'Wilson's Foam and Rubber' Documents Chippa's Saline/Petroleum Love Affair - Stab Mag
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‘Wilson’s Foam and Rubber’ Documents Chippa’s Saline/Petroleum Love Affair

Shot entirely on GoPro HERO9 Black.

cinema // May 5, 2021
Words by Alistair Klinkenberg
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Chippa Wilson’s a curious soul, but his two main loves are undeniably surfing and motors.

Chip pours his time (and coin) into sourcing and restoring vintage cars/vans/trucks/bikes and is handy with a wrench, so he thought it time he merged his dual loves: engines and surf. The concept of ‘Wilson’s Foam and Rubber’ (an ongoing series) is simple: pair a different board with a different car each time, drive somewhere picturesque, go shred. Luckily, filmmaker Beren Hall (a man responsible for more than a bit of striking imagery) had a trick up his leave for this unique filmic expedition: the GoPro HERO9 Black.

Chip’s weekender in a car quiver than includes a Chevvy Truck and a Harley.

“There was a film that came out last year called High Flying Bird, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and the whole thing was shot on iPhone,” Beren tells me. “I watched an interview with the director where he talked about the filmmaking process – taping iPhones to the roof of the car and other places you can’t get a camera. That’s where I got the idea for some of the shots from. I loved that he’s one of the best directors in the world but he embraced the technology and got really creative with it.”

We’re not sure if it’s the relatable surfing manoeuvre, empty bank, lack of legrope or slight ruffle on the wave face that makes this image so damn arresting.

If you’ve ever seen or been involved in the process of trying to film something in a moving car with a cumbersome traditional film camera, then you’ll instantly know what Beren means. The shots he’s captured of Chippa in and around the cab of the van would require car mounts, permits, blocking off roads – it’s a logistical nightmare – and even then you can’t get half the shots. With a GoPro, all you need’s a pole cam, a simple clip, and then the possibilities are endless.

Just clip it to the racks and press record.

“With the GoPro you can shoot super unique angles that can’t with other cameras,” Beren says. “Not that I’m going to be selling my RED anytime soon, but for this project the GoPro made perfect sense. Whether it was a crazy long extension pole out the car shooting tracking or a couple of shots where it’s clipped onto his door – they’re little unique things and angles you literally can’t get with other cameras.”

The quality of this frame is quite remarkable.

Dan Scott shot the follow cam footage in this episode and you should stop a minute and appreciate it. You’ll note the lack of wobbling, the perfect framing, and, that Dan somehow manages to stay in the wake of one of the zippiest surfers known to man. Something that Beren, far more of a follow-cam novice than Dan, says is far harder than it looks.

“I tried it at this left point the other day for the first time, and it’s hard to keep up, so much harder than it looks,” Beren says. “The stabilisation feature of the new GoPro is pretty insane though. Dan’s surfing behind Chip and moving heaps, pumping to keep up with him, but the footage is super smooth. There’s no shake or motion sickness, which previously was super hard to do.”

Shooting car footage has never been easier: audio ‘n all.

It’s always cool to see how open minds interpret new technology, and Beren’s clearly stoked on the intricacies of Wilson’s Foam and Rubber.

“The tech’s advanced to the point where it’s undeniable how good they are,” he says of his GoPro. “They are pretty wild, I was really shocked. Even the quality of the frame grabs – if you know the right settings to shoot on and colour them properly then they’re incredible quality. They can do things other cameras can’t. Embrace it.”

It’s not the tech, it’s what you do with it – grab a HERO9 and get framing.

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