Stab Magazine | Watch: Kelly Slater In "Continuance" Part II

Live Now: How Surfers Get Paid — The Queens of Ascension

948 Views

Watch: Kelly Slater In “Continuance” Part II

And read a conversation with director and producer Alek Parker on “how to humanize an enigma.” 

news // Aug 31, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Our main goal is to humanize this enigma.”

Alek Parker is the director and producer behind Continuance, the documentary series on Kelly Slater. The short films pry open the doors of Kelly’s mind and life, inviting you to walk around, pour yourself a drink and humanize an enigma. Alek — who surfs better than you — is in charge of making all the moments in Continuance come to life. With a new episode dropping today, I called him up to talk about a lot about how that process works and a little about flat earthers.

Stab: How did this all come about?
Alek: There were rumblings of this being Kelly’s last full year on tour and his team really wanted to do a documentary series. The idea was to make something not only about his surfing, but also about the places he goes and the people who have helped shape his career. I’d already been talking with John Moore’s (of Outerknown) agency about a different job and was just sort of right place, right time for this. I pitched them on what I thought it could look like and they decided to give me a shot.

So, what did you think it could look like?
Our main goal was to bring humanity to this enigma of a person while telling a story. Going into shooting it, you try to plan as much as you can but — as always with surfing — it’s all up to the elements. At the end of the day, this is a reality documentary. We’re at the mercy of whatever is going to happen, which is a perfect anecdote for this last episode.

We have such a talented team. It takes so many people to pull it off, I’m grateful to work with such talent. Todd, Jeff, John.

Is Kelly pretty involved in the process?
Yeah, totally. He even came up with the name. I talk to him before these trips and figure out who he wants to talk to, what he wants to do and the stories he wants to tell. We map out a bunch of things that could be included and then let it flow from there.

Continuance has a pretty intimate feel to it. Do you think Kelly is aware of that and intentionally tries to make it come off that way?
He’s been surrounded by cameras for so long and he’s so comfortable around them. I don’t think he really has to try to make any moments on film feel candid — it’s just genuine. And when we do interviews, it feels like we’re having a normal conversation. He really lets his guard down, probably because I’m not just some random person coming in for the hour that I have slated and leaving.

How much did the injury change the vision for this episode?
When he got injured, we didn’t have enough to make an episode. It happened right before we were meant to do the interview we needed. At first, we thought we were going to have to can the whole thing. That was the worst injury of his life — we didn’t expect anything of him after that. He even got super emotional and apologized for it happening.

Then he said let’s do it. So the whole interview went down about two hours after he broke his foot. I couldn’t believe that he was composed enough to sit on camera for an hour after that. He even answered some of the questions like he hadn’t surfed the contest yet — which is what I wanted, but didn’t expect him to actually do it. He’s a pro. And he’s fully committed to this project.

Anything surprising you’ve learned from working with him?
Most people, especially at his level, want their space. But when Kelly travels, he doesn’t rent a house or stay in a hotel. In South Africa, he stayed at a friend’s house with kids and dogs running around all day, and he was just a part of that. I think it really makes him feel at home wherever he goes.

Why do you think he always claps back at flat-earthers?
I can’t speak to why — maybe just because it’s so ridiculous. I think he really wants to allow people access to him and to give everyone time…even if they do think the earth is flat. But he really does love people. One of the main things he was excited about in South Africa was to work with this organization called Surfers Not Street Children. He didn’t know anyone there, he just saw them on Instagram and thought it was awesome. He was genuinely upset that he couldn’t go work with them after he broke his foot. He’s constantly thinking about how to use his celebrity for a better cause.

What’s future of Continuance?
Nothing is set in stone. I’m really psyched on a third episode and Kelly’s down, but it hasn’t been discussed with everyone yet. When Kelly was talking about the name Continuance, he said it means it’s not a beginning or an end, you’re just continuing on your path. I’m going to try my hardest to make it come to life. Tell a very human story of the greatest surfer of all time.

We highly recommend you head here to watch Continuance Part II. 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Top Two Women Axed Early, Three Join The 9+ Club, Kelly Reveals Reptile-Inspired Baby Name

Hint: it rhymes with Slater and could eat you (or a zebra).

May 26, 2024

The Stab Interview: 5x CT Winner, Budding Entrepreneur, And Stab High Invitee Julian Wilson

If you never retire, you can't call it a comeback.

May 25, 2024

The Best Surfing I’ve Ever Seen: Lachlan Mckinnon

How often does a filmer pay for the surfer's plane ticket?

May 25, 2024

Hurley Can Now Legally Rent A Car

A quarter-century in the surf game is no small feat.

May 24, 2024

Airs On Trees: Bosiny Cracked The High-Performance Wood Surfboard Code 

Feat. Paulownia wood reinforced with Kevlar, these boards are as light as PU and loaded with spring. 

May 23, 2024

What’s In A Wedge?

Enjoyable water movement, explained by an expert.

May 23, 2024

Watch: Tosh Tudor In ‘Tube Therapy’

The 19-year old offers prescriptive insights into Desert Point karma, backside tube poise, and Off-The-Wall…

May 23, 2024

Swell’s En Route, Slater’s Involved, Here Comes Teahupo’o… 

A Tahiti Pro preview.

May 22, 2024

Can Medina Overcome His CT Drought In Tahiti?

Tahurai Henry offers his picks for the SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro

May 21, 2024

The 35 Best Song Pairings In Surf Films, As Ranked By Dane Reynolds, Taylor Steele & You

From Noa Deane and Courtney Love, to Andy Irons and Coldplay, to Creed McTaggart and…

May 20, 2024

Is This The Most Cost Efficient Way To Noticeably Improve Your Surfing In A Single Month?

All you can eat for $1500 AUD at URBNSURF Melbourne.

May 20, 2024

Watch And Learn: How To Score A Solo Sesh At 8-Foot Teahupo’o With Leonardo Fioravanti

Skip lunch and gorge.

May 19, 2024

Full Frame: The Story Behind The Photo You’ve Seen 1,000 Times

A viral ménage à trois in Bali.

May 18, 2024

Meet The Man Who Runs Kelly Slater’s Burgeoning Surf Empire

The Stab Interview with Dylan Slater. 

May 18, 2024

How Surfers Get Paid: Season 2, Episode 4

80+ interviews later, it's time to "send out the chicks".

May 17, 2024

How To Get To Stab High Japan

BYO ligaments. 

May 16, 2024

CT Earlybirds, Tahitian Warlords, And Aspirational Teenagers Divide Spoils From “11 out of 10” Teahupo’o Blob

Eimeo Czermak, Balaram Stack, Liam O'Brien, Cannon Carr, and Ryan Miller divulge tales from the…

May 16, 2024

The Lefts Off The Rights

Detailing the goofy-footed proclivity to go against the grain.

May 15, 2024
Advertisement