Shaun Freeman is a talented South African-born surfer/filmmaker living in Australia. His recent film “An Aquatic Home Movie” amplifies the sublime feeling of gliding across a wave. A frequent contributor to Rake Clothing, we spoke with Shaun to find out more.
What was your life like growing up?
I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. My real young days were fun— drawing a lot and being a suburban grom getting up to mischief. As I started getting older, I felt a real divide happening in myself and around me. And by the time my family and I left for Australia (when I was 15), I had a really tainted feeling about the place. Seeing the unity from the football World Cup there this year was amazing. My heart and thoughts are always with the people there.
When did you get your first surfboard?
I was 16. After learning to body surf with my old man, I wanted more and hassled my parents to get me a board. It was a Greg Webber Insight.
What was the feeling you had when you first stood up on a surfboard?
Just a blur and then, “Oh, shit! Oh, shit! Oh, shit! I want another one!”
Who did you look up to and admire when you were young?
Parents, friends, music, art and Pamela Anderson.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by my wife for just being herself. Also, my family, friends, Mother Nature and those thoughts that just pop in.
What is your process when creating your films?
When it comes to the surfing and lifestyle stuff, its pretty chilled really. Head up or down the coast with some friends and see what happens . The hard thing for me when shooting surfing stuff is actually doing it. So many times, the waves are good and the camera does not leave the car. I am working on that one. (laughs) With the more conceptual stuff I do, there is a planning process—a lot more preparation notes and thinking about the shots beforehand. Post-production can get fruity.
What is the greatest thing you have learned in your life?
I am still trying to get my head around it. Finding that peace within myself, that thing in your head that holds you back.
What are you most proud of?
Learning from mistakes.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what place in particular stands out and why?
New Zealand. I met my wife there and got really fun waves.
What meaning does surfing hold for you and how has it changed your life?
It’s one of the most important things in my life. I really can’t imagine not doing it again. It’s so humbling and forces you to be present.
What brings you the most happiness in the world?
It’s the same things that inspire me.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
I think we all are. How we pass it on is up to us.
What is your current favorite board? Your favorite surf spot?
My 9’7” Changi log shaped by my good mate Nick McArthur. I love the glide.
Um, I don’t actually have a favorite surf spot. If it’s not closing out, I am happy.
What’s your favorite meal?
Home cooked meals rule.
What are you currently listening to on your iPod?
An amazing song by my mate Luke Gallen that I am using in my new film, Broken Bells and classical radio when I am working in my studio. Roy Ayers, there is a lot. The “shuffle” button works for me .
What are you most grateful for?
Just being here and having good people to be here with.
What’s next for Shaun Freeman?
I have my first solo show in September called “Under the Vista”. It’s a mixture of photography, mixed media and film. After that, I am traveling around Australia with my girl, a board and a camera.
Find out more about Shaun Freeman here.