Coming Home – Interview
“Coming Home” is the latest video production by Maui Nerd Productions, a road trip along the west coast of the USA. Maui Nerd Productions are multi media design guru Johannes Neumann from Berlin, Germany and former wave World Champion Kevin Pritchard. They were travelling to the events of the American Windsurfing Tour, but extended these trips a little bit. In the beginning they never had the intention to produce an extra clip about these trips, but going through the clips, they decided to make a video. “As we were going through a couple of last year’s shots to archive this big mess of clips, we saw some beauty. There was no question about to not make a video about our trips in the blessed country of the Unites States. Big times, unique moments…”
The result is a 18 minutes long video with beautiful images. Most of the footage is new and unpublished, like the footage from Cape Mendocino. Johannes: “Since I’m not a big fan of recycling shots there is a lot of new things to see, especially from our trip to Cape Mendocino, which you might have seen in the Windsurfing magazines. Some would call it a video or a movie: We say it’s more a slideshow of good memories, unique moments with unique friends, funny stupid things, stunning nature and some great sailing.”
We have caught up with Johannes and Kevin to talk about this movie project, their small video production company and a bit more.
Continentseven: “Coming home” is the title of your latest movie! What is the movie about and why did you choose this title?
Johannes Neumann: The movie is actually more or less just a recap of our last year’s roardtrips along the West coast of the US. There never really has been the idea to make a clip about these trips. When I was archiving all these random shots I was like “serious, there are so many nice images and moments in it, we need to make a recap-movie!” We were driving quite a lot, spent so much time together, had so many unique moments with our friends on and off the water. There are quite a lot of parts only the two of us and lots of friends will get, in experience and especially in humor, but we thought it could be quite nice to watch, even for outsiders…
Kevin Pritchard: Well, I grew up in California and sailing in Baja. So it is kinda like a coming home for me. I love to go sail, when I am there. Johannes and I just had a great time and we were like, shoots, lets put all our clips together and show it off! We had so much fun doing it and now with some time in between it was pure fun to watch the clips again! Coming home shows some of the spots my brother and I grew up sailing when we were kids.
Johannes Neumann: Well, we travelled all the main spots on the West coast, so maybe some Euros will get inspired to travel! This whole coast is like a treasure chest for windsurfing, just get a car and get the experience! There is no localism since the space is so wide and there is still so much to see and explore.
Continentseve: It seems you got a lot of footage from the West coast? How many trips did you make to the West coast and from which years is the footage?
Johannes Neumann: It actually were only 2 or 3 seperate trips. Since we were traveling with the AWT we were there anyways, but extended these trips a little bit. We drove a lot for sure. Even made the drive from Cali to Wyoming twice. But none of the footage is older than 1-1,5 years!
Kevin Pritchard: It is all from the West coast. We just drove around all the time and was so much fun!
Continentseven: It’s a 18 minute long clip. For how long did you work to edit the clip and how did you finance the production?
Johannes Neumann: It started as a good-memories-clip for ourselves and our families but as already said, it turned out into something like “this is so nice, we should share it!” So for so called outsiders these 18 minutes could be a bit long. It took quite a while to sort out footage from that long period, but overall it wasn’t more than a one-week-holiday-”job”!
Kevin Pritchard: It’s a self financed MNP Production. We love what we do and I think it shows in the clip.
Continentseven: Why did you decide to run it as an online version for the public?
Johannes Neumann: There has never been a realistic plan to make a DVD or so. So we always keep on filming without any intention. We have tried to get sponsorships for a DVD or so couple times before, but there is just not the money in the sport to make something like we’re thinking of. Maybe we are just too lazy or spoilt, so big big respect for guys like Andre Paskowski, who are just bashing into this expensive video-adventure with so much personal money and making great stuff people will get their stoke on. We see how much work and money is behind it, so we just try to share our very personal stoke we experienced. You know, anywhere you windsurf on the US West coast you will always have the feeling of being one in a million, being so remote and where the spot only with a couple of like-minded.
Kevin Pritchard: I basically asked Johannes for a Christmas present to unleash the clips in the Maui Nerd Production Vault. Let the world know, what we have been up to… Having the time of our lives. That’s it!
Continentseven: You visited many spots and for sure discovered a few new ones. What are you favorite spots and which ones are a must see?
Johannes Neumann: For me it definitely was Pistol River and Cape Mendocino. It is so remote and rough. The waves seem to be perfect and the wind is hammering like crazy. Mendocino was very rough. Rocks and pissed-off sealions all over the place, nobody else there! The best windsurf-session was Pistol River by far, right after the contest, couple of our best friends like Graham, Josh and Ruben on the water, killing it in epic mast-high conditions. I had the chance to talk Bernd Roediger into borrowing his gear (tiny!) though he tried to sneak out of this obvious risky loan…;) Nothing broke though, thank the lord, but I remember this as one of the key-experiences/-sessions in my life.
