As co-creator, director, cinematographer and editor for SeaLevelTV I get to create short documentaries about people whose lives are driven by and connected to the ocean, the place I too finds my greatest sustenance.
SeaLevel TV highlights reel
Aaron’s improbable odyssey began simply enough, walking his dog at the beach. As he used his palm to smooth over some sand to make a place to sit down and take a rest, he grazed over a buried hypodermic needle. He picked it up, relieved to not have been cut and looked around him — plastic garbage strewn all over. Were there more? His place of peace and reflection suddenly felt dangerous. He went home, picked up a rake and headed back to clean up: straws, cheese spreaders, tire caps, toothbrushes, bottle caps, army men, bubble blowers, shotgun shells. This was the moment that touched off his tireless, solo campaign.
This humble, accidental activist is a man who cares deeply about the coastline, neatly sorting his finds into orderly buckets, baskets and drawers. Sometimes he’ll take select pieces from his collection to create assemblages for friends and post to Instagram. Rather than falling into a trap of despair over the constant flow of new waste washing up, Aaron draws on irony, optimism, creativity and a penchant for finding small treasures (he’s particularly fond of the Army Men) to transform a desperate environmental issue into his own personal story of triumph over the day-to-day heaviness of life. Through this process, one of the more wondrous facets of humanity emerges — the ability to transform a desperate environmental problem into a narrative through action, art, and dedication to a cause.
Waves of Disruption: The Cori Schumacher Story
"Waves of Disruption: The Cori Schumacher Story" is SeaLevelTV's second short film in their “Saltwater Daughters” series. In this short documentary film, Cori opens up about her upbringing and the often traumatic events that influences her life's work. She holds many hard-won distinctions including three-time Women’s World Longboard champion, activist, writer and speaker. Ms. Schumacher's cause célèbres have been covered extensively The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, The Inertia and, most recently, “The Conversation” on the BBC.
Ms. Schumacher is perhaps best known for her widely publicized, successful international campaign and protest she led against Roxy that made visible the growing concern and pushback against the hyper-sexualization of elite female professional surfers.
“Waves of Disruption” digs into Cori’s difficult past where we find out what drives her actions and activism. Gender disparity awareness, homophobia, the impact of consumer culture on society, sexism, slave labor, and human rights are all given equal billing, challenging the audience to reconsider “traditional” societal and cultural norms that drive our own daily actions.
underground legends: Odd Todd
“Odd Todd” is a very humble, reluctant participant in the telling of his own story.Through interviews and anecdotes, a universally loved, “renegade soul” emerges. In this age of shameless self promotion, we find a rare individual defined by the proud tradition of the surf community’s oral history, where indelible memories of only the most honorable legends live on in a state of timeless respect.
The Josh Hall Story
Josh Hall is a young, ambitious shaper who blends San Diego’s legendary surfing history and culture with progressive designs. In this short film, we dig into his formidable Pacific Beach (“PB”) roots. Josh runs us through seminal life events involving local legends Skip Frye, Joe Roper, and Eric “Bird” Huffman. We learn what specifically led him to his current state of mind and business, though he humbly maintains that his path has been akin to a decree of divine providence. As the heir apparent, Josh balances the weight of the responsibility of carrying on this distinct cultural legacy with his sizable business aspirations.
Saltwater Daughters: The Sachi Cunningham Story
This first short film in the new SeaLevelTV series entitled “Saltwater Daughters” we learn the story about award-winning big wave water photographer, Sachi Cunningham. Sachi is a globally recognized, San Francisco-based journalist (Los Angeles Times, PBS, FRONTLINE), a journalism professor at San Francisco State University and documentary filmmaker. Ms. Cunningham tells us how and why she is able to place herself and her camera in treacherous waters and huge open ocean waves to capture astounding images of champion big wave surfers like Bianca Valenti, even when experienced surfer friends implore her not to swim out in dangerous conditions.
Entrepreneurs and Iconoclasts: The Jonesea Story
"Entrepreneurs and Iconoclasts: The Jonesea Story" is short film by SeaLevelTV's Beth O'Rourke and Jeff den Broeder. It tells the story of Shane Jones, a wetsuit designer and creative force behind Jonesea Wetsuits.
Produced and directed by Jeff den Broeder and Beth O'Rourke
Worm Dreams Big
Erin “Worm” Ashley’s has a big dream: raise awareness about the importance of early breast cancer detection by partnering with The Keep A Breast Foundation and throwing a good, old fashioned style surf contest with the best women longboarders in the world at First Point, Malibu, California.
Women's surfing has a long-standing, ardent history with The Keep A Breast Foundation according to co-founder, Shaney Jo Darden, going back more than fifteen years. So it was not by change that Worm’s dream concept fit flawlessly with Keep A Breast’s inspired, remarkable time-honored activism focused on the benfits of regular breast exams and early detection.
We will all live under the sea
The Great Highway Gallery in San Francisco, California opens it's doors to all people interested in paying homage to Jacques-Yves Cousteau AC, a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.
It was a lively night, owing to the many well-known and beloved artists that contributed to the show, curated by gallery owner John Lindsey and artist Jonathan "Steiny" Steinberg.
Isso Nihmei: Pacific Climate Warrior
SeaLevelTV COP21 Coverage, Part 2
SeaLevelTV follows passionate ocean activists at the United Nation’s Conference of Parties #COP21 @COP21fr who are there to make sure that the health of our world’s oceans is an essential part of the outcome of this historically significant United Nations agreement.
This second part in our COP21 series features Isso Nihmei from Vanuatu. He is a Pacific Climate Warrior and representative of the Pacific Indigenous Network delegation.
The small South Pacific Ocean island nation of Vanuatu is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change and the first to see the devastating effects of decreased wet season rainfall, rising temperatures and sea level, stronger storms, very hot temperatures and diminished crops production.
Mr. Nihmeh laments, "If you listen to the speeches from all these presidents and high-level people, they always talk about he impacts of climate change...they just keep talking about it without doing anything, which makes me really sad. Where are we going to go if global warming goes up 2 degrees (celsius)? We have nowhere to go."
Penguins in Paris?
After months of hard work Surfrider Foundation Europe arrived in Paris to lobby and organize in collaboration with members of the Ocean & Climate Platform. Their goal, beyond increasing awareness about how the ocean affects and is affected by climate change, was to make sure that the ocean was included in the Paris Agreement. In many ways it was a success, the ocean is now taken into account. As expected there were many shortcomings but if you’re looking for reasons to feel positive you can find them on the Surfrider Europe website in the blog post posted on January 18th titled “COP 21: THE OCEANS HAVE BEEN HEARD!” This video shows a day where Surfrider came together one Sunday with Tara Expeditions and the Ocean & Climate Platform in a fun, symbolic action before getting back to work on the details of the agreement. Good work Surfrider, Tara Expeditions and the Ocean & Climate Platform! We thank you for all of your work!
Surfrider Foundation Europe, Tara Expeditions, Ocean & Climate Platform
@surfridereurope @taraexpeditions @ocean_climate
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