Undone | Laura Enever's story
Steve Wall, director, talks about UNDONE, his experience working on the film and using Miller Tripods:
"We dreamed of this project initially in 2017, but at that point it was nothing more than a pipe dream. The objective was set, it was time for a female surfer to step up and enter the arena of big wave surfing. When I first met Laura, she was eying off a move into this space, as an accomplished professional surfer in search of the next challenge. It was close to her heart, but how far would she be willing to push it? How she would respond in those situations, we didn't yet know.
Fast forward a year, we went down to southern Tasmania to an infamous spot called Shipstern Bluff, an imposing locale breaking under towering cliffs in freezing water. Laura came down for a reccie, with no expectation of actually going surfing - this is not the kind of thing you just jump into, some people spend their entire lives surfing and don't dream of surfing a wave like that. She ended up catching a handful of waves, monsters - which sent the entire lineup into a state of hysteria. You can see one of those waves at the start of our trailer. Seeing this tiny, blonde lady throwing herself into waves of serious consequence with full commitment, coming up laughing when it all came crashing down. It was a defining moment, and I get goosebumps thinking about it still. It was at this moment, I realised that we had something very special, a surfer that was pushing the limits, but never losing sight of the fact it's all about having fun. This is in total defiance of what being a professional athlete usually entails, and ultimately what I think a lot of people really enjoyed watching the film, it's very relatable.
I love capturing the extremes of the natural environment, and we didn't hold back whilst shooting Undone. We shot underwater scenes at night in the seal enclosure at Taronga Zoo, with black sheets and lights from above. We drove across Australia on an ill-fated roadtrip to the worlds most dangerous wave 'The Right' in Western Australia, not much went right on that trip but it certainly makes for a good tale. We spent a year driving up and down the east coast learning the ropes of big wave surfing, went to Jaws in Hawaii and then returned to Tasmania to finish the story where it all started in 2018.
Our camera systems were a mix of Canon, Miller, RED kit. The Canon C300 Mark II for our documentary coverage, we always needed a camera on hand with sound ready to roll no matter the situation. We used everything from 18-35 Sigma ART zooms, to an 800mm Canon EF, which for land based action shooting was supported by our Miller Arrow X5 tripod. Shooting at long focal lengths, there is simply no substitute for a quality set of sticks, and the X5 delivered in a big way in every situation. We often shot the RED at it's lower resolution high sensor crop modes, and found even in the 1000mm + range we were getting great results. I found the X5 to be a superb compromise between stability and weight - almost every location was a solid walk on foot so a really heavy system would have presented another challenge.
This film was about capturing the process of big wave surfing at every step, and our coverage needed to be able to keep up with that no matter what time of day or where we were. We shot with a RED Gemini & Helium for underwater shooting, with a Salty Surf Housing - a lightweight aluminium rig which allows for full camera control and a Cine 7 monitor, this setup pretty much stayed rigged full time between battery and card changes, as we weren't rolling with an AC.
In the field our core crew would be a combination of Laura, myself and photographer Matt Dunbar, with cinematographer Kevin Holloway joining us on a number of our big trips behind the lens. Kev is a great shooter and was an invaluable part of the team working under tough conditions and strange hours. Producers Jo Austin & Emily O'Connell ran the back end of the project out of Sydney, with post taking place at Jo's Candid Films office in Redfern - many long hours put in with editor Thomas Muylle who put in a tremendous effort on a tight schedule to get everything wrapped. Big thank you to Hayden Griffith, Guy Dixon and Talon Clemow for their great work behind the lens and to everybody that supported the wild vision of this project from day one - this film simply wouldn't have happened without you all."
UNDONE is a story of personal endeavour following professional surfer, Laura Enever, as she navigates the unpredictable and male-dominated world of big-wave surfing. Leaving behind her place on the WSL Tour, Laura goes after some of the most remote and dangerous waves on the planet.