Film maker mourns the loss of fun and debauchery in surfing
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 November, 2016 - Matt Wybenga describes himself as “A documentarian doing the thankless work that fills up your Facebook feed.” True. And we thank him for that.
Think about how many surf clips the average rabid surfer consumes each day. Now consider how many hours is necessary (either sweating under a tropical sun or freezing on a frozen Atlantic beach - take your pick) to produce just a handful of Instagram worthy seconds.
The men and women doing that thankless task sometimes go on to fame and fortune like Taylor Steele & Kai Neville, while others view the whole damn arduous process as simply a fun hobby.
Matt Wybenga has a hobby that brings surf fans clips. Thank you Matt! And while he’s shot projects for big surf companies like Billabong and Oakley, he's now the director at AVE (Alliance Visual Experiences). To pay the bills he’s produced pieces for the likes of ESPN, General Motors, and Master Craft.
Between corporate stints he’s somehow found time for his latest project “Rotten to the Core,” a nitro-fueled 30-minutes which harkens back to the rough cut edginess of punk-era videos from Runman, Astrodek and Lost.
What do you want viewers to get from watching “Rotten to the Core?”
It's just a side project of stuff I've shot in recent years that I didn't want sitting on the shelf collecting dust. I just wanted to make a surf movie without all that corporate nonsense, something that kind of got back to the roots of surf videos. If I can put that all together and get you psyched to surf with the occasional laugh then the film has done it's job.
What criticisms do you have on the current state of professional surfing?
I look at surfing as more of a lifestyle than a sport. When I see parents homeschooling their kids and spending all day at the beach filming them as their coaches analyze the footage in hopes of reaching their kids dream (not the parents of course) of qualifying for the tour, I think to myself how did it get to this point? Is this what surfing’s really all about? Where's all the fun and debauchery? We shouldn't forget where surfing's roots came from and how all this was started by a bunch of degenerates just trying to figure out a way to keep surfing and not have to work a "real" job.
Which individuals are your biggest influences as a film maker?
My biggest influence's as a filmmaker believe it or not are a combination of Bruce Brown, Jack McCoy, Sonny Miller, Larry Haynes, mixed in with all the Lost Videos, Veeco productions, and all of Herb's Astrodeck videos.
Which surfers inspire you and make you want to surf?
The people who inspire me to surf are the surfer's who are outside the box and having the most fun. The cast of characters that make the surfing lifestyle so rad. Too many to name, but they all know who they are.
What is your day job?
My day job is as the Director of AVE (Alliance Visual Experiences) A production company in North San Diego county.
If given unlimited budget and resources, what movie would you make?
I would make a movie about my hometown of San Clemente. Talk about a cast of characters, the history of all the different surfers from all walks of life who live in San Clemente and have had a hand in shaping what surfing is today is ridiculous.