If Evan isn’t surfing Vimeo for inspiration, odds are he’s actually surfing. In both work and play, this haole boy is hugely influenced by Hawaii. And as long as he’s filming, he can call surfing “work.”
Where do you look for inspiration?
The Internet, all over it — I spend way too much time online. I could spend years just watching stuff on Vimeo alone. There are so many talented filmmakers on there, it’s inspiring. Skateboard and surf films are what got me into filming in the first place, so I still watch a lot of those.
How has living in Hawaii influenced your filmmaking?
I’m not a native Hawaiian — I’m a total haole boy — but Hawaii is my first love. She looks great on camera and is a huge part of my inspiration. I recently started a production company with another local filmmaker. It’s called Kahena, which means to flow. An homage to Hawaii, it represents our style of filming and work ethic. We want to create films for Hawaii and about Hawaii that feel natural and promote good community values. We focus primarily on nature, adventure, sustainability, and family.
Speaking of Hawaii: hot lava, surfing, underwater shots — what filming challenges do they present?
Hurry up and wait! I travel light and mostly shoot with DSLRs and GoPros so I can be set up quickly if I need to be, like when I get someplace and am about to lose light or the winds are gonna switch and blow out the waves.
On the other hand, you have to have lots of patience when waiting on certain conditions or trying to find some remote place. I’ve spent hours on missions only to get totally skunked by the weather or get there way after sunset. I always have camping stuff with me just in case I need to stay the night to get the shots I want.
You interned for Hawaii Five-O and LOST. What’s your most memorable moment on-set?
I was a new camera PA for Hawaii Five-O when one of the actors brought in a sushi chef for everyone one day. The camera crew got wind of it first and sent me to order a platter. There was only one chef, so it took him a good 15 to 20 minutes (felt like 45) to make a platter for 15 guys.
In the meantime, everyone was lined up behind me, and one of the older transpo dudes started yelling, “Yo, how you gonna order for the whole camera department when we all gotta wait in line ourselves?” He was kinda joking, or so I thought, but everyone started hating on me. It was only my second or so time on-set, so it was super uncomfortable.
That night, the same transpo guy was driving me back to the parking lot with a van full of people. He recognized me — “Hey!! The sushi guy!!” — and stopped the van and told me to get out. I was about to but he stopped and was like “Nah, nah, I’m just joking.”
What do you like about shooting stock?
That it can be anything — something I shot that’s sitting on a hard drive or an idea I want to shoot that doesn’t necessarily fit into a story. I love that it’s a legit excuse to give my wife when I want to go surf or play in the ocean. As long as I film something, I’m working, in a sense.
What’s the most exciting thing happening in video right now?
Low-light cameras. I primarily shoot with natural light, and sometimes that means I have to pump up my ISO further than I may want to. I try to stay below 1250, maybe 1600 if I’m desperate — everything after that turns into a mess of gross digital grain. I foresee using them at dusk or even night with the way things are looking with the new Sony A7R II.