Jason Baffa Interview

artist Beach Beach Rays California film maker jason baffa movie Ocean Inspired one california day photographer singlefin: yellow southern california coast surf surf film surfer surfing

Film maker Jason Baffa’s work connects strong imagery with stories about the human spirit. His docu. feature films, Singlefin: yellow & One California Day have garnered international acclaim as “modern classics.” Jason was kind enough to chat to us... 1. What is your name and when did you start making films? My name is Jason Baffa and I started making films at age 7 when my grandmother gave me a super 8mm film camera. 2. Why did you start making films? My cousin Christopher Baffa, ASC (DP on the TV series Glee) was doing a grade school project, I was super young and really captivated by his work. I pretty much decided then and there that I wanted to make movies. I was also super inspired by those old PBS behind-the-scenes documentaries on the making of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I think I just saw an exciting way to be creative through various mediums. Filmmaking truly combines so many crafts, that's always exhilarating to me. 3. What are some of your favorite moments in your career? Premiering my first Indy doc "singlefin: yellow" to a sold out crowd at the Newport Beach Lido theater is a great memory. It was a four year project that I mostly financed on a maxed out credit card and I was literally finishing the end titles while people were entering the theater.  We finished editing, I sped cross-town to a full theater and ran the Master up to the projectionist. I was sweating like a pig but the film went great.  I was honored to have such a great reception and have my parents there to see it.I also really enjoyed making my last film, One Beach.  It is a short environmental film about beach plastic and what we can do to make this world a better place.  The kind people at Barefoot Wine made it possible and it has a great message.  Thanks to them you can watch it for free on YouTube.  I really enjoyed being a part of something that promotes positive change in the world. 4. What do you think is the future of your industry? The future of filmmaking is wide open and a bit of a mess. Digital is here to stay and I think downloading films on demand will be the primary way people view movies.  Because of that, I think niche films will get seen that maybe never would have been made ten years ago.  I also see sponsor supported projects as a big part of the distribution model.  Ironically, the surf industry has done that forever. I guess everyone else is wising up to the benefit of supporting artists to make good content. The hard part will be how many artists will be competing for support and financing.  Having so much free content online is great for the viewer but makes it pretty tough for filmmakers to make a living, doing what they love.  If the audience is cool with paying a small fee to download a movie and filmmakers can market direct to their audiences through social media, then it all begins to look a bit more attractive. But sponsor support and a willing audience is key. Like most things, time will tell. I just hope we don't lose the magic of seeing movies in the theater. I really see that experience as a special thing and hope that all this technology doesn't squander it. As someone said, David Lean would be rolling over in his grave if he knew people were watching Lawrence of Arabia on their mobile telephone. 5. If you could, what is one thing would you do differently? I wish I could be one of those perfect self sufficient, off-the-grid, Eco Masters, who farms their own food, drinks rain water and makes their clothes out of dried seaweed and snot - but that takes a lot of work and I wouldn't have any energy left to make movies.  Kudos to the people who do.  But I guess I have to remain a bit connected to urbanity.  At least my wife and I recycle, try to minimize our single use plastics and grow a few veggies to cook at home.  It's a start! 6. What is the next big project you have planned? I have a third surf film I'm developing with my friend Chris Del Moro.  I'm excited to complete my Sergio Leone trilogy of work. It's a super exciting surf-docu-lifestyle-adventure flick and we are hoping to shoot this Fall. My audience has been so supportive, I really dont want to let them down- so I've taken my time to choose the right project and this one feels great. So, if there are any sponsor interested, give me a shout!


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