Student-Produced Documentary Gets National Recognition

Date: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rip, Shred, Tear.  To some, these three words may sound like a papier-mâché project.  For one PLNU junior, though, these three words have evolved into a project that has received global recognition.  Madison Dyer, a film studies major, spent his summer working on a 30-minute surf documentary, Rip Shred Tear,  in conjunction with San Diego’s Captain Fin Surf Company and Hurley.

A standard surf movie takes about a year to film.  Dyer and his crew took a different approach by completing all filming in a two-month period.

“I started shooting in May and we had it all wrapped up by August,” said Dyer. “The whole point of it was to showcase surfing and the long board alternative community in that summer.”

Dyer was in charge of shooting and editing the film.  Although he had some creative input, the concept alone came from Mitch Abshere, Captain Fin Surf Company owner.  With over 20 hours of footage, a lot of behind the scenes work had to be done to complete a successful project.

“It was a really good learning experience—especially for the other side of shooting,” said Dyer.  “The scheduling and contacting people was the part I haven’t dealt with, so it was a really good experience.”

The film has had its premieres across the globe, most notably three in Japan with distribution by Hurley.  With a country geared towards surfing and ‘60s culture, most surfing companies have a Japan branch. 

Although Dyer spent his summer in the realm of surfing, he has turned his interests toward the more sophisticated side of film in marketing.  As a PLNU marketing intern, Dyer has been responsible for making mini documentaries and commercials that focus on alumni profiles, departmental profiles, professors, business events and even television commercials.

“Ideally, the stuff I am interested is mostly short stuff, commercials, music videos,” said Dyer.  “I’ve made a few connections with people in  the commercial world, and hope I can try to get away from surfing and get to a strictly professional marketing base.”

As for personal side projects, Dyer has a couple in the works.  After a successful completion of last year’s short film, Rungs, which won best film at PLNU’s film festival, Dyer is embarking on another short adventure.  The film is being produced in one of the film production courses, and focuses on a guy who secretly cheats on his girlfriend and accidentally sends a text that might get him in trouble.  In an attempt to save himself, he tries to erase the text message while a close friend documents the whole process.  In addition to this, he will also be working with Captain Fin Surf Company on another surf project that will be pitched to Fuel TV.

It is evident that Dyer possesses the drive and talent to be successful.  Although he has already gained some notoriety for his work, he says that his ethic has started with class projects.  They have inspired him to produce quality work and continue to drive him to expand his mind creatively.    

“Having professors and peers that have pushed you to do stuff out of your comfort zone--as repetitive as a lot of school projects can get--really pushes you to work under a deadline and learn the whole process,” said Dyer.  “Really, I have both of those to be thankful for.”

Written by Nicholle Jaramillo