Arc Of Darkness
Pre pandemic, I met two fellows who had been making an undercover surf film for the past four years, provisionally titled Arc Of Darkness. Back then we had a pint and freely chatted without a care in the world about this film. Then all kinds of shit hit the fan, and everyone went into survival mode, 18 months later, we had a chat -
So I guess first off introduce yourselves
I'm Dan, I'm an ex cameraman and now I work in dark rooms editing and colour fiddling with mainly adverts. You sure don't get a tan but it pays the bills, and for surf trips.
I'm Charlie, I am still a cameraman but I am also partners in a commercial agency, specialising in filming content for football clubs, big ones.
So tell me about the film?
We started filming a 'surf' movie for fun about eight years ago, and got some beautiful footage, and went to France, Ireland, Cornwall etc. usual bullshit, and we were stoked with what we got. But we went to the standard places, and essentially within 24 hours in France and Cornwall especially, every wave we filmed was on social media, different angles, but it tainted the experience. Ireland was a little different, but there is an incredible group of filmers and riders doing their own thing over there. So we went away and re-thought. We came back to the start again with two ideas -
One was that the surfing and surf we are fed through social media and brands is too nice, it isn't real. It's just too clean, even through magazines, including this one although I would say the path has always been the closest to reality, things are just little too nice. Surfing isn't nice. The same goes for the people and the creators, surfers and photographers and shapers and filmers, are going through hell for their art, and we don't get to know them very well.
Films are often made about sponsored surfers, the guys who are paid, and rightly so, to surf. But that comes with a caveat that you have to, to a certain extent be nice and a polite and put over a good impression for your sponsors, or prospective sponsors. Thats how it's done in every sport, but it is boring as all hell.
So Arc Of Darkness is the underbelly of surfing from the tips of The Scilly Isles to Greenland, and a whole host of places and more importantly people in between.
So It sounds like you're trying to create something pretty punk/counter culture/dark?
We wouldn't say it was any of those, it's simply reality. We love everything about surfing, but what we see a lot of the time is really disconnected from reality, so thats the angle. The 'Dark' in the title really refers to the fact that we're not releasing anything until the film is done. Otherwise you end up on the treadmill of instagram and Facebook, writing utter bullshit about nothing, giving away great imagery, and stringing people along on a journey, which you want them to experience fresh, when they watch the film on a screen.
You've just seen ten minutes of rushes, and we know you've seen two waves you didn't know existed, and that's the beauty of keeping it all offline until it is ready. We're not trying to be negative to anyone, and our income comes from social media content, but we wanted be really dark with this project, so when it arrives, everyone is like holy shit. Plus we won't name anywhere, even the country, so we're doing it proper old school style.
I have to admit one of those slabs is insane, and I have an idea where it is, within a hundred miles or so! So I'm excited, and I hope there are other projects like this out, there that are effectively dark, under the radar. So when do you think it will be out?
Pre covid it was going to hit the streets August, but obviously like everyone we had to work our arses off in regular jobs to survive and couldn't travel, so it will be Autumn 2022. We will have a trailer out for Spring, and we have a couple of sessions to film as well.