Kevin Pritchard: I loved going to Cape Mendocino. It was new, it was untouched, the vibe was incredible. So raw, so much beauty. Just one of a kind. Hard to get there, far from anywhere, if you go, don’t piss off the farmer!! We almost got shot!
Continentseven: The clip is very personal and shows a lot of funny moments and memories.
Johannes Neumann: As I said it has never been our intention to make a public movie, so we didn’t care about the content at all, even when it’s a little bit stupid here and there. I think it’s vital to transport the feelings and stoke you have for the sport or lifestyle. We really can understand people who don’t like it, say “look at these kooks!”, that’s ok! I think it’s always nice fresh to add a little personal touch!
Kevin Pritchard: For me it is always a bit scary to put yourself out there. Go online with a clip. The viewers at Continentseven usually are pretty hard and straight on the comment section. You put your heart and soul into it and then get slayed when the video comes out. It is always a worry that people won’t get the humor, but hey what the heck, it is all fun and we had a great time. This is a video I hope to show my kids one day to show them what their pop’s used to do.
Continentseven: Any very memorable moments you will never forget and you would like to share with our readers?
Johannes Neumann: A lot! There was this one moment when we were camping at Cape Mendocino on this farmer’s property and he showed up in the morning with his gun, asking what the f*** we were doing there – the two of us still pretty hammered, empty beer cans flying around, the grill oozing last drops of burnt grease on his bone-dry meadow… Or the camping in the middle of nowhere in rainy Oregon, where we partied with random underaged rednecks in the wood, and we still had a stolen beer-keg from the AWT-contest. Well, at least we gave it back (empty)!
Kevin Pritchard: We drove about 12 hours from Pistol River to Canada. We were in Canada for two days then about 18 hours from Canada to Jackson Hole. We went through Montana, Washington, Idaho and it was killer. So much space. We instagrammed the whole thing along the way, and was pure fun. Camping in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the road, having bbq’s, drinking beers, windsurfing in places that might have never been windsurfed. Just pure fun!
Continentseven: What gear for windsurfing and filming did you bring with you on that trips?
Kevin Pritchard: For the most memorable trip, Cape Mendocino, the most western tip of the US mainland, I took my one Starboard wave board, my Ezzy 5.3 and 4.7 and that was pretty much it. Oh and a SUP and a surf board. For the filming we had everything in there. The Red, Sony, but our true loves is the Canon DSLR 5d and 7d. It is pretty fun to do what you can do with them. No headache about the right lighting, action or battery power! Ha ha!
Continentseven: Did you drive with a car or did you fly, too? Did you camp also did you also spend the night in hotels?
Johannes Neumann: We never spent one night at a hotel. We barely made it to a campground sometimes. We were driving so much and so late into the night that we usually just camped out in the ditch or somewhere else where we never had to pay a dime!
Kevin Pritchard: We had the tent, the bbq and cooked the entire time, and camped the entire trip… Too much fun.
Continentseven: How many miles did you drive?
Kevin Pritchard: Our poor little Toyota Tacoma has around 30k miles on it and it is only a year and a half old. With all our trips, probably 20k miles.
Continentseven: You are running Maui Nerd Productions for several years now. How is the project going and what is your goal?
Johannes Neumann: We actually never had a real goal. Speaking in terms of business. It could be a dream to make tons of money with it, but that is illusive. We’re putting all our passion into it and tons of fun is what we earn. And sometimes some airfare-, burger- and beer-money!
Kevin Pritchard: Yeah lots of beer money. The past three years with MNP has been pretty much the time of my life. And that is a pretty heavy quote. You consider the high’s of winning some world titles, and to go do something totally different, it has been a dream. Johannes and I met on Facebook about his clip that he did in the south of France. I was like come over to Maui and teach me how to do some video editing and I will give you a place to stay in trade. We have been best friends ever since. Pretty crazy really.
Continentseven: One final questions: You produced a lot of exciting clips during the past months and years. What’s the secret to produce a clip, which attracts the viewer?
Johannes Neumann: Hard to say – comparing ourselves with other production-companies (especially in other sports) we’re pretty ghetto – but it always helps when you live the sport, love the sport and work with a lot of passion behind every click. And always put at least double the time into it than you think is enough. And above all: be a nerd!
Kevin Pritchard: For me it is all about the passion. If I am into the clip, it comes out pretty cool. If Johannes edits it, it comes out pretty cool. It takes a little creativity and lots of fun to make it all come out looking good in the end!!
© continentseven.com 2013