Below you’ll find the winning film submitted by Matt Meola, formerly a lesser-known surfer from Maui, to the finals of Innersection, a wiki-style surf movie recently released by Taylor Steele and Nathan Myers.
Thanks to this section, put together by Elliot Leboe and voted number one by viewers, 21-year-old Meola is now US$100,000 richer and no longer an ‘unknown’ in the wider surf world after beating fellow finalists Clay Marzo, John Florence, Craig Anderson, Peter Devries, and Gabriel Villeran.
Innersection was a bold experiment by Taylor Steele, whose films have covered the cutting edge of surfing since back when he videoed his friends Kelly, Rob, Shane and others trying to bust down the pro surfing door in the early ’90s. His first film, Momentum, spawned a whole new genre and since then, a section in one of Steele’s movies has remained the celluloid showcase of choice if you’re in the pro surfing game.
Innersection’s footage came from the surfers and their budding film-director buddies, who sent in their best sections for the four different rounds of the contest. In each round, website viewers voted for their favourites. Those who got the most votes went through to the next round and had to submit a new film section for the following round. Voting wrapped up in mid-2010 and Innersection, the movie, was premiered in November and released in DVD form.
Inside every copy of the DVD was a voting code with which viewers were asked to choose who, out of the 25 surfers in the final cut of the film, should take the grand prize of US$100,000 and instant micro-stardom. The project, in progress for almost two years, finally wound up this week with the announcement of the $100g winner.
So why did Meola win? Who knows the mind of the voters, but its a fair bet that the combination of his unbelievable surfing, some nifty film work and his relative obscurity all tipped the balance.
Despite its soft spot for commercialism, hero-worship and machismo, surfing still loves an underdog and as result, Matt Meola’s tail must be wagging like crazy right now.
There’ll be more Innersections ahead – the next one starts on April 1st – so start getting your clips together now, pro bros and ambitious ‘unknowns’. Cynics, quit yawning. This is people power in action, it’s filmic creativity let loose, and yes, the surfing is ridiculous.
Check out more Innersection sections at: www.innersection.tv