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Chippa redefines inconspicuous in Wilson’s Foam and Rubber.
Filmmaker Beren Hall was worried that this episode of Wilson’s Foam and Rubber – shot entirely on GoPro HERO9 Black – was going to fall flat, but we all (Chippa included) agree that it’s our favourite yet.
Funny how often it turns out like that. The two only had a day window to shoot before Chippa had to jet off, and, well, they thought that surf matting might be a bit boring.
“It was cloudy, the waves were shit, and I was trying to do follow cam on a finless softie through the kelp,” Beren tells me. “I genuinely thought: ‘We’re not going to get this.'”
As if nature conspiring against them wasn’t enough, the boys also had another problem. The mate who was supposed to help them out by driving Chippa’s Suzuki Jimny, allowing Beren to capture shots of Chippa riding his Harley like the above, dropped out.
“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I shot and drove all by myself,” Beren says with a chuckle. “I had the GoPro hooked under my arm out the window, desperately trying to make sure it wasn’t bouncing too much, and then trying to change gear as well. It wasn’t easy.”
Talking to Beren, you can tell how much fun he’s had putting this quaint series together. He and Chippa are good mates, and the pair both say how refreshing it is to make something with room for exploration, without the pinnacle of high performance being the end goal.
“That’s the beauty of shooting on GoPro, it takes the stress out of trying to shoot for a video part,” Beren explains. “It more a case of going out and having fun, and it’s easier to get people to open up when you’ve got a camera that’s so unobtrusive.”
Beren then goes on to explain how much easier it is to capture candid moments when all you have to do is press the one button to record, rather than having to wait three minutes for his RED to warm up for 8k action.
Beren tells me that one of the major hurdles of Wilson’s Foam and Rubber was trying to convey Chippa’s love for his unconventional motors (apparently he’s got north of ten different motor) and surfing equipment, without getting bogged down in the technical details and making it a dull watch.
“I wanted to do justice to his love of the vehicles, but also pair them with surf crafts that are going to give the narrative a bit of drive,” Beren says. “‘Here’s my car, now I’m going to go shred,’ would be boring. But, “Here’s my Pan Head, it’s got this throne thing on the back and I’m going to gaffer tape a boog to it,’ that’s fun. It gives it life.”
Having spent over a decade pointing his camera at the canon of cherished professional freesurfers, you’d imagine that Beren’s learned all there is to learn about his craft. But he admits that this episode especially has revealed a few useful filmmaking tips. Primarily, the value of keeping your GoPro rolling.
“I’d say that my biggest take away from this project so far is overshooting,” Beren tells me. “It’s all in the edit, so if you’ve got enough footage you’ll be able to pull out moments. Even when you think it’s not interesting or relevant at the time. Looking at the raw footage from this one I really didn’t think it was going to be very good. But when it was all polished up it ended up being our favourite one so far.”
You heard it heard first folks: It’s all in the edit, so shoot the hell out of everything and connect the dots later in the bay.
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