Proximity by Taylor Steele is not your typical surf film

Proximity is a conversation between the world’s best surfers, in some of the most exotic locations around the planet. Director, Taylor Steele tells a story about the hidden conversations, the moments between waves and new found friendships.

Proximity follows 11-time world champion Kelly Slater and current champ John Florence in Palau, big wave icon Shane Dorian and breakthrough performer Albee Layerin in Scotland, six-time women’s champ Stephanie Gilmore and radical activist Dave Rastovich in Mexico and brave the winter with Rob Machado and Craig Anderson.

The idea started with high school buddies Taylor Steele and surf photographer Todd Glaser decided to create a visual story through film and photo together. Having spent some time with Taylor and Todd on their recent Sydney visit, you could see their bond was strong, fun and never shy of a laugh. Their vision; to take this project beyond what was traditional and expected.

I’ve seen this film 3 times already and each time I picked up something I had missed from the previous viewing such as the funny moments between Slater and Florence, the smiles and positive energy between Gilmore and Rastovich, the determination to nail that slab between  Shane Dorian and Albee Layer  and the spirit between Machado and Anderson.

The soundscape and score transform this film is somewhat hypnotic. Taylor specifically choose music with no lyrics to bring a deep connection to what you see. Steele worked with sound designers Sam Petty and composer Rob Law to achieve this.

The Australian launch at the QT Sydney had a pretty impressive guest list with champions like Olympian snowboarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin and Big Wave surfer Mark Mathews in attendance. There was a bounty of Coronas and Mexican food to keep the guests happy whilst they viewed the photography exhibition of Todd Glaser’s handy work, all before heading into QT’s private screening room to have their minds blown.

This is a film you will watch over and over again, each time seeing or hearing something you didn’t pick up before. Proximity truly does achieve its purpose…to make you feel present…”you are already here.”

Proximity is currently touring the globe and will be available on Garage.com.au from August 2017.

View the website to find a screening near you.

Photography: Todd Glaser

Review: Michelle Owen

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