Stab Magazine | Nix Nic Nooley lives!

Nix Nic Nooley lives!

Interview by Ali Klinkenberg Today, the filmer to the pro surfer is like the caddy to the pro golfer. Less artiste, more PA. “Would you like almond or rice milk in your coffee this morning, sir? Is it a long-arm, short-leg wetsuit day, or a short-arm, long-leg wetsuit day? Yes sir, of course I can […]

style // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Interview by Ali Klinkenberg

Today, the filmer to the pro surfer is like the caddy to the pro golfer. Less artiste, more PA.

“Would you like almond or rice milk in your coffee this morning, sir? Is it a long-arm, short-leg wetsuit day, or a short-arm, long-leg wetsuit day? Yes sir, of course I can apply your sunscreen. Yes, yes, SPF 35, just the way you like it.”

But, as with all things, with oppression comes rebellion! Toby Cregan is one buck who’s chosen to do it tough. He could’ve gone traipsing around the world after some spoilt pro surfing man baby, making instagram clips and eating his natural muesli with polished cutlery, but he didn’t. Byron Bay is his jam. Creed Mctaggart lives in his attic, and together with brothers in arms Beau Foster, Noa Deane and Ellis Ericson, he’s bringing garage DIY culture back to surfing.

The interweb’s become bloated and bitter with the saturation of surf clips, so Tobes has taken the next logical step. He’s written and directed a feature length surf movie set in the future, complete with pro surfer acting. It’s akin to acting in porn – beautifully awkward, but you appreciate the effort – and we just love it!

Stab: First things first. What is Nix Nic Nooley?
Toby Cregan: That’s the universal language that everyone speaks in the future. The movie’s set in 2800. It means let’s go surfing.

Did you write the whole script yourself? Yeah, the movie started when Duncan McNicol and I were driving up to Cabarita in his panel van. We were talking about this year’s oscar nominations, and he launched into a captivating monologue about what a great actor he thought he’d be. An hour later we had the skeleton of the story and knew that it needed to be set in the future.

How do you think it’ll be received on I think people will like it. We’re just having fun and running with the things about the characters that people take the piss out of. I just read all the nasty things that people write and think it’s funny and used it as pretty good inspiration.

Doped Youth’s such a cult classic, but it seems now that generation it appeased is middle-aged and miserable and have taken to writing hateful things in forums to get their kicks. Doped Youth’s my favourite movie of all time, and Vaughan Blakey, who made it, still says that it’s his favourite thing that he’s done, so if this movie’s my Doped Youth then I’ll be happy. Just play nice on the keys, peeps.

What’s the state of the surf movie, circa 2015? There’s still a place for surf movies to be paid for, because there’s still filmmakers that want to do something special. We’re selling our movie, not for monetary gain, but because we’ve put so much time and effort into it and we think it’s good enough for people to pay to play. It’s got character and a storyline, so it’s not just another web clip.

Did you fund it yourself? It’s completely self-funded. I didn’t get paid for any of the trips that I went on. The boys in the movie paid for my flights and everything was independently done. Now we’re trying to get the rights to the music, and that’s where things are getting difficult. It’s so expensive, any money we end up making is going straight back into paying for the soundtrack.

Cast? Creed McTaggart, Duncan McNicol, Ellis Ericson, Beau Foster. And it’s Thom Pringle’s last ever section before he retires he reckons, he’s going out on top. He’s moving to Paris full-time to be a filmmaker. So that’s cool. Then Noa Deane, Dion Agius, Nate Tyler, Wade Goodall – poor dude just broke his leg again – and, Andrew Mooney. It’s a real smorgasbord.

Talk me through the acting… It wasn’t really scripted. It was just pure improv. We got Beau in a dress and just ran with it. Took him to the supermarket and shit. We had all these rad plans to have Kelly Slater in it, Groovy Avalon making a comeback, but our schedules just didn’t align. We wanted to have Dave Rastovich as a dolphin, too, because he’s real dolphiny, but it didn’t happen. I showed him the movie though, and he really liked it and said he wished he was in it.

Who shone? Ellis Ericson. He was a real natural in front of the camera, and he’s got great projection. He plays an extreme version of himself, super retro. He’s shaping a log out of a bit of wood in the movie.

What’s next for Nix Nic Nooley? Torquay, LA, New York, maybe Cannes. The sky truly is the limit.


Nix Nic Nooley is now available online for DVD purchase, as well as fabulous t-shirts. You can go swap cash for either of those things right here.


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