It’s no great secret that Dane Reynolds puts the boom in the dynamite, but what Stab‘s principal cinematographer Dylan Roberts just delivered is in a league, nay, an entire genre of its own.
If you don’t know Dyl, he’s the one who looks conspicuously similar to Ethan Ewing and makes the majority of our big-budget, high-profile films—most notably Stab in the Dark and the Electric Acid Surfboard Test (barring Noa’s, which Dylan filmed but did not edit).
As the lead cinematographer, Dylan needs to know that even if his supplementary filmers miss a clip, he’s got himself to fall back on. That means setting up shop in a reliable (read: boring) position, staying put for the entirety of every session, and never missing a goddamn wave.
This leaves little room for artistic rendering.
But luckily for Dyl, the crew for Dane’s EAST included Dane’s long-time filmer Mini Blanchard and Stab‘s impenetrable gnome Sam Moody, both of whom are as reliable as the tide.
The confidence Dyl had in this team allowed him to take chances he normally wouldn’t when filming for such an important feature, which led to the piece you see above.
Here are some of Dylan’s notes from the trip:
“That trip was right up there with the best surfing I’ve ever shot on a trip, maybe the top.”
This is remarkable in the senses that, one, Dane was riding alternative equipment, and two, he was the sole surfer on the trip, compared to the majority of other trips Dyl has been on, which involved multiple surfers.
“Dane’s work ethic was crazy—he absolutely torched himself surfing so much every day. Even more mind-blowing was how sunburnt he got on that trip, but he never complained or stopped surfing because of it.”
It’s hard not to lol as Dane waddles down the beach with calves like industrial-sized bottles of Sriracha (see: 2:19). Hopefully he’s had those things checked by the dermo since.
“We had three land filmers and no water filmer on that trip. It was a real bummer about the lack of water, but I guess that’s what resulted in some of the less common angles that appear in the clip. Mini (Blanchard) and Sam (Moody) had the main angles covered, so I was able to hunt around to try and get something unique. Whether it was the shot through the car or walking a kilometre down the beach to get the rocks behind Dane.”
Hence why this piece exists, and why it’s so damn special.
It’s remarkable how Dylan made it feel like we’re watching new footage when we’ve seen all these waves a thousand times before.