Dru Adler reveals why and how he created his fake backside flip…
Yesterday, the Australian surfer Dru Adler posted a backside air-reverse kick-flip or, in skate terms, a backside flip on his Instagram account.
It was an odd little clip, a stutter though the horizontal spin, on a wave identical to another posted earlier in the week. Fake? Yeah.
The Inertia, and Owen Wright, were sold, however. And Kelly Slater and Ozzie Wright both examined the clip closely.
When The Inertia wrote a story on it, saying in part: “Dru Adler just set the bar of surf progression by being the first person ever to successfully land a backside flip on a surfboard” Dru lifted the curtain. He wrote: “It’s not real. I thought it would be funny.”
I thought so, too, and Chas Smith wrote about it here, but I also wondered, how’d Dru create it? So I asked.
And this is Dru’s reply.
“I’ve been doing my bachelor of digital media part time/fulltime at Griffith on the Gold Coast for 4 Years, majoring in digital design. I love editing and because I’m also into skating I own movies like ‘Yeah Right’ and ‘Pretty Sweet’ that were made by Girl Skateboards which not only feature the best skating but also have some funny scenes with special effects which really inspired me to do something similar and it seemed like really fun work.
“I’ve begun working at VO Group, a digital agency in Southport which transpired through a successfull internship as part of a subject for Griffith. The Creative Director Ray Bischop is a frothing surfer which helped land me the initial internship.
“One day last week on our car pool journey back from the office I showed him on Instagram that I was following @johannesgamble, who has posted some of his effects that he created for the skate movies that I mentioned plus a few extras. I started explaining that I think I could take one of my air clips and turn it into a kick flip, shooting my board on a few angles and then working some magic. He wasn’t sure that I could make it look real due to perspective issues so I decided to take on the challenge.
“I shot my board that day on a few angles and then a few days later on the weekend started piecing it together and it only took a few hours till I was done. I could’ve made it way better but it looked pretty cool and I wasn’t going to spend my whole weekend on it. But I could have made it so it looked like I kicked the board and a few other things to make it look even more realistic. But when I was making it I just thought I’d get a bit of a laugh on it and that would be it. I actually made it from a clip that I had already posted not long ago and put a #VFX hashtag on it as a clue, but I didn’t want to completely give it away just to see if anyone would think it was real.
“Once I posted it, I actually started thinking, it would be pretty funny if one of the big magazines ran it as a joke. Not long after that thought, Wade, the editor from Surfing Life messaged me saying he wants to do exactly that. Run it as a joke and that it would be funny. So I sent him the clip. There were a few surfing legend friends of mine that were already starting to share it, saying all types of nice things about me and how stoked they were that I pulled it, so I was quick to message a few of them and let them know that I was only mucking around because I felt a bit bad that they might feel a bit embarresed. But they all took it really well and replied with comments such as, “that is a classic, keep it going a bit longer”.
“I went for a surf that afternoon at snapper and as I pulled up in the carpark I noticed that Owen Wright had shared it! I was blown away at how crazy this was getting. Then later that night I noticed that The Inertia had written an entire story on me and how I pulled it off for real! At that point I was starting to think, this is getting out of control. Then I noticed a comment where Kelly Slater had been watching it frame by frame to figure out it was fake! At that point I decided that the joke was over and I edited the caption to,
“Finally pulled off the backside 180 kickflip! 😂 It’s not real. Sorry I thought it would be funny. Turns out it looks a bit too real! Mucking around with my digital media effects. But I’ve always wanted to pull it. Hoping it’ll inspire!
“I sent this message to a few people including The Inertia and Kelly. They both took it very well and Kelly even wrote me a direct comment to say, “I think it’s classic. And Yes… it’ll plant many seeds in kids’ brains”.
“I also enjoyed Ozzy Wright’s comment from the Beach Grit page explaining that he filmed his phone in slow motion in order to see if it was real and enjoyed the short period of wondering if it were possibly real.
“There have been a very few comments that I’ve read of people who have taken offence to it but I suppose that’s always going to happen. I’m definately stoked I did it because I was never going to claim it that I did it for real.”
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