Stab Magazine | Dion Agius Doesn't Make Surf Films For Short Attention Spans
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Dion Agius Doesn’t Make Surf Films For Short Attention Spans

The Smiling Bag is long(er) and vibrant!

cinema // Dec 14, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dion Agius, a perennial Stab pal with an industrious work ethic and charmed lifestyle, has released a new feature length film called The Smiling Bag. Given Dizzle’s unique take on the world and wildly talented group of friends, the film is, unsurprisingly, amazing. And never one to play normal, Dion’s releasing the film in unique fashion: Email him, and he’ll send you a link. Or maybe, a little physical care package.

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Above is an extended teaser for The Smiling Bag. And, below, we hear from Dion about how the project came together, and what you can expect to see when that Url lands in your inbox on Friday…

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“It feels like it’s been 10 years in the making, but really it’s just the last two or three. It’s funny, because when we’re working on film projects, 90 percent of that footage never sees the light of day. The idea with The Smiling Bag was to take all this unused footage and make something interesting out of it. At first, I was just going to make an edit to give to my friends that were on these trips, just for the memories, but then I just kept working on it and it kind of became a bigger thing.

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“I’ve loved editing since I was a kid and this felt like I was relearning that whole process. It’s been really fun experimenting and having that creative outlet while I’ve been on the road the last year.

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“So far you could only see it by coming to one of the premieres, but it’s available now just by emailing me, and then I’ll send you a download link to the movie or a USB drive with a zine, a poster, some shoelaces and some stickers. So you’ll get a nice little package that will be this fun thing you’ll hopefully want to keep. I really wanted to try and give the movie a little bit more physicality as opposed to just throwing something up on the web, where people generally only have about a two-minute attention span… this fucker is pretty long. 

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“Hopefully it will feel like something more substantial than just blasting it out to be embedded everywhere – not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just feel like I’ve been doing that for 10 years and need a change.

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“Emailing back and forth with people who have reached out and want to check out the movie and hearing all their stories, has probably been the most rewarding part. I’ve probably had close to a thousand emails so far.

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“Same goes for the premieres; I started showing the movie in Europe, stopping in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Hossegor, San Sebastian, trying to connect with these little surf communities that don’t normally get a lot of surf premieres. Just meeting all these people from different surf cultures has been the coolest thing ever – so many awesome people. That’s so much more rewarding than getting 50,000 views on Vimeo or something. But if someone couldn’t make it to any of the premieres, I’m happy to send them the film. I’m not trying to make it some exclusive thing. Just email me and I’ll be stoked to send it out.

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“I think I’ll include some viewing guidelines in the package, just to remind people that this stuff is way more fun when you immerse yourself in it, turn the lights off, put it on the biggest screen you can, get your friends over, have some beers and turn the volume up super fucking loud. It’s easy to forget to try and immerse yourself sometimes when you’re used to watching everything on your phone or your laptop.

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“The Smiling Bag was kind of pieced together from a bunch of clips that were already there, so there’s only so much you can do with the direction, but next time I’d want to really spend some time and workshop an idea and do it properly. I would love to work on another project and go a bit more experimental and freeform.

“It’s nothing too serious and I just hope everyone enjoys it and it helps get them psyched to go surfing and have fun.”

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