Surf the Matrix

I admit, that’s an awful title.

Over at Core77, they have a behind-the-scenes look at a surfwear commercial using the bullet-time concept of The Matrix and The Gap. I was blown away that I was blown away. It’s just like those creeps in khakis, I thought. Yet the effect on the water and the flair of the surfer’s motion adds so much more depth than I expected.

Then I considered the comparisons: in The Matrix, Neo is basically falling down during the famous bullet-time sequence. In those ugly Gap commercials, the dancers were just jumping straight up in the air. Here, the surfers are cutting through the water, fighting the force of the waves, and trailing streams of water off of their boards.

I hate to say it, but surfing is cooler than falling or jumping.

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One thought on “Surf the Matrix

  1. Well, you found the better video for that. The video I came across had a lot of interview footage/audio with the surfers “discussing” the shooting techniques. They clearly had no idea what was going on, and I doubt that some of them had ever heard of camera.

    I think the key to the footage here, versus The Matrix, is that in this instance it’s allowing us to peek around the corner of the wave. The cameras give us a greater sense of the third dimension, and let us peer over the wave, or past the surfer. Previously, while sitting on the couch, standing up or leaning over didn’t let you see what was on the other side of the wave or the board. Thus, the magnitude of the sport is emphasized, because we can see more of what is happening at the same time, but in a different place, whereas, in The Matrix, the effect just added to the spectacle.

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