Aspiring Central Coast filmmaker Riley Blakeway has his own style surf filming. He has a great eye for visual art and finding some amazing camera angles and lifestyle filming.
Name: Riley Blakeway
Place of residence: SYD Australia
Age: 20 Profession: Film maker
Sponsors: Anon, Analog, Stab Mag
Your debut film SPECTRUM has been completely funded, filmed and produced by yourself. How did you manage that?
It was one of the hardest things I will ever have to do. I was a first semester design student at university when I realized I wanted to be somewhere else … Filmmaking! I dropped out, worked labor, dishwashing, borrowed money. Anything I could to get myself around the world filming surfers. It was an immensely gratifying experience that I will never forget.
You really worked hard on film for the Little Weeds competition. Was it worth?
Winning Little Weeds was a huge feat for me. It put my work up against all of my peers and helped me become the filmmaker I am today. The thought of loosing the competition drove me insane. I stayed up day and night working on new techniques, new edits, new ideas. I even self funded and built dolly tracks for my Little Weeds finale film. Winning has opened up so many doors for me that I would have never been exposed to. I could talk for ever about Little Weeds haha.
Film is the most powerful tool in the world to influence people for good. Do you think film itself is good to creat some hype?
Film is definitely a powerful medium. I think that’s why It is my life’s passion. Hype is good but only if it isn’t false hype. For instance; Action sports film trailers can be very deceiving. They can build peoples expectations to such a level that they are quite easily disappointed when they see the film itself. This is something I am very weary of.
For whom do you work mainly? What clients do you have?
I have worked for almost every brand under the sun. Off the top of my head: Anon, Analog, Billabong, Quiksilver, RVCA, Insight, VZ, Volcom, Arnette, Kustom, Ezekiel, Stab Magazine, Surfing World magazine … I just began my career in music videos and I have worked with ‘Matt Van Schie’ (Van She) and Mickey Avalon. Some big names on the horizon.
Have you been influenced by other Film makers, or who inspires you most?
Spike Jonze, Michelle Gondry, David Fincher, Quentin, Robert Rodriguez, Coen brothers … to name a few. Surf films: Kai Neville and Jo G.
Do you think in your youth you had a focus that other people didn’t necessarily have?
I most definitely have a focus that others don’t. I am a very driven individual.
What is the best surf film spot in Australia?
I think that question relies on personal preference. To me the best spot might not have the most amazing waves, more important is an amazing backdrop or atmosphere. If you can apply both then your winning.
How much of your success in film making do you attribute to natural talent over work?
Good question. I often ask this myself. I have been behind the lens my entire life. I have never stopped creating and exploring, even as a very young child. I believe you can learn to do any profession you want but I think it is given ability that separates work in this field. I believe most important of all is motivation. There is allot of unrecognized talent out there, that’s for sure.
What equipment do you use?
Very job dependent. I travel with a sony PMW-EX1 kit and a sony HDR-FX7, sometimes a 7D. For allot of job’s I will hire out specific equipment.
What goals remain for you within film making?
A very extensive list! This year I am working at a successful international surf film, several music videos, some fashion shoots and a couple of other cool jobs. I just received a part scholarship to the NY film academy so my goal is to save the money from all this work and complete a one year filmmaking degree. Some time after this I am going to direct feature films.