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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Riding The Waves

Entered in Documentary


We approached this film following Elizabeth Sneed, aka @CurvySurferGirl, who had to fight through body image and a skin condition to find her place in the world.  Turns out that place was on a surf board.  Wearing only a swimsuit that wouldn't hide her skin, she first had to find acceptance within herself, then build a community that was representative of modern and diverse women athletes.  

Strategy and Execution

Filming on location in Hawaii, Elizabeth's home, we had a lot of beauty to work with, but a lot of logistics to tackle.  To capture the loneliness and isolation that surrounded her upbringing, there was no better supporting character than the vastness of the ocean.  We worked with Emmy Award winning production crew Salt+Air, to bring the visuals to life.  First we filmed free diving with a safety diver, which was essential for swimming through caves to help illustrate dark scary periods. Next we filmed swimming with sharks, which was terrifying for some of us, but we had famous shark diver @OceanRamsey leading us and keeping us safe.  These scenes gave us more of the dark feelings of the unknown that Elizabeth dealt with in her life.  Finally we filmed surfing, and rented an outrigger to capture the best shots. We had to paddle to keep up with them, so we had to work for these shots. We also had a drone overhead to follow Elizabeth and her friends surfing, to show the community that she'd built.  It was the first time I directed wearing a bathing suit and snorkel.  


The video was an immediate success with Over 50k views in the first month, and still attracting over 2k views every month.  It was widely viewed on and promoted across social media channels from @WebMD and @CurvySurferGirl on Instagram and TikTok, with hundreds of comments.  The audience connected with her empowering story, and hopefully inspired their own lives in the process.  


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