For the Record: John John on Producing “View from the Blue Moon”
By: Bryan Altman
Photo: Tyler Rock
What was the experience like to shoot View from a Blue Moon?
Shooting the whole thing was pretty natural until you have a helicopter hovering like 10 feet right above you. The hardest thing is waves are good when they’re good. It’s not like, ‘oh, it’s good, let’s wait an hour and it’s still going to be good.’ So the biggest thing we learned is we can’t be getting this huge crew of guys together and have it take 45 minutes for everyone to get ready to film. If it’s good now we’ve got to go now, got to be ready. By the end of the movie, we knew exactly when we wanted to shoot, how we wanted to shoot it, and so we had the least amount of people doing it and got the best stuff out of it.
Was the film entirely scripted, or did the script follow your activities on the road?
That was a cool thing about filming View From A Blue Moon, we’re all doing the same thing we’ve been doing since we were little kids, just surfing and hanging out on the beach and we’re just doing it in different places and on a bigger scale. But at the same time we’re still having just as much fun doing it and we love to do it and that’s our life, just doing what we love to do.
You’ve had a large hand in the production of the film. Have you always been keen on film and photography?
Photography was something my mom inspired. She was pretty into it when we were young and she went to school for it and she was always shooting photos when we were on the road. Then I kind of just, when I was like 16, I started taking pictures just for fun. Then I got more and more into it and got more and more cameras. I really like to shoot film now, and I have a whole little dark room in my house I use for developing and all kinds of stuff right now. On tour we get to go to these really cool places so I’ll always try to get out and get some photos in. The way surfing works is you don’t just run three days and then you’re done, sometimes you’re there for the full two weeks for a tournament. So we have so many off days where we get to do so much stuff in places like France, South Africa, Tahiti, and Fiji, you go to these amazing places and to be able to just go out and take photos is just an amazing thing to do.
The film has been likened to the Art of Flight, a notorious snowboarding movie. Has that comparison set well with you?
The movie itself is a bit different than Art Of Flight but we worked with Brain Farm who produced it, so
it’s going to be similar in terms of being real cinematic, but we have a narrative thing to ours. Hopefully it does have a similar impact on surfing, Art Of Flight had a huge impact on the world inside and outside of snowboarding, so hopefully this does that too. If it doesn’t though, I still got to do all the things I wanted to do with it.
With the premiere now over, what’s it like to look back on the entire process, from the productionto the showing?
For me, I’m looking at all the footage and it’s like, something that I liked three months ago, I’m like, wait, do I still like that? You know, because I’ve seen it so many times. I get more of a thrill when I show my friends or someone and to see their reaction to it, that’s what kind of excites me now rather than my excitement towards it. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish with the movie, because going on these trips and surfing with my friends and using all this awesome camera gear was really what I wanted to do.