Passion fuels creativity

In between jobs, a few friends and I took a trip to the beach for a little rest and relaxation. Teddy, Alec, Vanelli and myself trekked out to the Sanibel Island Lighthouse just outside Fort Myers, Florida. Some of us, Vanelli, couldn’t sit still long enough and decided to come up with a challenge. Armed with just a few beach chairs, a skim board, and our phones, we set out to create something unique – just for fun. After all, thats where you get your best ideas.

Alec is an athlete. He’s a great lacrosse player, all-around sport enthusiast and always up for trying something cool. He would be our skim boarder. Teddy and I would be the filmmakers running the camera and directing talent.

Lets Talk Gear

All we had with us was an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and an HTC m9. There was an advantage to the HTC m9 shooting 4K video, but not really great slow-motion. The iPhone 6 has great video and 120fps slow motion. But my iPhone 6 Plus has great video and 240fps slow motion, meaning we could get super-smooth water splashes as the board skimmed the water.

Rather than having to match cameras in post production, we decided to just shoot exclusively on the iPhone 6 Plus.

The Shoot

We had already been at the beach for a few hours before deciding to shoot this project. As the day was ending, we had great golden hour sunlight, but were losing it fast. Total shoot time would only be between 30-45 minutes. Poor Alec had to run up and down the beach constantly, with little rest in between takes.

When we finally walked off the beach, everybody had smiles on their face. The clips looked great on the iPhone and we knew we accomplished something. After a quick bite to eat, we went back to the hotel and I stayed up most of the night finishing the edit. Even though I was tired, my passion fueled my creativity.

The Song

Behind every good video is great audio. I couldn’t have assembled these clips together, strung a random song behind them, and sent off the video. No – it had to be carefully thought out. The song determines the mood and feel of the piece and its almost more important than the actual video. So I logged on to and looked through their fast-paced sports music. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted a vocal piece or just an instrumental. After about 30 minutes, I found an instrumental that I liked titled Beautiful Day Instrumental by KU, and bought it.

Then I dropped it into my Premiere Pro timeline and started editing. To help move the video along, I chose to edit to the beat. If you watch the video carefully, the clips change on a clap or drum beat. These beats create a logical start/stop point and create a smoother transition from clip to clip.

Its always fun to do a personal project. Im lucky to consider most of my paid work as personal projects too. The passion of creating something new drives me, and I hope it drives you too. Thanks for checking out the Sanibel Island Skim Boarding video. Let me know what you think in the comments below.