Posts Tagged ‘ Castles in the sky ’

Castles Premier by Casey Butler

By Casey Butler

Castles In The Sky New York Premiere
by Casey Butler

The first showing was at 8:00 p.m. but the doors of the Tribeca Cinema opened at 7, allowing entry into a curious microcosm. Stick thin models draped in über-cool camisas towered near the 7-foot mark in their fashionable heels. Perhaps aided by the free beverages courtesy of Absolut, Barefoot, and Pabst, the high heels mingled effortlessly with a crowd of flip-flops and skate sneakers, including those of Dan Malloy. Professional surfers joined hip New Yorkers and martini-sipping Europeans in downtown Manhattan for the world premiere of Taylor Steele’s new movie, Castles In The Sky.

Eschewing conventional surf movie-premiere wisdom, Steele and his executive producer Sandrine Lima of Reel Sessions decided to premiere Castles in the city that never sleeps with the help of VAS Entertainment and the New York Surf Film Festival. New York has never been a go-to locale for surf film premieres, but the NYSFF is helping to change that. Steele’s The Drifter made its U.S. debut at the NYSFF last September, and he says that he likes New York because it seems like people migrate there for the right reasons. “It feels organic,” he smiles.

The original pair of show times sold out almost immediately. A third, late-night screening was added, which also sold out. The house was packed, and the charged-up crowd perused colorful prints adorning the perimeter of the Cinema Lounge as they waited for the film to begin. The photos of indigenous peoples and fantastic panoramas the Castles crew encountered in their travels were part of a silent auction to benefit Waves of Health.

Castles In The Sky is about exploration. Steele said they used the Google Earth to scout out new locations, and during the last three years the crew shot in in Iceland, Vietnam, Africa, Peru, and India. Each section begins with the line, “There once was a man who became unstuck…” Each speaker finishes it in his own way.

The Prologue (behind the scenes) is an essential part of the film. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and shows what the crew had to endure to make Castles happen. At some point, key numbers start popping up on the screen. The ones that stand out are: 16 pro surfers, $8,000 plus in excess baggage fees, three car accidents, one film.

Castles is an interesting specimen of a surf film because its audience could be so diverse. Without subtitles spelling out who is doing what, and where, it leaves viewers to figure it out based on cultural clues. It felt like it was made for people who know the sport inside and out, and therefore don’t need to be told these things. On the other hand, the lack of inscribed clutter frees the viewer to focus on the beauty of the landscapes, people, and surfing. In other words, people who know nothing of the industry, and don’t care what the surfers’ names are, can still appreciate the film for is visual elegance.

The crew was one of the very first to use a RED camera to shoot a surf film, and though they had some issues traveling with the RED (it was detained in Morocco), they estimated that sixty-percent of the surfing segments were shot with it, and the results are completely captivating—Rob Machado carving up an insanely steep face in Peru, Rasta shredding in India, and the stunning locales practically daring you not to visit them. The shots of local color blend seamlessly with the push-the-limits surfing for which Steele’s movies are known.

During the Q&A session after the movie, Director of Photography Todd Heater said, “I think the people are what makes the film for me. We’re all the same, and we’re all beautiful, but look at how different we are.” The more you travel, he and Steele explained, the more your love of humanity grows.

Talyor’s Interview W/ Drift Mag

Interview: Joe Conway

When it comes to influential surf filmmakers, everyone gets in line behind Taylor Steele. In less than a week, he’ll premiere his latest film Castles in the Sky, an extension of his “journey over destination” Sipping Jetstreams series, at Tribeca Cinemas in New York.

Drift managed to catch up with Taylor in the midst of the buzz and insanity that precedes any film premiere in the city that never sleeps.

Drift: You’ve bucked tradition with The Drifter and now Castles in the Sky by holding the US/world premieres in New York—any particular reasons why?

Taylor Steele: For the Drifter premiere, we had the chance to be a part of the New York surf film festival which is a great event. I love New York for it’s energy and inspiration and it felt like a natural location for the premiere of Castles. The locations in the movie have a strong identity and culture, so what could be a better fit than NY.

What does progression mean to you today? You’re known for pushing the threshold in terms of the surfing you document, the locations, your filmmaking process—even down to the music you use. Do all those aspects always move in sync naturally?

Thank you for the compliment. Progression to me is just pushing the limits and boundaries of what we have done before: where we travel to, technology, the surfing. Trying something new and different is always progression. Learning from our mistakes, learning from other cultures. No, they don’t sync up naturally, it definitely takes some blood, sweat and tears from all involved. The surfers also put in a lot of work on my projects and they are always pushing the threshold.

It seems like The Drifter, the Sipping series and now Castles in the Sky are based on a thematic progression, too, almost like a challenge to surfers or the surfing community as a whole. Is it a conscious effort to get people to question the way they travel or live?

