Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Captain of Cambria

Much of the time, the screenings and premieres that surround grassroots independent filmmaking efforts are as colorful as the works being showcased. Such is the case with a Thursday, August 5th presentation of the surfing documentary Estero Island Remix.

For starters, the location of the screening is not a movie theater but rather La Perla Del Mar, a small church in Pismo Beach that was rescued and relaunched in 2008. Those looking in from other states would be right to consider this as a classically Californian place of worship, as other recent activities have included Sunday acting classes with Aaron Michael Metchik.

Shell Beach movie shack

The dialogue-free Estero Island Remix is the work of 61-year-old Stewart Asher, a resident of nearby Cambria who is better known in central California as "the Captain," a nickname he earned in the 1980s. When the film screens tomorrow, there will also be musical entertainment provided by a band with a no less intriguing moniker - The Mother Cornshukers.

"San Luis Obispo is an area not usually thought of as a destination for the mainstream surfer," the Captain shares during an interview with FilmStew. "But there is a growing community of surfers who I thought would like a fair non-biased view of themselves and some of the few good waves that arrive here in between the wind storms and the flat spells."

"All the music on the movie sounbdtrack is composed by myself, from acid music or similar programs, with some guitar or synthesizer keyboard tracks added to the mix," he adds. "Presently, I am using a regular off-the-shelf video camera, and most of the material that I have shot is from a monopod rather than a tripod."

Asher has been surfing since he was a teenager back in the 1960s, so his 72-minute documentary is the byproduct of a life's worth of wave-riding experience. His only regret is that he did not start filming his fellow beach bums until 1985.

Jokingly described by its maker as
"Blair Witch meets Carson Daly"

Tomorrow night's event is a fundraiser for the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, pairing Estero Island Remix with marine biologist  Terry Lilley’s Central Coast Sea Life. Although Asher says there are thankfully few crisis-level environmental issues affecting the beaches of his beloved Cambria, some upcoming test wells for a possible desalinization plant in front of a popular surf spot might change that.

"Surfrider has their own concessions for the screening, but I plan to make a donation to them from part of the movie proceeds," Asher reveals. "Even though the beach where I would like to spend the rest of my days is probably fiction... You know, the place where the wind is always offshore, the water is warm, the swell never ceases breaking off the point and you can live right on the sand."

The title Estero Island has nothing to do with its Florida namesake. Rather, Asher says it is a nod to Estero Bay, next to Morro Bay, CA, where most of the footage was shot.

[La Perla Del Mar Chapel]

1 comment:

  1. Hi- Shelley,
    Thanks for posting the Chapel I Like it and Love it,memories of Shell Beach.
    See you soon.