Stab Magazine | The colours of ( Chromatic )

The colours of ( Chromatic )

Twenty-ten was the most life-changing year of Riley Blakeway’s life. Analog gifted the kid a round-the-world ticket and asked him to document one of surfing’s most technical men (and his best-ever pal), Chippa Wilson. Riles had the time of his life making NOW, then enjoyed the afterglow for a stint. Then he made some of […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Twenty-ten was the most life-changing year of Riley Blakeway’s life. Analog gifted the kid a round-the-world ticket and asked him to document one of surfing’s most technical men (and his best-ever pal), Chippa Wilson. Riles had the time of his life making NOW, then enjoyed the afterglow for a stint. Then he made some of the best digital shorts you’ve seen in the last 18 months. And, then, Analog asked him back to produce 2.0. So, on the eve of sending his newest film, Chromatic, off for DVD replication, Riles spoke to Stab about working with Chip’s new co-star (Nathan Fletcher), the beneficial values of acupuncture, and all other things that making a surf film involves.

*Scroll through the carousel up top for some grabs from the film, or roll down bottom for the trailer. All images by Riley.

Stab: What was the final thing you captured for Chromatic?
Riley Blakeway: Well, Nathan turned up two days ago with clips from Mex – one’s a full rote on an eight foot wave, one of the gnarliest airs I’ve ever seen. So now I’m trying to find a way to splice them in, but it’s so hard because I’ve already finished the movie and am supposed to be handing it in. The last thing I actually filmed was a session with Chippa in Cabarita. There was a bank out front of his place for two weeks straight. The best session we got was right after he got acupuncture in his back. He couldn’t move the day after he got it, but then the next day he surfed and he did a huge straight air, a couple of huge rotes and a rodeo. He got five or six clips in this one little half hour session. I’ve been claiming acupuncture ever since, telling people to go get it.

You used Chris Bryan’s Code Red footage of Nathan. Is it odd treating something that ain’t shot on the same camera you used for all your other footage? This is a really relevant question. This movie has been shot on Super 8, Super 16, digital, Red Camera, high-speed Super 16, Phantom camera, there’s archival footage of 14-year-old Nathan… it has every different type of footage you could imagine. Trying to make it cohesive has been one of the bigger challenges. It’s 90 percent my own footage, and even then it’s hard at times to use other people’s stuff. But, the Phantom footage I tried to leave on it’s own. There’s nothing that needs to be done to Phantom footage shot at Tahiti on a day like that, except put it to nice music. It doesn’t feel like it’s yours, but it’s such an important part of the film and something of that calibre, you can’t really be selfish with.

What’s the difference between shooting Nathan and Chip? There’s a massive difference. Chippa’s my best friend, so obviously I’m really comfortable running around on the beach, moving position, and I know he trusts what I’m gonna do. And I know what he’s gonna do and when I need to be ready. But with Nathan I worry way more, ’cause he might try a hundred things and not make them, but then he’ll make the most ridiculous manoeuvre you’ve ever seen. But, it’ll be that one in 100. So, it’s kinda like you have to play it safer with Nathan ’cause when he makes that one, you really don’t wanna miss it.

Should we expect something similar to NOW? I think what you have to remember with both this film and NOW, is that I set out to make a film that represents Analog. So, stylistically they’re always going to be similar. The whole goal with the film was to make something that was Analog. No gimmicks, just a good representation of the brand. Chromatic is a lot cleaner than NOW. I’ll probably keep saying this for the rest of my life, but I just didn’t want to over-edit parts. It’s really surf-heavy. I treated all the footage and made it look how I like it to look, but I didn’t mess with it as much. With NOW, I think my creativity got in the way of the surfing a little bit. But because the surfing’s so gnarly in this, especially with bigger airs and bigger waves, I just kinda wanted to let the surfing do the talking. Chromatic is only 22 minutes. It’s really concise. I wanted sections to flow into each other with less, like, “Oh here we are in Panama now.” Even though there is some establishing shots, I’ve stripped it back to 20 percent of what I’d normally use. I cut the bullshit. – Elliot Struck

Chromatic premieres next friday night and it’s, like, totally free and all-inclusive! (Then follows a mini-tour). If you can, make yourself present. Check out the event page here.


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022


‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022


“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022