We here at Surfing Queensland were able to catch Dan Scott’s latest film ‘Surfing’ at the recent Gold Coast Open cinema evening on Burleigh Hill. We were impressed, to say the least, and decided to get Dan on the phone, stat, to find out more about his latest work.
Tell us about your filming background.
I grew up surfing in Port Macquarie. I looked up to guys like Matt Banting, Darren O’Rafferty and Mick Campbell. Back then, I was only taking photos as a sort of hobby.
I moved to the Gold Coast when I was about twenty-one, worked in a surf shop and kept taking photos on the side. Around 2017, I dived into photography and filming full-time.
My break came through STAB. I had a meeting with them in their US office, when the Dock concept was starting to evolve. Before I knew it, I was on a plane from the US to Bali and straight into shooting with the Volcom crew. Before that I don’t think I had edited a clip more than thirty seconds long.
Where did the original idea for ‘Surfing’ come from?
It all unfolded throughout 2020. I did a Billabong shoot with Macy, and then Steph approached me to film her regularly. Through them, I met the other girls, because Tyler was around and Nikki was also on the Gold Coast. The movie was never really an idea until it was. It just sort of happened. I had so much good footage it wasn’t funny.
The idea for a girls-only surf film came from, what I believed, to be a hole in the market. I guess I was inspired by some of Dane Reynolds’ content – simple and straight to the point. I also wanted it to be fun to watch, especially for young surfers.
Is any of the footage NOT from the Gold Coast?
Ha. It’s pretty much all from Coolangatta. I think there’s one Straddie session in there, and maybe a Lennox one too. It was during COVID, so you know, it was hard to move around.
Any major headaches?
Not really. The girls were fantastic to work with. It didn’t feel like work at all.
Why did you go the independent route, rather than partner with a brand?
I feel you sacrifice a lot of freedom when you partner with a brand for a film. I wanted it to be exactly how I wanted, so I decided to do it myself.
Why did you include the Super 8 footage?
That was shot by Ava Warbrick. She actually shot a movie with Steph way back. I really like the Super 8 aesthetic. It brings out some cool colours.
Summarise each of the girls in twenty words or less.
Ha. OK, I’ll give it a go.
Tyler: Super down-to-earth. Low-key. Country girl with very clear values.
Steph: Leader of the group. Witty and savvy. Inclusive and highly competitive.
Macy: Bit of a puppy dog but competitive and determined. Also down-to-earth.
Nikki: Pretty disco. Free spirit, spiritual and loves the yoga.
Dimity: Very, very showy and out there! Super clean and perfectionist.
There was talk amongst the girls about making another one with a more international flavour, possibly Mexico. But we’ll see.