Director’s Log 1.1

Director’s Log 1.1

This is the Director’s Logbook. It serves as a catalog of Istudiomo from the director’s perspective. It will comprise of his thoughts on the film and its production. The logbook will also be a place where the director will give his opinions on topics ranging from cinematography & photography to the many thought-provoking topics in wakeskating.   

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I think Istudiomo was born from the word itself. I thought of the word nearly 3 years ago. Always a fun word to say in my head and mouth out. All the syllables rolled off the tongue nicely; phonetically it’s (ihˌst(y)o͞odēˌōˌmō,) Fast forward to about two year agos. It was winter I had been playing around with the idea of starting a new full length film but never in a truly serious sense, but for the fun of laying everything on the table I’d think through the idea of making one and a couple things always stopped me.  First I’d lay out all the positives; how much wakeskating has evolved and found its final frontier winching in the wild. From there it would be a flood of fun ideas: cool new angles, little camera tricks, uncharted territories to explore, and some refreshing styles or themes I’d like to build the film around. Finally I’d think of all my close friends I could incorporate into my art: the riders, the talented filmers, the photographers, just people I would love to surround myself with while making a film.

At this point I am fully fired up and ready to go. — These tremendously ambitious thoughts usually come to me during long drives at night when I am far away from home and anything familiar. They are almost always sparked by epic music by Sigur Rós, Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, Julianna Barwick, and the like But by this point I am still a solid hour to two hours before I am home and that gives me more than enough time to come up with reasons to talk myself out of it… First comes the obvious barrier, I think of the grueling cost of everything that goes along with making a new film. Firstly there’s the equipment, then the travel followed by distribution, promotion, web hosting, licensing, and any other painfully expensive thing I am forgetting. I think of how I will need to be scheduling EVERYTHING: the trips, time with the riders, our travel, our itineraries, Oh’ the painstakingly boring planning… I think of the selling process for this project to brands and how impossibly unreasonable the budget I want is. I think of how incredibly difficult it will be to be able to even logistically do half the stuff I want to for this film regarding travel locations, rider rosters, film quality and photographer coverage.

At this point I am pretty deep down in a dark hole. But then the sound of the epic music finds my focus again, bursting through into my ears eradicating my doubts and my pessimism. The triumphic courage hidden inside me starts surging and I began to think of all the life-changing trips exploring the world I’ll go on with my friends, wakeskating all along the way. I’ll be capturing their amazing riding in these scenic landscapes. At this point I am giving myself a pretty passionate motivational speech. “I don’t care if the costs bankrupt me, I don’t care if the travel exhausts me, I don’t care if the difficulty breaks me, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to try.”

But with every great song there is a ‘come-down’, an outro, a moment when the song descends from its gloriously righteous peak and slowly descends back to rest. From there I too come down from my high and my pragmatism hits me hard, quickly followed  by my various insecurities . “Be realistic. It’s all well and good in theory, but you can’t actually recreate what you are imagining. Don’t fool yourself.” My creative ambitions have once again been flattened by my autocratic logic.

Right about now I’ve got 45 minutes till I am home. The real world and my day to day life are beginning to come back to me. I am seeing familiar highways and businesses. My mind starts to go back into its normal mental processes. “Don’t forget to pay the bills for this month, remember you have real work that needs to get done by tomorrow”, all the normal stuff that should be concerning me. Everything feels as though they are in the right place. These thoughts are appropriately on my mind, but there is a thought still lingering in the back of mind.. the film. It shouldn’t be on my mind anymore the thought of this film is out of place here in my familiar world, it’s a pariah among these boringly normal thoughts. At this point the theoretical film in all of its glory is treated with a tough scrubbing from my normal day-to-day logical brain. I begin to compromise on some of my superfluous ideas and slowly but surely work through the theory and slowly make it a real possibility. All the terrifying details are being pressed out in my head and it all is looking really difficult, but surprisingly doable. It won’t be the masterpiece I will always want it to be, but it will at least be real, it just needs a little something.

In that moment I think of the word. Somehow that made it all real, like it is going to happen now, as if in the exact moment of that word’s recollection this film’s journey just began, and the word just became a name: Istudiomo.