Relentless Short Stories: Mickey Smith

Dark Side of the Lens

A new film contest for aspiring directors. No half measures, please.

Mickey Smith’s film ‘Dark Side of the Lens’ is at the bottom of this page, film competition info below.

Relentless Energy presents Short Stories, a challenge to recognised core sports and music filmmakers around the world to explore, reveal and define ‘No Half Measures’ through the medium of film.

At its heart is a competition, one that will reward those directors who can bring the NO HALF MEASURES attitude to life in the most visceral possible way. The first 2010 competition initially spans the interlinked spheres of surf, BMX, skate and snow, with the first round of films being made by big wave surfer photographer Mickey Smith and visionary BMX videographer Matty Lambert. Currently in production, this initial pair of short films will be followed by skate and snow projects later in the year.

Next year Short Stories will see entry to the competition opened up to aspiring core sports and music film makers from around the world and will continue to grow from there. Starting early 2011, Relentless Energy will call on willing entrants to submit their ideas for No Half Measures short format films with the best candidates invited to bring their ideas to life.

The brief for these films is simple, bring Relentless Energy’s ‘No Half Measures’ motto to life: turning the uncompromising attitude of those leading progression in their sport’s arena into passionate and stunning short films.

Each invitee will receive a production fund plus access to Relentless associated athletes who can be used as the subject of their film. From there it’s up to the invited film maker on how they unearth and present their story.

Due to be submitted to the judging panel on 14 November, all films will then be judged on cinematography, narrative, direction and their expression of No Half Measures.

The judging panel for the £5,000 winner-takes-all prize is made up of Ross Cairns; Lives Of The Artists Director, Vince Medeiros; Huck Magazine Editor, Paul Evans; Surf Europe Editor and Will Smyth; Dig BMX Editor.

The first Short Stories film, by renowned photographer and body boarder Mickey Smith, explores his world as a true ‘waterman’ – both as an athlete and artist – and is called The Dark Side of The Lens.

“Originally I planned for the film to be more anonymous, rather than biographical, an all encompassing piece, to represent the photographers keeping the surfing machine afloat,” explains Smith.

Something that offers insight into what it takes to grind out a living as a water-based photographer in the surfing industry: a short experimental glimpse at a life lived in the shadow of obsessive photographic pursuits.”

“It also gave me the chance to ask myself a few questions, like, if you’re always observing and documenting what you see and experience, are you ever truly present? Questions like that where I could step back think and then see what the answers were,” Smith says.

As well as documenting various voices and experiences across surf photography, Smith worked with Allan Wilson from the Astray Collective, who acted as Director of Photography on the project. Together they logged hours of footage across the Atlantic coastline, travelling around Ireland, Cornwall and Manchester. Shot in Super 16mm film, as well as groundbreaking work with Canon’s 5R Digital SLR, Smith also projected images of the huge walls of water within which he works, on to monster urban landscapes such as skyrises and castles in Manchester, as well as the clifflines at his home of Ireland.

The second Short Stories is directed by Matty Lambert and explores the intriguing world of Relentless BMX Rider Mark Webb and his character beyond the contest bravado. This is Webb’s inspiring story to achieve global success in the face of adversity, thanks to his focused, determined, driven and passionate approach – a life dedicated to his bike and wanting to be remembered long after his time.

Lambert explains, “Working with Webbie was different for sure. Portsmouth life couldn’t be further away from life on the U.S contest circuit, over the time spent following Mark on both trips I’ve definitely had an insight into the real Mark Webb, and this man and story is truly inspiring.”

The four stories will debut at a premiere event later in the year where the winner will also be announced – this will also officially open the 2011 event.

For more information and to view the films visit, whilst you’re there stay up-to-date by joining The Order – Relentless’ online community for updates, news and competitions.

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