Owen Milne: Young, Free, Alright!
The Rad and Creative Youth of Australian Surfing
Presented by Arnette
Interview by Dan Caban
The Central Coast of NSW is a breeding ground for talented surfers – and in the case of 17 year old Owen Milne – talented filmmakers alike. A humble, quietly spoken and polite high school student, Owen is consistently producing superb clips of not only surfing, but all action sports, and is evidently getting the recognition he deserves of some well-known brands. His enthusiasm is what Young, Free, Alright! is all about, so here he is as the latest to be featured in the series. Stoked!
CW: When was it that you started shooting and making little films?
OM: Probably when I was in year 5 or 6, and I’m in year 12 now, so that’s around six years I guess. I started off doing photos and stuff, ‘cause I used to have pretty bad cameras, but I bought a 7D which had the video, so I started getting into videos. That’s when I really got into shooting videos. By the end of the week I should have a housing for my camera which will be really good as well.
Did you start off on the Central Coast?
Well I’ve lived in the same house for 17 years so. So I’ve only shot around Copa and the Central Coast area.
Are there many guys that you get to film around your area?
Yeah, I shoot with Josh and Brendan Hay; the Hay brothers, and when Micro and Ace are around I do stuff with them and then I’ve been doing a fair bit of stuff with Andrew Mooney over the past few months as well. A few young guys like Sandon Whittaker and Caleb Tancred are other guys who I shoot a bunch of.
What’s it like shooting with so much talent?
Guys like Mooney are so good to shoot with, because he just knows what he is doing and is real good. We’re planning a few trips this winter and hopefully off to Papua New Guinea at the end of the year which should be some fun trips.
And what about the website you and Mooney have?
We started that a couple of months ago and have like a little clip per month of whatever we have or whatever we’ve filmed on footage. It’s so good for both of us so people can see what we’re doing down here.
It must be rad to work with him in terms of promotion and views on your clips seeing as how good he is.
Yeah it’s always good to shoot with Mooney ‘cause everyone knows him and he is real good in big waves. Real good at airs and all that kind of stuff as well.
Have you got around to other places with guys to film at all?
Not really. Only just around the Central Coast. Especially being in high school it makes it hard. I’m super keen but to travel for sure.
Is school a burden when you’re trying to shoot as much as possible?
Yeah it is a bit now as I’m doing my HSC, it’s hard to get time off school to shoot. But I’ve always wanted to get my HSC so I’ll stay in school until I get that, it’s only a few more months anyway. Then hopefully I can travel and film a lot of surfing.
What’s it like working with Riot Collective and Continue the Casualness?
They are two brands run by local guys, really good brands, and I do all the filming for their ranges of clothing and all their riders. It’s really different ‘cause I shoot skating and BMX and snowboarding. It’s just something different, and helps heaps.
Does shooting different sports help your surf filmmaking?
Yeah, it just gives you a different perspective and point of view compared to when you’re shooting surfing. Which is always good.
Are there any guys’ videos that you really dig?
I really like watching Riley Blakeway’s stuff cause that’s all insane, and Kai Neville. I watch all his feature films 'cause they are always crazy – they're too good. Jacob Wooden is another dude who does sick stuff.
Are there any guys who are in all the big movies that you want to shoot someday?
I’ve always wanted to shoot Kelly Slater, but that’s probably going to be a long way down the line. But anyone that is surfing well is fun to shoot. No one in particular.
What are you doing now to set yourself up in the future?
Well I do a lot of work with guys who shoot music videos, like producers and directors. I do country music videos and help out all these local guys that do them. It’s cool ‘cause I’ve had the chance to work with artists like John Williamson, Kasey Chambers and the Wolfe Brothers. I also did some stuff for a wedding last weekend which was really good, it was my first. Also tomorrow I’m shooting a TV commercial, which should be pretty good, I’m not sure exactly what for yet though (laughs). Hopefully by the end of the year I will have done some work experience with Australia’s Surfing Life in Queensland, which will help a lot.
Do you have any mates around your area that film?
Not really, there are heaps that take photos and stuff but. They are cool for inspiration ‘cause they are always good to look at and see what they are doing. Also because I used to take photos myself I can relate to it pretty easy.
When you say you started filmmaking instead of shooting photos, what was the definitive moment when you began?
It was just as I always wanted to video, but I was stuck with a camera that couldn’t film. But as soon as I got the chance I pretty much jumped on it. It’s heaps better.
Do you have any clips you’re really stoked on?
My favourite one I did was probably the Mooney Mondays one. Which I just did with Mooney over like an hour session at our local point break. I think that one came out the best.
Young, Free, Alright! is a new editorial series presented by Coastalwatch and Arnette. Once a fortnight we'll be showcasing and profiling a young and up-and-coming photographer, filmmaker, blogger, artist, musician, shaper, surfer or whatever that we've been digging. The rad and creative groms of Australian surfing. Alright!
To see more Young, Free, Alright! profiles click here.
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