Meet The Filmmaker: Tim Boydell

Mr Tim Boydell doesn’t feel like a new face, an emerging presence. He seems to have been on the scene longer than that; to have achieved. Yet in a land where it’s hard graft being an independent filmmaker, he’s managed to bring a lot to the table in a relatively short period of time. Having honed his skills with his TR7 projects, labours of love broadcast in installments over the internet, his latest endeavor – a collaboration with Reubyn Ash – has been peer voted into the final cut of ‘INNERSECTION’ alongside some of surfing’s most respected creatives. We caught up with Tim, whose Shortie entry ‘The First Swell’ was screened at the 2011 LS/FF, to find out more about this rising British talent.


Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Tim Boydell ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m 26, I grew up in Trevellas. It’s near St Agnes, very quiet and a really great family home. I had an epic time as a kid in fields, fixing cars and generally trying to imitate my dad, or make my younger brother do something he wasn’t really old enough to be doing yet. I used to push him round in a toy car for HOURS! I loved it. I got into surfing really watching the old man go in the sea. I was in Perranporth Surf Life Saving and used to mess around in the sea a lot, but I was into bodyboarding – surfing scared me when I ‘thought’ I was drowning at Penhale. I didn’t really start surfing properly until I was 18 when I moved to Newquay.

Where are you answering these questions?
I’m actually in a hotel room in Bristol about to go to the FMX Christmas do and meet a load of motorcross riders I don’t really know. Should be fun.

Did you study filmmaking or are you self taught?
I studied media for 2 years in Truro College. It gave me some great insight into the film making world. I really enjoyed it and learnt the do’s and don’ts. I didn’t want to move out of Cornwall so I trained as an electrician. Over the years I’ve wanted to get back into the film making I once enjoyed, but I didn’t have the money. I still don’t have the money but at least the equipment is much more affordable… even if it does have its downfalls at that price. I have taught myself since then, day and night. A lot of input from Lee Evans, ‘Land of Saints‘ has really pushed me. But I really enjoy doing this, so it’s been fun. A long way to go though.

Where do you look for inspiration? Who are your major influences?
My inspirations come from what I see in front in me; the subject I am filming at that time is what inspires me to film in certain ways. This is a hard one to explain really. I have seen things I like and then I suppose in my imagination I try and replicate and improve on what I saw to try and make my own films stand out. I suppose it’s more the intriguing nature of the human mind, the ‘can I do that?’ thought that constantly goes through my head. You can only try, if you fail, try again… that’s my moto really.

What’s your favourite surf movie?
Favourite surf film…… I don’t really have one. The film that is really stuck in my mind for surf stoke has to be Campaign 2, sat with Burkett, Johnny Fryer and Mitch just frothing to surf 1 ft D’bah… great times

As someone whose work’s been seen on the big screen at LS/FF, and online with Innersection, how do you feel about the big screen versus online experience?
You can’t beat the cinema, it’s whole different experience. I was unable to get to see ‘The First Swell’ at the cinema but I bet the music really gave it some depth. If you get a chance to see ANYTHING in the cinema it’s going to be better. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole online vote and ‘like’ world……

What equipment do you favour?
What equipment do I favour? Well naturally if I could afford it this list is endless but, being light weight and mobile is great. Surf filming isn’t studio work; you need to be able to move fast, walk miles and miles to get a single shot – lots of equipment doesn’t help that. I’ve been using Canon DSLR’s because of the price, but the moire and aliasing problems are starting to really get to me – the 720p 60p mode on water shots make me dizzy it’s so bad. Fingers crossed I can afford some new equipment this year ๐Ÿ™‚

How much of the process do you think is creative and how much do you think is technical?
Good question, I think it comes down entirely to creativity. The technology can’t run itself. From initial idea to final product, everything we do has a creative process. The technology just aids us in making that happen. What a wonderful world to live in, I learnt to edit on a VHS editing deck and now anyone can download a plugin for Final Cut and try and make something a little different or unique. I think it’s brilliant, I’m one of the people benefitting from that. But there is also the good old surf saying… all the gear no idea…

Tell me about Innersection, how the collaboration came about.
Innersection came about with me pestering Reubyn and his brother to trust me and take a punt on letting me make it. I had nothing to show that I could and he took a risk and let me do it. Legend.
How does it feel? Well it’s had its up and downs. It’s safe to say we have felt a little used, a little down trodden, but at the same time we really wanted to push ourselves to make something special. We haven’t even got close to making what we wanted to make due to time and money restrictions. It’s also sad to say that right now, the film is about to go out, we haven’t had a premiere due to the production company not replying to our emails, and we have currently both got into debt to get this far… the hard truth about the surfing world? Do you like it… I don’t.

Working with Reubs has been a dream. He’s got his head screwed on, he’s incredibly talented and easy going. He had some great ideas to bring to the table and let’s face it… he’s RIPPING.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d been given when embarking as a filmmaker?
Advice… I have had advice, some memorable, some not. I like to learn from my own mistakes, then it really sticks. It would have been nice if someone had said, don’t buy cheap SD cards, it will bite you in the arse!

What are your goals as a filmmaker?
I don’t have a goal, I just want to remain as happy as I am. I may not have much money but I’m living the dream at the moment… I think.

Tim Boydell is … a man with a silly hair cut.