We sat down with Nic Von Rupp and filmmaker Gustavo Imigrante to get the full scoop on making of the new Reef Road movie. With global premiers already racaking up rave reviews, the on screen/ off screen duo have lots to say about the new and exciting project.
Watch Reef Road movie now:
REEF Road blasts around a load of epic looking tropical locations. The typical surfers dream. Do you prefer these boardshort missions over thick winter rubber?
I must admit it feels amazing to get barreled in boardshorts, On the other hand, being thrown on dry reef with no rubber wetsuit to protect you is not ideal.. I love it all. If it’s 20 ft barrels in thick 6mm rubber, or 3ft barrels in warm water, it’s all about being in the ocean.
When you first pumped out surf edits there was one guy filming pretty much you just going surfing right? How do you deal with the added pressure of the larger media crew on this Reef Road production. Several water and land filmer and photographers and working towards bigger objectives. When you make the right call and the waves are pumping can you still switch off from the movie aims and enjoy the sessions?
The Crew I work with have become part of my family, It’s been years chasing swells wanting to capture that one clip. Obviously, now the PROJECT has grown and there are more people involved.. But all real people. When the waves are on, it’s only about the waves, myself and dealing with the crowd.. No pressure on getting the shot!
“It’s only about the waves.. and myself”
How many different trips did you do for Reef Road? Which was the highlight and any trips turn out not so good?
It was hectic! We did Indo 3 Times, Hawaii and last month, we chased our tail around the globe from Tahiti to Indonesia in less than 2 weeks..
Kandui was the last trip and probably the most benchmarking one. So Fun!
You’ve got a load of premieres for Reef Road around the world- What’s it like watching those? Still get a buzz?
It’s amazing to be able to buzz people out with something that we do, in a cinema is really where you get those vibes!
“…If there is a big storm hitting somewhere in this world, I'll be there.”
Less comps and more free surf media hits. Is that the current Nic Von Rupp plan?
I love both worlds, I love competing but I also love the challenge of trying to ride big hollow waves.. I'll be showing up in some comps, but if there is a big storm hitting somewhere in this world, I'll be there.
Gustavo. How does this latest REEF ROAD movie differ from the Nic Von Rupp’s previous My Road series that you worked on?
The first series had 4 long episodes. All with different themes and all heavy focussed on Nic himself as a character. Lots of Nic talking to camera and very much documentary style.
Reef Road is pretty different. For starters it’s what I’d call a fictional documentary. It’s scripted and uses an actress from top to end. Nic has no speaking parts and so it’s pretty different. The action is top level just focussed on the best swells we could find the last 2 years.
Yes - the idea was to have a different thread and also we thought we’d done enough on Nic’s own character in the 1st series. I wanted the character in this to be a girl so that there was no confusion with Nic, and also try to set a different perspective, one that is not so usual in surf movies. She was an actress and the whole thread is around her. We did all of the filming for that on a really remote island. Pretty different to the other trips we’ve been on.
How did you originally get involved with Nic?
4 years ago, Nic asked me to come and help film a trip in Morocco. We connected well on that trip and that was the moment where we started developing the whole MyRoadSeries. Those first My Road projects were pretty much me and Nic with certain crew pulled in for each trip. There’s a slight difference with this Reef Road where we had a more composed crew on each trip. There was an actress involved, there was a script...Performance wise, we manage to have water operators, so that we could cover more than a single angle. There’s a lot more goes into making sure the production values are as high as possible.
What are the challenges with a big project like this?
For sure the biggest is the key ingredient of waves. We wanted to film for almost 2 years and only include the best swells and sessions from that time period. As it turned out we had to re-open the whole editing process this last month to include some final epic sessions. And it doesn’t always go to plan. Theres a lot of pressure on the calls.
Which Road is next?
Yes, we’re already actually filming and working on the next step for My Road. Let’s just say again it will be pretty different to the crystal warm water waves of Reef Road.