We speak to Philly Lewis after she teamed up with Passenger owner Richard Sutcliffe to produce the impressive film Embrace the Journey which is currently in the running for the LSFF Shorties.
The pair teamed up when Rich approached Philly after seeing her entry, The Open Road, in the 2014 Shorties and the creativeness went from there.
We sat down with Philly and fired off a few quick questions…
How did you come up with the idea? Where did you find the quote?
Coming up with the idea for Embrace the Journey was easy, Passenger have such an adventure/travel brand ethos that matched with my personality exactly. As soon as there was ideas for a film, I immediately thought of a quote by Ed Abbey that I came across whilst camping across America. For those of you that don’t know, Edward Abbey was an American author and also worked as a park ranger at Arches National Monument in Moab, Utah. This was one on the spots I camped and where I came across a few of his books. The landscape is incredible and so wild with the night sky full of stars, somewhere I will always remember! It was two years later that I was able to incorporate it into my work.
How did the filming go? Anything interesting/untoward happen?
If I’m honest, the filming was completely organic. To start with I had a clear idea of the narrative to match the quote, storyboards, certain scenes etc. The first day we went out to film, I started with the first scene I wanted to capture; camping on a cliff overlooking the sea. It all looked wicked, and after a while it started to rain (typical Cornwall). So we went back and I looked over the footage, and thought that all the stuff I ‘storyboarded’ just didn’t look right.
I decided to scrap all my plans, took all our gear and just went out and explored
So the next day we went out filming, I decided to scrap all my plans, took all our gear and just went out and explored. That was the whole point of the quote anyway. Luckily, the weather and light turned out to be perfect, the waves were pumping at Mexico’s (although I didn’t use the footage in the end), and every clip just turned out, luckily, organically beautiful. I think that’s how I work best, or maybe it’s just luck.
What does LSSF mean to you?
Amazing films, surfer’s, directors all being celebrated! The festival/shorties is about showcasing homegrown film makers and giving them a chance for their films to be seen. Which is all we want anyway! All the entries are incredible so go and have a watch if you haven’t already…
What has the reaction been to the film so far?
All good stuff… I hope. From what I’ve seen, it’s had positive feedback, I just made the film to hopefully inspire everyone and make us remember what is important and what isn’t. Sometimes we all get caught up in life, we forget to just take a minute, step back and take a breathe. Appreciate the world. Enjoy your life. There’s no point working to stay alive if we can’t actually fully live.
I can see you have done work for Hurley etc. Is Surf quite often your main focus?
I think living in Cornwall and actually surfing myself has pushed my work in that direction. I actually studied Fashion Photography and have spent a lot of my time doing travel photography. I do a lot of lifestyle shoots but I guess my interests make me work and collaborate with like minded brands.
What is happening next for you?
Exciting things! I am working with a few big brands for the future (keep an eye out!). I am also trying to push my We Ride documentary, which trailer is also in LSFF, into a full film. I have a few trips planned too.
What is on the Lewis Bucketlist?
What isn’t! I still have lots of travelling to do. I want to create the We Ride film, the plans are to get more footage and a bigger team around the project. I want to work on getting some water footage of the girls surfing, speak to a few more women within the industry as well as men. I’m looking to get together a good creative team to make the project as good as can be and wait for those amazing wave days. I want to go and photograph a humpback whale. I could sit here and write a long list of everything I want to do but I won’t bore you…
Check out the video below then head over to the LSFF site to vote for your favourite
Check out Passenger’s video Adrift