The Land Of is a three part web-series that follows a diverse group of five surfers as they travel through Thailand, a place known more for its party scene than its surf culture, as they seek to find a sense of purpose and some sweet waves. They collaborated with non-profits and communities throughout their journey to distribute ‘Waves 4 Water’ filters, take part in the Bangkok Floor relief, lend a hand at Baan Santisuk orphanage and teach local groms how to catch waves – helping them to trust the ocean again post the 2006 tsunami.

The Land Of is a completely independent project, funded by those involved. This project leans on the power of creative collaboration – design from Matt Dampney, animation by Drew Meier and music provided by OXBLVD, Streets of Laredo, MT Warning, Jonny Higgins, Open Swimmer and Flood Coats. Directed by Stefan Hunt and cinematography by Campbell Brown.

Below is an exclusive of the third and final episode in the series.

Yesterday we caught up with Director Stefan Hunt to chat about the project.

What was the focus of the project and who was involved from the beginning?
It all came about when a friend told me about an orphanage in Thailand where the kids surf. I had no idea there were even waves there so was pretty drawn to the idea of discovering the coastline. After a heap of research I saw the potential for a fun surf trip and the opportunity to give back along the way so rounded up a crew and spent a month over there.
Yeah Thailand isn’t really known for it’s waves, you managed to score some fun sessions.
Haha yeah when we first arrived it’d been flat for months so I was freaking out. I remember looking at the ocean and thinking “how did I convince five surfers to come on a surf trip here?”. After about a week of flatness we scored some swell and had some of the funnest sessions with the locals.
Boat trip
Give me a run down on what happened during the trip. 
We started in Phuket and headed north surfing our way up the west coast. When we hit Ranong (near the border of Burma) we jumped on a boat and checked out out a few islands. I’d organised to team up with a bunch of charities along the way as I really wanted that to be a focus of the project. We were able to help out at an orphanage, provide flood relief to Bangkok, distribute clean water filters with Waves for water and of course teach some grommies how to surf.
How did you go about assembling the crew to go on the trip? Who went along?
I hit up a pretty diverse group with the idea and they were all so responsive. Some were close mates but others were mutual friends so the first team meeting was like a big blind date. In the end everyone I asked paid their own way and came on the trip consisting of musicians, shapers, pro surfers, long boarders & film makers.

Ed, Jack, NickChrystal1

Societies with simple social structures seem to have an incredible sense of community. What did you learn about the people you met on your travels?
I think that idea has always drawn me to developing countries. The best surf communities I’ve come across have been in places like India and Mexico simply because of they’re stoked on riding waves and want to share that with you. Thailand was the exact same for me.

Any stories that didn’t make it into the film?
Yeah we had this reverse bartering match one day. It started when we went to buy buckets from this lady at the local markets but when she found out they were for installing water filters she refused to take our money. We were literally arguing with her trying to pay but she insisted that she help us help her country. We left with 10 buckets and later visited her with flowers. Mum was proud. There was also the lady boy who fell in love with Jack, the 17 year old grom.

How did you go selecting music, were artists happy to pitch in for the cause?
I think all the artists involved in this project (musicians, graphic designers, film-makers) were all happy to pitch in because they believed in the message behind this project.

In current digital landscape, we see a new surf vid pop up every 2 minutes. What were the biggest challenges you found producing an independent online series – from creation to broadcast?
Obviously funding an independent series is not an easy task but finding the motivation to finish it is the greatest challenge. Starting any project is always the most exciting feeling but slaving away in an edit room during your time off paid work takes a lot of determination. We actually filmed this back in 2011 so it’s had its fair share of challenges in completing it.

groms Baan Santisuk grommet Ko Phayam grommet Tui

The Land Of… is this the beginning of an ongoing project?
For me any project with a sense of purpose is what gets me psyched. I love seeing artists use creativity to inspire change and that’s what I set out to achieve with The Land Of, to illustrate that no matter how big or small your actions are, making a difference is still a difference. A small action can grow into a big movement, the ripple effect kinda thing.

Do you have any other independent projects in the works?
Im off to Africa next week with a camera and some rolls of film. No real project in mind but that’s when good stuff happens.



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