THE SOUTH TO SIAN JOURNALS – CHAPTER 2
When International Director of Deus Surf, award winning photographer and hobbyist filmmaker Dustin Humphrey brought a hair-brained scheme to childhood mates, surf and bike enthusiasts Harrison Roach and Zye Norris, there were two things that they couldn’t comprehend: first, the good fortune that had graced them with such a life-changing opportunity and second, the sheer magnitude of the modern-day odyssey they were about to undertake. But without so much as a second thought, they offered their resounding assent. The idea was to journey by land and sea, bike, boat and board up almost the entire length of the Indonesian archipelago and, with a stable of boards, a pair of bikes and other bare essentials loaded into a decrepit Land Rover, their quest South to Sian began…
Harrison Roach presents a weekly ten-part blog series taking us behind the scenes of Deus ex Machina’s South To Sian, directed by Dustin Humphrey.
South to Sian: The Movie
We knew when we set out South To Sian we wanted to steer clear of crowds and clichés but it’s true that places might have crowds for a reason. We weren’t about to avoid some of the world’s best waves just because there’d be people there or someone had done it before us. Case in point, our second stop on the island hop was a wave that you’ve most likely heard of. It’s an incredible setup and no Indonesian surf trip could be complete without a visit to it.
When we arrived, a gigantic swell careened down the famous stretch of reef. I excitedly told Zye “This is what it’s all about”, and we paddled out at the top of the point, narrowly making it out the back before a ten-wave set imploded on us. Young Zye had been thrown in at the deep end and forced to learn how to swim. Longboarding Noosa’s sand bottom point breaks doesn’t prepare you much for conditions like those. After dodging a few I saw him get cleaned up by an especially large set. His leash broke and he was washed way down the point. Rather than attempt the exit there he decided to swim back past the take off so that the current wouldn’t drag him into the death-like end section. For Zye it was like “Wow, so this is what it’s all about hey?” I guess I had an advantage thanks to experience from previous trips with legend Tai Buddha, but it was a hairy session nonetheless.
As the day came to an end so began the work of cataloguing its events. To keep people up to date we had decided to leak images of our journey as it happened. We’d select one of Woody Gooch’s photos, he’d edit it and we’d let the world know what we’d been up to that day. In Lombok (and a lot of other places) this proved difficult. It was a half-hour motorbike ride to the closest phone reception. Alas, that was how we were rolling.
The much harder job was that of Andre Fauzi. Andre was the Director of Photography who, along with an assistant videographer, took care of shooting and cataloging the whole film. Every night after running up and down the point and its headlands he’d run two camera’s worth of clips through his hard drives. Andre would be awake by his laptop with a coffee and cigarette long after the rest of us had gone to sleep. He’d select the best clips of the day and send them via Whatsapp to director, Dustin Humphrey. Dustin would watch and converse with him about which angles to shoot and which lenses to use. I’d usually love to hear what he thought about the footage but after a session like that one I was pretty sure I could have guessed. It was a very special day.
This was how things rolled on our voyage South to Sian - riding boards and bikes through the day, collating and editing photos by night, searching out a WiFi signal wherever we could and sending our exploits to the world. This was only the beginning, but already, the endless possibilities of adventure were presenting themselves at every turn.
Written BY HARRISON ROACH
All photos: Woody Gooch / @woodygphoto
Deus ex Machina presents
South to Sian
May & June ‘16
May 19th – Sound Museum Vision, Shibuya in association with Deus Residence of Impermanence, Harajuku
May 21st/22nd - The Green Room Festival – visit The Green Room Festival
Official Release Date: 1 July 2016