Travel has shaped and influenced me as a person. There is a lot to learn from other cultures. Our biggest world problems stem from being too self-centered–living in our little fish bowl. I am like most and am still trying to learn to think about the big picture on a daily basis. Yet the more people I meet it helps me think about the effects of my choices. I hope from my movies inspire people to travel and learn so that they can bring it back. It’s not a challenge but hopefully it inspires people visually to out there and experience as much as they can.

What do you say to the detractors who say that’s a ploy or a gimmick?

My main inspiration for these movies is my two daughters. I want them to watch these movies and feel excited about the world and not intimidated or in fear.

Were there particular experiences from the making of Sipping that inspired you guys to go even further with Castles?

Sipping truly changed my life. It inspired a move of my family to Indonesia and to continue to travel with two kids in tow. It made me really want to learn and experience new places. On most trips we would have these moments that felt so foreign and removed from home that it felt like we were seeing the world with new eyes. That was the goal moving forward. So we thought about that when we chose locations. Each had to feel like nowhere else we have been. We are inspired to bring that out in film.

Do you just score everywhere you go, every time you go? Exactly how challenging have the “off the radar” spots been to document—both in terms of waves and general hardships?

It’s hard to score in some locations as roads don’t follow the coast and it requires a lot of driving, exploring and dead ends. It gets tough when you’re searching for waves and the swell is up. You can almost hear the clock ticking.

Any hard-earned travel secrets you can share with Drift readers?

If you smile then people will smile back 99 times out of a 100. Most people are just like us and are as curious about us and our culture as we are about theirs. Oh yes, and make sure you have the proper paperwork to shoot in Morocco before you end up at the airport.

To wrap things up, how’s coming along? You’re blazing new trails with a crowd sourced video—do you think the experience will end up influencing your own filmmaking at all?

On an immediate level its already inspiring new relationships in terms of surfers to work with and filmers to collaborate with on future projects. I have seen some cool new styles and it’s just starting. I’m excited to work with the final 20 on their parts and I’m sure I’ll be able to learn as much from them as they can from my experiences. I can’t wait till year 5.

Thanks Taylor—

Castles in the Sky

Talyor Steele latest project “Castles in the Sky” is going down at the Tribeca Cinemas May 4th, in NYC…

Could It Be Possible?

Taylor Steele’s Castles in the Sky May 4th

Posted by admin on April 13, 2010 · Leave a Comment

April 13, 2010 New York, NY – After three years exploring and pioneering new
coastlines in every corner of the earth, award winning surf filmmaker, director, and
producer Taylor Steele, executive producer Sandrine Lima of Reel Sessions, and
VAS Entertainment, have chosen to present the World Premiere of Taylor’s latest
project Castles in the Sky at the famous NYC landmark theater Tribeca Cinemas.
The May 4, 2010 event hosted by the NY SURF FILM FESTIVAL will see Taylor
Steele and his cast of surfers converging downtown for this special screening, photo
exhibition and fundraiser for Waves of Health, a 501c3 organization of doctors “voluntouring”
their time in surf destinations.
Castles In the Sky is a visual whirlwind that follows surfers to the farthest reaches of
the known surf world and beyond. Castles in the Sky is a completely new approach to
surf filmmaking. Filmed in five countries over three years, the movie delves into the
true heart of the locations while the surfers travel through them with a sense of openminded
awe. With never-before seen waves, an original score, and some of the best
surfers in the world such as Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds, Rob Machado and Dave
Rastovich contributing their art, passion and athleticism, this is as close to the
experience of pioneering new coastlines as you can get without getting on a plane.
“We created Sipping Jetstreams to inspires surfers to break away from the pattern of
traveling to the same well-known destinations, but as a result, we ended inspiring
ourselves to do the same. Before that film was even done, we were already planning
this next evolution of the project with a whole new list of destinations. With a much
more elaborate plan for “Castles In The Sky”, we learned of the intricate ways things
can go wrong. If Sipping Jetstreams was like an ambient dream you have after
travel, Castles is more like the experience of actually being there.” says Taylor
Steele. “The whole point of Castles in the Sky is to inspire people to investigate a little
deeper in their travels — really getting to know the locals and cultures they visit. The
people at Waves of Health embody this vision a step beyond what any of us are
doing by actually investing themselves in the regions where they work and actually
giving something back. They are actually an inspiration to us, so it’s an honor to be
able to help them out in any little way possible.”
A Q&A Session with Taylor Steele, on location film production photo exhibit,
beverages courtesy of Pabst Blue Ribbon and local DJ’s spinning eclectic sounds
from around the world will keep ticketholders entertained before and after the film in
the adjacent Tribeca Cinema Lounge.
Tickets go on sale April 20, 2010. 10% of Ticket Sales and a silent auction will go
directly to benefit Waves of Health.
The World Premiere of Castles in the Sky thanks our sponsors for their contributions
towards this film project and premiere: in association with Sipping Jetstreams, REEL