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Lava Girl Surf | News & Features

Film Festival Interview | Filmmaker Hayley Gordon for 'Summer Salad'

Davina Grincevicius

Hayley Gordon's film Summer Salad was selected for the 2014 NY Women's Surf Film Festival | Women of the Seven Seas. For your chance to see it on the big screen, join us this Saturday August 16th, at 7:00pm at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club. 

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Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Southampton on Eastern Long Island.

What was your concept for Summer Salad? 

I wanted to do a short film featuring surfing and skating - I wanted to document my friends summer, and keep a lighthearted vibe.  To me summer is a season for relaxing and having fun and I wanted that to show through.  It wasn't about landing the best tricks or nailing the most amazing footage ever, but showing a more fun and cruisey side to the sports.

How did you go about selecting the surfers and skaters for your film? 

I really just shot who was around me.  It was a bit more of a fly on the wall documentary of a period in my friends lives.

What is your favorite scene and or which are you most proud of in this film? 

My favorite scene is the desert, when we were shooting full, unopened beer cans with BB guns and then running up to them.  That party was a blast, and the lighting of the scene was pretty amazing.  The full moon coming up over the horizon shrouded with the hazy desert dust made it feel like we were on another planet.  I also really enjoyed shooting the scene with the girls skating the quarter pipe at the old abandoned elementary school in Encinitas.  I'm not sure how much longer that building will be there.  The girls rolled up and Vanessa and Taylor just took it apart.  It wasn't the easiest thing to skate, either.

What was some of the challenges in making this film? 

It was tough trying to get good surf footage.  The surf was not so great and I ended up getting so much skate footage that I had to wait to get surf footage to balance it out.  I joked that it was just becoming a skate video.  I was supposed to finish it in a few months, but it took a year.

When you manage to get away where is your favorite place to visit? 

I love coming home!  I can't wait to get back to New York this September.  Somehow getting a few waves back home on Long Island is one of the best things.  It has this special feeling.

What can't you live without when you travel? 

I need music.  If I had to have one thing, it would be a way to play music.

Where do you find your personal inspiration? 

I watch a lot of surf/skate videos and regular movies.  I get inspired by other people's work and ideas, and when I see something really good it gets me inspired to go out there and create my own unique vision.  I've been pretty impressed recently, for example, by Steve McQueen's long takes (12 Years A Slave).  I'd love to translate that into a surf or skate video.

Whats next for Hayley Gordon?

Working on a top secret skate video idea.  Stay tuned!  Also trying to finish a longboard video.  Getting good surf to match our initial shoots is getting hard, we had a knockout first session.


Hayley Gordon is a 29 year old filmmaker who grew up surfing on Long Island, NY.  She moved to Encinitas 4 years ago and began shooting surfing in the summer of 2010.  Since then she’s been making several short films for fun, as well as the hope of giving female surfers more visibility.  She loves surfing Swami’s and Pipes, and occasionally makes a trek to Blacks or Trestles.  Her dream surf trip is to go to Kandui in the Mentawais.  Check out more of her work at www.leashless.tv