“Sprout” Directed by Thomas Campbell, 2004
“An exploration into the ridings of water mountains and molehills.”
“Sprout” is the second film by Thomas Campbell and Woodshed. It focuses on all forms of surfing, like short board and surf rafts in the East Indies with Rasta, fish and bonzer riding, and even log riding with the lovely girls.
“Sprout” was my introduction to Campbell’s films and, I admit, the movie remains one of my favorites. It captures a different side of surfing, and also illuminates the small insights of surfers’ activities outside the water. Campbell captures the true lifestyle of a surfer. He shows Tom Wegener’s family and workshop, where he builds all wood paulownia surfboards. He shows Rasta and friends playing Scrabble and drawing on the boat in between sessions. He shows that riding waves is only a fraction of a surfer’s life.
Campbell uses his artistic style perfectly in this film, giving it a fluid movement from beginning to end. The use of 16mm film allows Campbell’s work to have that romantic and artsy feel he is known for. His camera work is captivating. And by using champion body border Mike Stewart to film surfers from the water, he provides a new angle as the camera moves with the wave.
16mm film, water shots filled with motion, and top notch surfing makes “Sprout” a seriously enjoyable film. It takes you off the couch and into the lives of surfers you see on the screen. Plus, I love Tom Wegener’s backyard.
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