Nathan Myers is a man who wears many hats work wise – there’s the writer, magazine editor, filmmaker and producer. This year, he, with long time collaborator Taylor Steele, is bringing the next instalment of the highly successful Innersection series to our screens. Innersection Black has more of everything; there’s power-hacks, airs, Canadian forests, fire, slow mo’s, macking wipe-outs and a banging soundtrack. Chris Nelson caught up with Nathan to find out about the man behind the men behind the lenses.
Innersection Black has its European premiere at London Surf / Film Festival on Sunday 3rd November. Grab a ticket HERE
Tell us about yourself - where did you grow up and has surfing and capturing images always been a major part of your life?
I grew up in California, a mix of San Diego and San Francisco, with good towns like Santa Cruz, Encinitas, and Berkeley somewhere in the mix. I worked as a lifeguard for many years and lived in my van for some of that time. That’s probably where I fell in deep with the surfing lifestyle -- anchorless and salty.
I’m a writer – but I love film, photography, music and anything else that plays a part in storytelling. To me, filmmaking is the highest form of storytelling because it draws together so many creative (and non-creative) disciplines. That’s what I love about it, the symphony of elements coming together towards a common purpose.
What got you into filmmaking in the first place and where did the original concept for Innersection come from?
After college, I helped a writer named Matt Warshaw write The Encyclopedia of Surfing and after that I spent nearly ten years working for Surfing Magazine, first from the US and later from Bali. During that time I started traveling with Taylor Steele and Dustin Humphrey, collaborating on various films, from Trilogy and Stranger Than Fiction to Castles in the Sky and The Drifter…I learned a lot from those guys, both friends and mentors. It was during those travels that Taylor and I started talking about the Innersection project as a way to evolve how surf movies are made.
Innersection Black involved so many filmmakers shooting across the globe, with different swell seasons and different surfers. How is it bringing this huge project together on a specific deadline?
Inspiring. Frustrating. Confusing. I sometimes get very formal emails of young, educated surfers wanting to apply for jobs with “our company,” which cracks me up ‘cause it was always just Taylor and I just patching this all together on a wing and a prayer. Very informal. Surf filmmaking’s a pretty dodgy prospect. I could tell stories for days about the chaos behind four years of Innersection… but I’d just end up having a heart attack, so I won’t. I’m still not convinced the Internet is improving our lives.
What was the hardest part about bringing a film to the screen and what is the most rewarding?
The hardest part is just dealing so many different people and personalities all at once. As passionate individuals, surf filmmakers are a bunch of crazies. And I was running the asylum. That, and not getting to be really involved in the creative side of things. I wanted to be issued meds, too! We made films composed of other people’s films… so I’m really just in management here. And that was never my strong suit. But the rewarding part is using my connections and understanding of the surf world to give so many other surfers and filmmakers a bigger stage to perform. There have been so many really beautiful sections over the years, and to see Innersection’s growing as a collection… I feel like there’s a little part of me in all of them, even if there isn’t.
In your work life you take on many roles, which do you like the best and why?
Yeah, I kinda can’t help myself. Writing is my passion… and there’s always a pen in my hand. But that pen connects directly to my brain and my brain tends to pop and sizzle with ideas when there’s ink in the chamber. I love the process of bringing ideas to life, whatever they may be, and as much as I dream of simplifying my juggling act of low-paid novelty hobbies, I fear it’s probably not in my nature. I like to think of all those pursuits as being connected to storytelling… trying to find some sort of meaning in all of this whatever. That said, I wouldn’t say Innersection’s a particularly “meaningful” film… but if you want to scratch a bit deeper, maybe the project is about how we’re all different and the same in this pursuit and passion for waves. Connected, despite everything else.