Meet The Winner Of The Inaugural Stab x Coopers ‘Real To Reel’ Contest - Stab Mag

Meet The Winner Of The Inaugural Stab x Coopers ‘Real To Reel’ Contest

A bodyboard filmmaker we’ve never heard of just bagged 5K, a new job & a shit-tonne of glory.

cinema // Feb 15, 2022
Words by Stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

Ever heard of Todd Barnes before? Neither had we. 

Todd is a 36-year-old, stay at home father from Wollongong who just won the ‘Real to Reel’ contest hosted by Stab x Coopers celebrating underground and authentic Australian surf filmmakers. 18 filmmakers submitted entries for ‘Real to Reel’, six of which made our shortlist that we announced yesterday. Todd’s reel was unanimously picked as a favorite for his unique angles and offbeat storytelling.

Todd’s underground status, as it turns out, is a function of living in a parallel universe in the bodyboard world, where an Insty stalk revealed he was followed by highly-esteemed spongers such as Ben Player (3x World Champion) and Mike Stewart (9x World Champion) aka ‘Mister Pipeline’. 

Day to day, Todd runs Langley Studio, a commercial film studio based in Wollongong working with clients such as Bonds, Nutri Grain, Vogue, Vice and Softlite. He has shot countless award-winning films such as ‘Beyond the Noise’ with fellow ‘R2R’ entrant, Andrew Kaineder, and ‘Tales of the Bogey Men’ starring bodyboard royalty, Tom Morey, Jeff Hubbard and Mike Stewart. 

Despite running a successful studio for multiple years and working with major names and brands, Todd’s measly 206 IG followers suggested he was either 1) A Russian bot, 2) Terrible at marketing himself, 3) Not fussed about IG followers given they’re mostly a vanity metric. The real story though is that Todd did have a good social following, until Zuck decided to delete his account for ‘violating community guidelines’. However, that is a tale for another time to be told over a few Pacific Pale Ales.

Get to know Coopers x Stab’s favorite underground and authentic Reelist, Mr Todd Barnes. 


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