Nicholas Damen is a filmmaker, currently residing in Newcastle, Australia. My first glimpse of his work was a few months back, when a friend shared rangi with me. Last week, Nicholas gave us The Sea of Possibility; a short film showcasing Jack Lynch…and a nice little point break on the coast of Tasmania.
When did you first get involved with film?
Around two or three years ago I decided to make a surf film with my good friend, Simon Treweek. The film is called Lucid. We had no idea what we were doing and what we were in for. You know that innocent excitement you get when you first come across an idea, not knowing all that is involved with something…but you launch ahead and learn along the way? Film making has been that exact experience for me.
Vimeo is a really powerful tool, not only for sharing your work, but also because of the feedback and comments. Being able to read what others think and see were your creation has ended up, is valuable information for someone who wants to create.
What was it like growing up, & surfing in Tasmania?
I grew up in Tasmania and moved to Newcastle in 2008… but I’m moving back to Tasmania now with my wife, as we’re expecting our first child. :)
Surfing in Tasmania is a very different experience. I can say, you spend more time driving than surfing. If you’re into adventure, then this isn’t such a bad thing. The long car trips and bush walks often bring on good conversation about the session that’s about to take place.
Do you draw any inspiration from other filmmakers? If so, who?
I guess Taylor Steele and Kai Neville are inspiring people. They are able to make a living from film making. I’m an electrician and film is really a hobby for me so I’ve never been able to throw my whole self into it. I try not to watch to many surf related clips as I find an unrestraining urge to copy or just make my own version of someone-else’s work. I think it’s human nature to do that, and I guess we all do it.
Recently I’ve been watching a lot of clips that center around the custom motorcycle culture. I find these clips inspiring. It’s better in the wind is an amazing online clip that captures the free spirit of motorcycling. I guess it’s made me contemplate what the free spirit of surfing look like. Hopefully I can communicate this in Sally.
What can you tell us about Sally?
It’s still in production…but I guess basically it’s about travel, getting out and exploring…
Your project The Sea of Possibility, stars Jack Lynch. How do you know Jack?
An amazing photographer, Lindsay turner told me about him a while back. I organized to shoot with jack. From there we became mates.
Are there any specific surfers you have not worked with yet, that you would like to?
Mmmm I find it important to know the person your’e working with, and for them to respect and know you…so you can create something honest.
I’d love to shoot Dane Reynolds and Al Knost…I’ll prob never meet those guys so I’m dreaming…
Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter?
Both, but with jam.
Your current film focus is surfing. If you were to shift to something else, any idea what it would be?
Motorcycling clips interest me a lot, along with skate and snowboarding. I’ve got an idea for a video installation that would suit a museum or art gallery. to put it briefly; Its about being in, and on video.
What’s on the menu for you in 2012?
I guess release Sally, and become a dad. I’m really excited about this.
Damen’s film Lucid, is currently available through OnWAX media. Sally will also be available online, after it’s release. You can enjoy the rest of Nicholas’ work on his Vimeo page.