Perry Gershkow presents, Llévame de Vuelta, an original Surf Channel film about three best friends: Austin Smith-Ford, Kyle Buthman and Kyle Thiermann, on a trip to Mainland Mexico in search of waves and adventure. The film follows the ups and downs that come with seeking pristine, uncrowded surf, as well as the benefits of shredding one of the best waves in the world.
In the end, they challenge one another, and end up getting the waves of their lives.
The Surf Channel caught up with filmmaker Perry Gershkow to get some behind-the-scenes info on the making of Llévame de Vuelta:
What made you choose Mexico for your newest film?
Perry Gershkow: The reason we chose Mexico for my newest film is because we knew there would be consistency in the waves there, as well as one of the best beach breaks in the world. Mexico is a place where at one moment you can be drinking a beer in your hotel room watching a movie, and the next moment your driving through a lightning storm with no idea where you’re going, or how to get there, but you know there are going to be waves right around the corner. Also, after being there multiple times and discovering some really cool areas, I felt that we could get some amazing shots this time of year, with the rain and offshore evening sessions matched with the incredible scenery. Plus, who doesn’t want to eat the best tacos in the world for a month?
Any good stories from the trip?
PG: We definitely came back from the trip with some epic stories, most of which have been documented in the film. One story that comes to mind is a night when we got stuck in the worst storm I’ve witnessed outside the US. After falling asleep one night in Salina Cruz in a couple of hammocks and tents, we thought we were all good to go for the night. Then, at 3am, a massive lightning storm hit the coast and totally caught us off guard. As we scattered to our rental car, we noticed that the cars windows weren’t sealed correctly, so as five of us mustered our way into a tiny sedan, trying to sleep through a lightning storm, we got drenched with no heat in the car. Not only did we make the mistake of trying to sleep in hammocks that night, but we woke up and checked the surf to find out that we were in sand fly territory, and ended up getting lit up from head to toe.
What was the best part about working with Kyle Buthman, Kyle Thiermann, and Austin Smith-Ford?
PG: Oh man, the best part about working with Austin, Buthman and Thiermann is their sense of humors. There wasn’t one dull moment on the whole trip. Whether the surf was pumping or flat, these guys were always stoked and made the best out of any situation. It always makes the trip that much for fun when your filming a group of guys who you share similarities with and become friends. Not only that, but these guys know how to charge when its time to step up.
When did you start surfing/filming?
Growing up in Marin, surfing wasn’t as popular as it is in the surrounding areas of California. It wasn’t until high school when I started surfing and immediately became addicted to it. Filming has been something I’ve always been passionate about, but didn’t take it to the next level until I graduated high school. When I started filming action sports at around 18, I knew it was something I would want to do for the rest of my life. As I started gathering more work and became more noticed, I was able to start traveling and take my work to the next level, which is where I am today.
How did you learn to edit/film?
Filming and editing are two totally different areas of expertise, but in order to be successful in todays world, having both in your back pocket is essential. Growing up with a dad who is a documentary editor and a mom who is a producer, I was able to get a sneak peak into the production world as a little grom. That being said, I felt that the most crucial aspect of this industry, while starting off, is trial and error. The only way to get better at something is to keep trying until your satisfied. So for me, the more content I could get, and the more editing I could log in, the better I would get. For the first two years of working as a filmmaker, it was all about taking every job and getting the experience.
What are your goals as a filmmaker?
My goal as a filmmaker are pretty much to continue what I’m doing but on a larger scale. More traveling, working with a variety of people, improving as a filmmaker, and keep having fun.
What are your favorite breaks to surf?
My favorite breaks to surf are the ones that have no crowds. Growing up in Northern California, you appreciate the feeling of solitude. Nothing beats the cold water and the long drives through the mountains, and epic landscapes that we are fortunate to have up north. So, to answer your question, if I can surf with a friend or two and were catching waves the whole session, then thats my favorite break to surf.
Where have you traveled so far to film surfing?
Filming has taking me many places, whether it be filming surfing or other work. With surfing, I have been able to travel all around California, Oregon, Mainland Mexico, Baja, Central America and Hawaii. I have so much more to explore and film, and a few countries on my radar for my next film include Africa, Norway, Iceland, Sri Lanka and a few others.