For The Love of the Ocean

Darius Devas explores mankind's affinity for the ocean in his latest video project

The mere fact that you are looking at these words means you have some sort of love for the ocean.

But have you ever slowed things down, taken a step back, and truly appreciated just how amazing a single wave looks?

Scientifically speaking, it is simply energy caused by large winds, reacting with the ocean’s surface as it makes its way to its ultimate destination at the shore (yeah, we know there is more to it than that).

But, it is the moment between a swell’s journey from the deep ocean to our beaches, where many of us find our ultimate source of enjoyment, relaxation and freedom.

Melbourne filmmaker and keen bodyboarder, Darius Devas, wants to explore that relationship.

Growing up in the idyllic surf town of Byron Bay and bodyboarding with the likes of Parkway Drive lead singer Winston McCall, Devas has forged a name for himself as a creative filmmaker who likes to delve deep into a subject – and it is no surprise that his favourite subject is the ocean in all its forms.

Riptide Magazine caught up with Darius to discuss his latest video endeavour called the One Wave Project.

Firstly, tell us about the One Wave Project. How many will there be in the series?

To be Honest I’m not totally sure, I’d love it to be something that is an ongoing thing, and eventually incorporates other people’s waves as well.

What was the goal behind the project. Was there anything specific you wanted to get out of it?

I’ve always had a fascination with waves, outside of the experience of surfing them and when I started realise the way in which you could look at them in such detail when you filmed them at high frame rates (slow motion) I was hooked! So I guess this project is about exploring each wave as an individual expression.

You are teaming up with artists to score the music. How does that process work?

It would be incredible to have the musicians score each wave but realistically, it would be timely and costly. So what normally happens is I find a track that has the right kind of feeling, with a band is open to letting me use it, then match it with a wave.

There is almost as much focus on the music as there is on the waves in this series. Was that intended?

For sure, I feel like the music is a way to enhance the individuality of each wave, give it it’s own distinct vibe.  I also like to make a point of acknowledging the contribution of the artist as well because it plays such a big part.

You previously made such film series as Ocean Talk, 1 Revolution and Within. Is the One Wave Project related to these in any way or is it something completely different?

Yeah it definitely is, in the last years I’ve really been drawn back to filming the ocean, after spending years away from it. The waves I’ve launched so far are all the amazing waves I didn’t use from the Within shoot.

You’re no stranger to charging on the boog. We even have a daily frame of you having a solid crack out at Mullaghmore in Ireland. How long have you been bodyboarding?

I think I was about four when I got my first boog but I think shit got real when I was about seven or something like that and I got my first Manta Wingnut, that thing was my pride and joy for many years! It’s been amazing this year moving back home to Byron having spent nearly ten years in Melbourne, so stoked to be back in the water most days.

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Above: Darius Devas takes a bomb at the infamous Mullaghmore in Ireland. Photo: Christian McLeod

There is an overarching theme in all your film projects that explores mankind’s affinity for the ocean. What does the ocean, and bodyboarding, mean to you?

Yeah, I really am interested in exploring that relationship, beyond just frothing for pits and bowls. I think a big part of my natural process when I have a question like that, is to ask lots of really interesting people to see what they have to say and learn from their experiences, which is a big part of why I love making films because you can do that with any topic. For me personally, I love being in the water when I’m not having to fight for waves, even if that means they might not be as good quality, a lot of the time just mucking around in the water with friends or by myself. That connection for me when there is no pressure to compete, just having fun being in the ocean, I find it really shifts my whole outlook and I feel like I’m better at life when I’m in that headspace. I also love how it makes me hungry to explore the world and search out different waves and places all over the planet. Doing that with good friends, there are few things better.

How did you get into filming?

It actually was through bodyboarding, I had this old-school high eight video camera and I was just so amped on capturing the local shredders rip. It was a great time too because I had Winston McCall, Jono Ware and some other great riders to film. Back then those guys could have given any pro a run for their money technically, the moves they were pulling were ridiculous, it was exciting to watch. I might have secretly hoped by filming them I could learn to hit sections like that, turns out turns out that was definitely not the case!

What camera setup(s) do you use to catch these amazing images?

For the One Wave project so far, all the footage has come from the TS3 Cine high-speed camera, which I was lucky enough to be sponsored to use for the Within project. I really wish I could use that camera ever day. Other than that I film most of my lifestyle footage on a Canon 5D Mark 2 and surf and water footage on a Panasonic GH4.

You seem to have a close relationship with the band Hiatus Kaiyote, how did that come about?

Just through hanging out in similar circles when I was living in Melbourne. I’ve been amped on those guys for so long, so it has been really exciting to watch them do so well. They went from being this local backyard band and just playing to their friends, to having all this international recognition and getting nominated for a Grammy, all in a super short amount of time, it was wild.

Is there anything specific you are looking for when filming and choosing which wave to use for the project?

There are lots of factors, but the main thing I’m looking for is personality, I want the wave to have something that makes it really stand out as its own thing. There are many things that can effect this, where I’m sitting with the camera, the lighting plays a huge part, what different settings the camera is on, the wind. That’s what makes it exciting, there are so many variables that you never know what you are going to come up with. I remember when I was filming Within, I spent two hours freezing out in this very average looking wind affected closeout because I’d seen one wave do something interesting while we were checking it. The whole session I pressed record once, nothing else was worth filming but that one wave, is one of the best waves I’ve ever filmed because I was in this exact right position, this angle I’d been trying to capture for ages. It’s at 2.36 in the film if you wanna see the wave.

What locations did you go to to film these waves?

Without being specific, so far all the waves in the project have come from our great Southern lands.

What can we expect in the future episodes? Will there be any other artists involved?

Yeah I’ve got some exciting new musical collaborations coming up and also I’m focussing on collaborations with Australian artists at the moment, so if anybody out there has music that suits, reach out to me. There is also some great waves coming too and looking forward to getting out there and shooting some new material.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline? Or are there any major projects you really want to see come to fruition?

I’m currently editing together my footage from my trip to Ireland, really excited about that little project, which will be out soon and I’m also in the process of developing a major new ocean project, which is in it’s early days at the moment but has a lot of potential.

How do you fund these projects?

All the ocean projects that Ive done so far a self-funded and I do them because I love making them. So if you like what I do you can support the projects by subscribing to the Being Here YouTube channel, check out our website and our social feeds. It actually really makes a big difference, there is power in numbers and if you have an active audience, it is easier to get new projects off the ground.

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