Taylor Steele's Five Tips For Making Good Films and Winning $20,000

13 May 2015 0 Share

Taylor Steele knows a thing or two about shooting, cutting and receiving awards for film. In a career that has spanned a quarter-century he has continually re-shaped how we view surfing, from the game changing Momentum generation videos, through the birth of counter culture in movies like Shelter and Sipping Jetstreams, and now with the telling of surf stories on a cinematic scale through films like Castles In The Sky and Mick Fanning’s Missing. Add to that hundreds of music videos, advertising campaigns, short films and not to mention Innersection, the first online clip based competition in history and you have yourself a man who has done it all. As well as all that, he’s the head judge of the Reelers Story category presented by Corona.

HOW TO WIN REELERS
With Story Judge Taylor Steele

1. Have an idea.

It sounds simple doesn’t it, but so many surf films are created from gathered footage rather than from an initial concept. Sit in a room with some friends. Bounce some ideas off each other. Take it to the extreme then work your way back to something that’s achievable, just make sure you have some kind of foundation idea upon which to build.

2. Create a narrative.

Ok, so you have your idea, now you have to make the story matter. That doesn’t mean you have to get deep and emotional (although it’s fine if you do) what I mean is you have to make the viewer care, you have to generate an emotional response, be it laughter, sadness, anger, whatever. Story is all about having a connection with your audience that transcends simple aesthetics. You can do this in so many different ways. Music videos are often great examples of fitting great narratives into three minutes and most of them don’t have the luxury of being able to use speech. Do some research into the different ways you can tell your story because originality is your trump card. You bring something new to the table and you’re ahead of the pack.

3. Think about your shots.

One of the great things about filmmaking is that almost everyone has their own style whether they know it or not. But when it comes to translating your story think about composition and how you’re going to shoot. If you want a feeling of space and loneliness or freedom for example, wide pulled back shots are your best friend. If you want a feeling of intimacy, or emotion or subtlety, super tight in your face camera shots will work wonders. Don’t be scared to think outside the box in terms of framing, and that goes for surf action too.

4. Post production.

The music you choose is obviously going to be the emotional trigger that sets the tone for your film so don’t settle for anything less than something that fits your vision. There are also a lot of filters, effects, editing tricks and other things you can use to enhance the feel of the world you are creating, but beware of going overboard. Anything that distracts the viewer from the narrative is not your friend.

5. Be critical of your edit.

This is by far the hardest thing to do. You want to be true to your vision but you also must be open to making tough choices. I find that once I’m finished a film, if I let it sit for a few days, even up to a week, and then go back and watch it, the errors will jump out at me. Put some space between yourself and the finished product and then give it the critical eye. If it’s all good, upload that sucker to the Reelers home page on Coastalwatch and get ready to revel in the accolades! Good luck, I look forward to watching your movie.

All ye lovers of movies and movie making… Vibe this! Reelers, Surfing World’s first short surf film competition is now on and with $20,000 up for grabs over three creative categories (and one audience award) the stakes have never been more awesome. From now until September 1 Surfing World are throwing down the challenge to filmmakers all over Australia to put together a three minute surf movie, submit it into one of three categories for the chance to win cash money prizes and mondo kudos from the most legendary judging panel ever assembled.

Categories:

Story presented by Corona
Action presented by Nikon
Youth presented by Goal Zero

There is also a $5000 Audience Award presented by Coastalwatch plus

For entry details, rules and more information, head on over to the Reelers home page

Tags: reelers , (create Alert from these tags)

blog comments powered by Disqus
Features
Rip Curl's Doing a "Mick Week" and It's Really Good

Rip Curl's Doing a "Mick Week" and It's Really Good

Especially that clip of Mick bottom turning around Mikey

1 1 Apr 2020
A Cinematic Viewing of Cyclone Gretel at Snapper

A Cinematic Viewing of Cyclone Gretel at Snapper

Fanning, Freestone, Kerrsy, Crews, Soli, Carmichael, Mikey Wright and more indulge

2 31 Mar 2020
Recent

Rip Curl's Doing a "Mick Week" and It's Really Good

Especially that clip of Mick bottom turning around Mikey

1 1 Apr 2020
A Cinematic Viewing of Cyclone Gretel at Snapper

A Cinematic Viewing of Cyclone Gretel at Snapper

2 31 Mar 2020
The Coastalwatch Isolation Salvation – No.2

The Coastalwatch Isolation Salvation – No.2

1 30 Mar 2020
Nick Carroll: We Asked a Scientist, Is Surfing Safe From COVID-19?

Nick Carroll: We Asked a Scientist, Is Surfing Safe From COVID-19?

14 28 Mar 2020
Nick Carroll: Surf School's Out

Nick Carroll: Surf School's Out

27 Mar 2020
Latest News

Rip Curl's Doing a "Mick Week" and It's Really Good

Especially that clip of Mick bottom turning around Mikey

A Cinematic Viewing of Cyclone Gretel at Snapper

Fanning, Freestone, Kerrsy, Crews, Soli, Carmichael, Mikey Wright and more indulge

The Coastalwatch Isolation Salvation – No.2

Pumping tubes, rad videos, epic fails, goofy podcasts, and classic reading to get us through.

Nick Carroll: Surf School's Out

With the steady closure of many surf schools thanks to COVID-19, Australian surfing approaches a state it’s never experienced

Popular This Week

A Bunch of Young Aussie Legends Made a Classic Surf Vid, the Olympics Be Cancelled, and Imogen Caldwell Shaaaacked

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was March 27 2020

A Cinematic Viewing of Cyclone Gretel at Snapper

Fanning, Freestone, Kerrsy, Crews, Soli, Carmichael, Mikey Wright and more indulge

Go to Top