A Day In The Life Of A Surf Videographer
Filming’s not the half of it.
Editor’s note: the following was written by the significant other of Nick Colclough, a central coast filmer and the protagonist of this piece. Chelsea, the author, went through an entire day of swell by Nick’s side to paint a picture of a surf filmer’s daily toils.
For all of you that did not ask about the life of a surf videographer, I’m here to tell you all about it.
I have decided to refocus the lens for a moment from those in the water (sorry boys) to those on land. In particular, the young Forrester’s beach-boy Nick Colclough (aka Kookly). Taking a passenger seat in his life for a short swell (literally) to capture the latest talent doing what they do best. In order to do this wholeheartedly, I committed myself to the full spectrum of what the days of a filmer entail, which I am not sorry to inform you, involved lots of chocolate.
Jokes aside, this man works hard. To give you a snippet, the phone’s on from 6 am with calls incoming and outgoing till about 6:30. Nick complains about the early wake-up calls, but we’ll have to call him a hypocrite on this one because he’s no better himself, often being everyone else’s alarm. Once it’s figured who’s going in whose car and in which direction, we are off for the first surf check of the day. More often than not, the first check is never the final but soon enough decisions are made.
We scout the chosen beach for the finest angle to claim as our own. Nick was grateful that on this trip, unlike his other solo ventures, he had two sets of eyes to keep check on his multiple subjects (usually 2-6). I was confused as to how one pair of sun-glared pupils could keep track of numerous targets in a jam-packed line up, let alone capture them in impeccable timing. Which posed my next question: who takes priority when two surfers take off on the same wave? Do you take the guy tucking into the tube or the one racing across a long, stretched-out wall? Nick puts it elegantly, saying it comes down to which surfer is most likely going to produce the best clip from the angle he’s at, and the potential the wave has. Fair and simple.
Finally, the crew are in. Some are more stoked than others, and Nick is left with the brunt of it. Sometimes the stars just don’t align—as Nick knows all too well—which fortunately makes him an expert at what comes next. Nick isn’t going to paint you a pretty picture where it isn’t due, but he can cheer up any spirit with a little pep talk and humble advice. Turns out surfing is not just something this guy spectates but has running through his own blood, making it easy for him to know exactly which chords to strum to get someone’s stoke back.
Somewhere between a revving speech and the second session is a pie stop. Now, Nick is not a fussy bloke, but he is a pie connoisseur and won’t put up with just any old mincemeat affair. He has a hearty steak-pie-sized hole in his heart that only the local Ken’s Humble Pie can fulfill. We cannot begrudge the man for having high standards—at the end of the day, it’s what gets us appropriate contrast levels and quality angles.
Moving on! Relief is upon us once again and the day can continue in its speedy fashion. Once the next surf break is found, Nick loads himself with gear like a donkey in Santorini and we make our way down the beach. The afternoon session held a little less delight than that of the morning with stronger winds, cooler temps, and tired eyes making the motivation levels run a little low.
With the contemplation of a third coffee weighing heavy on my mind, the only thing that got me through the session were Nick’s stories of working warmer days in Hawaii and G-Land.
Finally, the day draws to an end and we head back to Nick’s pad to call it a night. Well, at least I thought. Nicks’s avalanche of clip-sorting and editing brings no sigh of relief and leaves me puzzled where this guy pulls his energy from. I decided it was time for me to intervene as this is getting hard to watch. A beer? A hug?
Turns out a hot choccy is just what the doctored order to keep this guy going till Kookly Media closes for the day.
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