One year of A-Grade film deserves more than 17k plays
Words by Morgan Williamson
In this modern era high quality surf films are made for web. Once you've left the realm of quick two to five minute surf porn clips and lifestyle fillers, the internet's become the go-to outlet for long term projects. The same films that used to go to VHS, then DVD (is Blu-Ray still a thing?) now slip into the here today gone tomorrow nature of the internet. It’s a sad world, honestly. So much time and money spent to produce something that doesn’t result in sales. The most you can do is watch the play count go up on your Vimeo and hope it takes off in the desired fashion.
For the last year, Dillon Perillo and Brendon Gibbens worked tirelessly with Andrew Schoener on The Dill and Beeg Project, which released exclusively on Surfer Magazine’s site Monday then trickled down to the rest of surf media a day later. At the time of writing this piece, The Dill and Beeg Project’s a bit under 17k views. To put into perspective, Craig Anderson’s Welcome Elsewhere was watched upwards of 20k in the first 24 hours on Stab alone. If you’ve seen both, it’s hard to say which was “better”. What's for certain though, is that the current play count doesn’t do the film justice.
The Dill and Beeg Project's a wonderful bouquet of travel and high performance surfing. It stars two of today’s most exciting free surfers, and some of the world’s best waves. It even includes a return to that right in Reunion Island, which you saw in Modern Collective. “Reunion was incredible and really stressful,” Brendon tells me. “It’s really sad, the shark problem there, the island’s beautiful and the locals are extremely friendly and inviting. That was probably the best trip of my life because of the nerves and tension. It was terrifying surfing there.” From dodging sharks in Reunion, the South African/American duo packed heavy righthand tunnels at P-Pass then whipped through California, Portugal, West Oz and Sumbawa with this project as the constant goal. “We spent the whole year working on it,” says Mr Gibbens. “It was something Dill and I always wanted to do. Luckily we are at a point in our careers where we can have a project of our own with total freedom and control.”
Beeg and I are chatting on the subject of how to maximise views in the ever-saturated market of online web clips when Dillon makes his way home (the boys are living together in Malibu). Brendon tells Dill we’re doing an interview about their project, to which Mr Perillo responds jokingly, “What, are you guys talking about how core we are, and how only the pros and the industry guys are watching the video?” We all laugh. “It seems like when these things go up online they kind of develop a mind of their own,” Brendon chimes in. “But we’ve been getting positive feedback on it.” That’s because the film’s sick. In our original post there’s not a negative comment in regards to it. And I don’t need to remind of the heartless, brutal yet occasionally insightful state of our comment section. When the comment section of the site oozes positivity we’re all a little taken aback. “It’s a phenomenon,” laughs Dillon.
The silver question is, what’s the proper way to drop a long term project online? Do you shamelessly whore it out to your pals and ask them to blast it on social media? Do you run the exclusive and hope for the social push to do the trick through one resource? “It’s hard to do the right thing, when the right thing is constantly changing,” Mr Perillo puts perfectly.