voting for your favorite film. Your vote will determine which team will receive a $1,000 grant from KIND to carry out an act of kindness for New York City’s coastlines, in partnership with Waves for Water. Watch the films, cast your vote and share these #kindawesome surf stories with your friends. Remember, voting ends tomorrow, August 31st so vote today!

UPDATE: Congratulations to the Winner of our SMASH 24-Hour Short Surf Film competition, Thomas Brookins and Davina Grincevicius for EBB & FLOW.

Tyler Breuer: What were your initial thoughts on being asked to enter the 24-Hour Short Surf Film Competition?

Ben Potter: It sounded like a special event to be a part of so it was a definite “Yes!”. I have been part of similar film competitions, but they didn’t have to do with surfing and they never had a production window as short as 24 hours. Pretty soon after accepting the challenge I started questioning what I had gotten myself into, but I think it all turned out alright.

What was the hardest part about the competition?

The toughest part was the time leading up to the competition day. I didn’t know what the prompt was for the films, so I spent a lot of time in the weeks leading up to the event thinking in circles about what we may end up making as a film. In a situation like that, all you can do is prepare for what you know you will need on the day. In this case, that included assembling my crew, reserving the appropriate equipment and finding actors—or rather convincing my buddy Ian to star in the film.

What did you like about the competition?

The actual day of competition was probably the best part. Once we received the prompt to incorporate an act of kindness in our films at the KIND offices, it was on. There was only action from there on out and all of the worries of the week before were gone.

I had had the idea of making a mock-umentary from before the contest began, and once I knew the prompt for the contest, I couldn’t resist following through with the idea. One of the good things about the competition was that there weren’t strict parameters for what you had to make. As long as it was created in response to doing the kind thing for the surf community, it was all good.

Do you think that this competition has changed your perspective at all on filmmaking?

It has definitely opened my eyes a little more to what can be achieved in a short window. That goes two ways because you can do a lot in 24 hours, but it won’t end up being your most polished work. I could say that “The Shralper” would have been much better if we didn’t have to make it in 24 hours, but the truth is, it probably would never have been made if it weren’t for this competition.

What sort of skills do you think are important to making a great film in under 24 Hours?

Probably the most important thing is to do your pre-production, so that when that 24-hour window begins, everything that can be in order, is in order. That way you can focus on actually making the film you wanted to make.

The second thing is having a crew that will stand by you throughout the day. I was fortunate enough to have a group of very talented classmates and friends who were stoked on the project. I cannot thank them enough for devoting their time, especially Hamilton Yu, my cinematographer and Henry Hayes, my editor, for staying up all night with me until the job was done.

What filmmakers are you influenced by?

When it comes to surf filmmaking, which is how I first started working in film, I always go back to Taylor Steele’s Sipping Jetstreams. Watching that movie inspired me to make surf films. If you haven’t seen it, go buy a copy. It definitely influenced me the most and continues to do so. For surf films, I also really like the work of Joe G, Jason Baffa, Thomas Campell and Kai Neville.

Watch all three 24-Hour Short Surf Films here and cast your vote today!

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