Don't you think there's a surreal element to the humble art of gliding foam over water? We look at maps and charts, at images and videos of places others have breathed life into on the far side of the globe – and we all connect with that on a spiritual, or otherwise, level.
And sometimes, we need a bit of a reality check, a shift away from routine to help us reconnect with the ocean. The day-to-day grind, even if you're in the water everyday, can feel monotonous, punctuated with the call to just spend a few days removed from the norm. It's this desire to break away from the mould that's explored in Andrew Kainedar's excellent movie Beyond the Noise, dropping soon. The film's stunningly shot across the northern hemisphere, notably Ireland, and features Noah Lane (former winner of MSW's Winter Session) and Harrison Roach, who are "unchained and dangerously close to freedom". You can watch the trailer below.
We checked in with Andrew to talk all things independent movie, its premise and the reason why it's a necessity to find escapism.
MSW: Tell us a bit about the film, what’s the premise?
Beyond the Noise is an abstract representation of societies disconnect from nature, using surfing as a subject to highlight and simplify the overall idea of our disconnect.
What’s the inspiration behind the title?
After chatting a bunch and going over title names with the guys, I came across the track ’the rest is noise' by Jamie XX. After some back and forth, Noah threw back what about Beyond the Noise.
It speaks for escapism from the concrete jungles, but also for what happens after we’ve pushed the earth beyond it’s threshold and it becomes a hostile place to live. As is already shown in the film, when the whole city is in lockdown and the land is frozen over with not a person in sight.
How long has it been in production?
The film was in production for a year. Shooting for three months at the start of 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere, followed by six or so months of post production and then taking care of everything that comes up after that. The soundtrack was entirely written for the film, so it was a long process back and forth with my good friend Jo, who created it.
The protagonists, Noah and Harrison, have very different styles of surfing but their approach seems connected, their headspace even. Is this something you’d hope to convey in the film?
Both Noah and Harrison are surfing for the pure enjoyment on whatever craft suits the conditions, which I guess is where the similarities are. I felt they both complemented each other in different areas and, between the two of them, I was able to capture everything from longboarding to slabs in a variety of different waves and on different boards.
There’s so much more going on here than just a surf movie, and speaking of connections, there’s a segment where the gents are bodysurfing and it kind of reminds me of that feeling we all get when we’re in the water – board or not. Is this something you wanted to show? Or did you just want to show the beauty of a spot?
You know, I didn’t intend to shoot bodysurfing at the beginning, but it shows my choice in surfers was the right one. We had rocked up to the spot and it was only 2ft and Harrison asked if I minded if he just went bodysurfing, so we just thought we’ll capture it and see what happens. The whole film is really dark and unrelenting, but Harrison bodysurfing in the last scene was a real relief from the darkness and to just bring everyone back to why we go into the ocean in the first place.
What do you think people can take away from the movie?
The ocean provides for us in many ways and allows us to escape the chaos and be totally immersed in the present, while simultaneously giving us a renewed respect and love for our natural environment.
I just hope to get people’s minds thinking about the importance and significance of the actions we take everyday, and inspire people to reconnect with the natural environment and with the present.
The logistics and process of making a film are many – did you find any hiccups along the way here?
The film was one hell of a ride. Two weeks after it was all locked in, I broke my leg surfing on the South Coast of NSW and ended up flying to Europe in a moon boot and on crutches.
I wasn’t able to film the first week of swell from the water which was 10ft and pumping, which was disappointing. Noah had saved this twin fin that his friend Beau Young had made for him for nearly six months, and the first surf, he snapped it.
The board hit him in the head and he got six stitches, which caused us to miss three days of pumping waves.
Noah also tore his MCL and PCL at the cliffs on his last wave as he was about to come in. Then about a month after I returned home, my grandma passed away. That was difficult to try and continue being creative while dealing with all that.
There was many hurdles, but I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes. Quite a few lessons in there...[laughs]
What are your highlights from the film or the filming journey?
The highlights from the film are just some of the shots we ended up getting and the soundtrack.
We put so much effort into the cinematography and the cover is a perfect example. We drove two hours and took a ferry to a remote Ireland, camping overnight to shoot this amazing cliff that I could get a really good angle on. I knew when I took the photo that it would be the cover straight away. It was great to be rewarded after putting so many hours in.
Harrison having his first St Paddy’s day in Ireland was a highlight, and just cruising around with a bunch of good people in a shitty van with no heating....
For more about Beyond the Noise go HERE.