Stab Magazine | Every day I'm hustlin'
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Every day I’m hustlin’

Dion Agius is a fox, and a fox isn’t sly, he just can’t think any slower. At all times in Dion’s life, he’s transitioning between a minimum of three projects. They’re usually film-based, but besides involvement on a performance surfing level, he’s also usually involved on a creative level, too. Like, right now, he’s got […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Dion Agius is a fox, and a fox isn’t sly, he just can’t think any slower. At all times in Dion’s life, he’s transitioning between a minimum of three projects. They’re usually film-based, but besides involvement on a performance surfing level, he’s also usually involved on a creative level, too. Like, right now, he’s got Epokhe, a new sunglasses venture with friends Mitch Coleborn and Kai Neville, as well as an entry into the X-Games surfing category and a new digital short film in the works (think Electric Blue Heaven), from which the above heelside grab ‘oop is from. Oh, and bigger picture, Globe’s next feature film, which he’s starring in. And he just released a new signature shoe. And, he just had a short film, which he shot on a waterproofed iPhone in France, posted on Dane Reynolds’ online portal, Marine Layer Productions. For someone so busy it’s a surprise he ain’t panting when he answers the phone to Stab, and even more of a surprise when he offers so much conversation.

(Interview below)

Frontside Vertigo in Panama recently.

Frontside Vertigo in Panama recently. “That air is from the last surf of the trip,” says Dion. “It was the last afternoon and we surfed it for an hour. That left is on pretty dry rock.” Framegrab by Riley Blakeway.

Stab: Let us start with Mexico.
Dion: We’d been planning this one out for a while. We wanted to shoot this wave down in Mex, two hours north of Cabo. There’s a huge mansion out on a cliff overlooking a good left. We’d met the owner there during filming for Year Zero. He’d built it as a house but it’d turned out to be too big to live in, so now it’s just a boutique hotel. He lets us stay there and it’s the craziest place you’ve ever seen. We flew down some model friends from LA and a really good friend of mine named Imogen who’s an amazing stylist. She brought all this crazy stuff with her. We wanted to give it a cool storyline that’ll come across in the extended edit.

That house up there? Too big to be a house. Now it's a boutique hotel.

That house up there? Too big to live in as a house. Now it’s a boutique hotel. Framegrab by Joe G.

What’s up with the X-Games gear? I got invited to enter a 90-second part in their surf thing this year. We’re gonna use an edited-down version of the Mex stuff for that, then release a six or seven minute extended version in a few months. We were putting off the X-Games thing until last month, and Joe G was like, “We need to figure out what the fuck we’re doing.” Someone mentioned this wave in Mexico. I went down for a recon mission, ’cause it relies heavily on the sand, but the forecasted swell never arrived. It looked like it was gonna be good a week later so I went back down with Joe and everyone. It was a heavy call ’cause I didn’t think the sand was that good, and because Globe invested a bit in it for us to bring down a crew. We got lucky for three days with waves, shot the girls on the last day, then flew back.

We’re seeing more of these extended digital short films. Joe and I had a conversation about it when we were in Bali shooting Ungu for Transworld‘s Imaginarium. I was close to renegotiating with Globe and I was telling Joe that I didn’t wanna punch out a thousand webclips anymore. I’ve done so many over the last few years. I felt like they were dumb and I’d been banging my head against a wall. I think it’s changed. The internet is such a viable platform now, it shouldn’t be a medium for people to throw up shit. I think we’re gonna see a resurgence in quality over quantity. Sorry to go back to Dane like always, but he just puts up longer, quality clips. Granted, it only takes him two surfs to get them. But you also look at someone like Creed (McTaggart) who can also get a million clips in one surf, but he’s really smart about it and took his own time and money to go out and shoot this extended short over a month. Which ended up being so strong, so different and so awesome. I thought that was really smart. I was going, “Holy shit, this kid’s 18 and he’s orchestrated this whole thing?” I was blown away by how good it was. I just figure that’s the way things are gonna go.

Dion on a Mexican left ain't one bit bad.

Joe G telling Dion: “We need to figure out what the fuck we’re doing,” was all the motivation needed for the Mexico trip. Framegrab by Joe G.

Please expand on your vision of the status quo. It’s evolved into these longer, more thought-out pieces, which I love. They’re so fun to work on ’cause you don’t have to commit to a year’s worth of filming. I think everyone was unsure about length on the internet because people’s attention spans have become so short. But I think when the quality’s that good, you have people’s attention the whole time. In Taylor Steele movies you’d see one part a year from guys and you were so excited. They’d work really hard to produce these awesome pieces. Same with skate videos. Granted, you don’t get to see the whole session-based thing. But I was talking to Kai (Neville) last month and I was trying to convince him to do a parts movie next. I have to work my ass off to get clips but I really enjoy that, collecting certain tricks. It’s good for your progression, too, ’cause it forces you to try things. You get on a trip and go, “ok, I’ve gotta get my air-reverse, I’ve gotta get a good turn, I’ve gotta get a backside thing,” and you just build a part in your mind. You know what you’ve got and what you need to get.

“It relies heavily on the sand,” says Dion of the left. Tail jam in a fluoro dream. Framegrab by Joe G.

The Introduction to Slow Dance. Filmed by you, on an iPhone with waterproof case. Discuss. Right before I went to France, my ex-girlfriend went to the Apple store and was somehow bamboozled into getting these waterproof cases, so I took one with me. We surfed this little beachie to ourselves every day and one day it was tiny. I was a bit scared to use the case because I’ve heard they can leak. But I whacked it on cause it was tiny and we were just gonna mess around. Then throughout the day, the swell picked up a little. It was so perfect for about two hours and Dane and Craig were surfing it by themselves. There were these perfect tubes, the dreamiest little session. I’d been filming it the whole time on my phone and Craig was like, “you paddle out, I’m gonna have a go for a bit.” First wave, he dropped my phone. Me, Dane, Courtney, Craig and Morgan (Maassen) were scrambling around trying to find it. I was just bummed ’cause of all the footage on it, two hours’ worth that I was so excited about. I thought I’d lost it all. We looked for five minutes and couldn’t find it. But thankfully I’d left the bright yellow safety sticker on the back of it, and I spotted it through a gap in the foam and dived for it. It hadn’t leaked or anything.

Then you cut it together? I went straight to Iceland for the new Globe film and afterwards, I was on my own there. I was just cruising on my computer in the lobby of the place we were staying at, and I found all that footage and put it in a timeline. I realised it was actually cool stuff, and Craig was ripping and it looked so fun. So I edited a little thing and shot it to Dane saying, “if you want it, it’s yours.” He wanted to use it, so I was pumped. I just hope it shows how fun it was. Craig’s movie (a Marine Layer Production titled Slow Dance) is gonna be so rad, I saw a bit of stuff they’ve been shooting and it looks so awesome. I definitely don’t think the iPhone clips will make the cut. – Elliot Struck

Screengrabs from Dion's

Screengrabs from Dion’s “Introduction to Slow Dance”. Now playing over at marinelayerproductions.com

Go watch Slow Dance: An Introduction over at Marine Layer Productions, playing now.

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