I did this interview about the film and book, have a read and see where we are at with it all.
Tell us where the Plastic Project is at the moment –
I’ve spent the last year piecing together a long term educational resource, which photographers, film makers and surfers contribute to globally, and any school can have access to it. So we’ve reached about three million students, which for a tiny organisation like this is amazing, and it proves that surfing and adventure as a medium to talk about environmental issues really resonates with young people.
What about on a general level, you’ve been filming/shooting for film and book for a while, where are you at with that?
Dispatches From A Plastic Planet was originally a short film four years ago, it has taken us longer to turn into a full film and book, mainly because of the educational side taking up so much time, but it is in its final stages.
Tell us about the film
The film is a combination of my very personal journey, through England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, France and Iceland, as well as dispatches from surfers, photographers and film makers world wide. It brings together the surfing and adventure, but also the real time situation of what is going on on beaches world wide. It incorporates the beauty and excitement of surf adventure, and the horror of what we’re finding and what we’re going to need to do about it.
How does it differ from other films which cover this are?
It is raw, it’s what’s going on, it’s really direct, we haven’t tried to make a Netflix doco with scientists etc., although it did start out like that, we wanted to make something totally different from a surfer/photographer point of view, that illustrates how we are on the frontline of this problem and how we can document it. Although it covers most of the world, what really makes it different is its focus on Europe, we look to Asia and the Pacific as the big problem, but Europe is bad, like really bad.
What about the book, you say the project was born out of your previous work Numb, is it in anyway close to that original?
Essentially Dispatches From A Plastic Planet is Numb 2, it’s expanded with surfers, although Ian plays a big part, and it has the same sort of feral adventure tales in there, nothing has changed when it comes to my approach to going anywhere. The difference is that each chapter has a couple of spreads dedicated to the environment in it, but the rest is essentially just like Numb, it’s feral, cold and fun. Hopefully it is as inspirational as Numb, in the adventure and also in the need to protect our oceans as well.
Where abouts do you cover in the book?
Norway, Iceland, France, Scotland, Ireland and probably my favourite is I’ve been able to unleash my archive of pumping England as well which will surprise some people I think. Each chapter is very different, Norway is in Lofoten and is about perfect points and pollution on remote beaches. Iceland is very much Feral living and adventure. Ireland is all about big slabs, Scotland a mixture, England is focussed on Cornwall, Devon and the North East and France is probably the most shocking, it’s the climax of the film and book.
You’re going to tour book and film in 2019, how are are you doing this?
We want to make this as accessible to as many people as possible, and for people to see it in person as well, i work professionally in the murky world of content marketing and I know for a fact that not many people watch long/er films online, and also they have a lot less impact. So we want to show it on the big screen as far and wide as possible, so over the next year we will be touring it globally. Obviously with work I can’t just set out and do it, so going to break it up into chunks.
We’re funding it partially with a bit of sponsorship, but mostly by selling the books, basically we have 250 books on top of the ones which were ordered by people who helped us three years ago get the film and book started, and we need to sell 200 to make the tour viable. Then if we sell the other 50, we’re going to donate it to the 2 Minute Beach Clean crew to buy a couple of boards for beaches which may not be able to afford it.
So how can people get a book?
You can get one right here
Dispatches From A Plastic Planet – Hardback 25 x 20 cm, 208 pages
204 page hardback book shot in France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and Norway. Price includes postage WORLDWIDE
Then what about the film tour?
It started last year, but we wanted to ever evolve it, and we came up with a really good idea in November, which I have to keep close to my chest, but rest assured it’s going to do something a little different to say the least. It will re-start in March and conclude next November.