The Mastermind

Unite: Who is Nic Barclay?

Nic Barclay: I’m 19 from Perth, Western Australia. I took my first year out of school off to make this film. No notable previous works although I did make a bodyboard film called Pure in my final year of school.

What can we expect from your new film, The Three Conscious Project?

You can expect to see the level of bodyboarding being raised. The riders I chose, and the destinations I went to, were all decided upon for no reason other than to show the best bodyboarding possible.

You filmed for 12 months and travelled to Hawaii, the Canary Islands, France and all across Australia, was there a single standout session for you?

Looking back there was a couple of amazing sessions. For me one of the best would have to be an afternoon at North Point with Alex [Halsey] and [Michael] Novy. It forms a whole section in the film. It was only them out and it was incredible. Perfect conditions for filming… no clouds, backlit as the sun went down. The guys surfed until it was pitch black and I couldn’t film anymore.

What equipment did you use for filming and production?

I filmed in high definition using a Canon 7D, Canon XH A1S and a Panasonic AG-AF100 and used Final Cut Pro 7 to edit the film.

Who or what inspired you to pursue filmmaking?

I’m not really sure to be honest; there wasn’t any special moment that made me know I wanted to film. I started back when I was about 14 with Halsey. I mean, I had filmed little stunt movies with mates, but Alex was the first person that I began filming bodyboarding with. I missed so many waves back then that I’m surprised he continued to work with me. As I started to learn more I just wanted to have the best equipment and take it to the next level. That’s what motivated me to film. It’s pretty hard not to be stoked when your working with the five most exciting young guys right now.

What’s your favourite bodyboard film of all time?

No Friends 4… closely followed by The Hardlyfe 1. To start with, [Brian] Stoker is a creative genius. All of the [No Friends] riders at that point were at their peak and they managed a mean team ideology. The music is flawless too. It was an original format for back then, the profile sections idea.

Why did you decide to dedicate more than a year of your life on a full length film rather than just put out clips on the Net like every other man and his dog?

There is just something about making a proper film. It’s far more fulfilling making a feature than a clip that is over and done within a matter of minutes. I hate the fact that with Internet clips, from the second you click play, you know when it’s going to end. If you work with good people and commit yourself to the film, everyone begins to feel the energy and get involved. All the riders in The Three Conscious Project were committed and were supportive of what I was trying to do. It’s just different; it’s better haha. It’s hard to explain.

They definitely seem to be the trend at the moment though, do you think that Internet clips and Podcasts are a positive or negative for filmmakers and the sport in general?

100% negative. That being said, filmmakers aren’t bodyboarders. The amount of Internet videos may be having a positive effect on some elements of the sport, although I can’t see bodyboarding films existing for too much longer. [During filming] I mainly got frustrated when people just rocked up on the beach at sessions where I was shooting, knowing in the back of my mind that the footage would be up on the Internet within hours. Some people just don’t get it. Hawaii and the Canaries are a free-for-all, but in WA I ran into this problem far too often. I’m also a little concerned with the idea that all of these clips are just being pumped out by bodyboarders to show people who they are. If they take time and effort and approach it the right way it will leave a far longer lasting impact on the viewer.

So, why should someone spend their hard earned cash on a video like The Three Conscious Project when they can watch all the latest footage online for free?

There are so many reasons. The main one is because my video is better than the online videos, is that enough? Haha nah, people should spend their money on the DVD ‘cause they get to see what surfing as a team brings about… unique experiences, friendships, and most of all, the highest level of bodyboarding. Along with that it will cost less to buy a DVD than reload a clip 30 times and cap your downloads three days into the month. In the end it’s up to people what they do, but if you don’t buy the films or attend the premieres there really isn’t much incentive for us to keep making them.

The stars of the video, Michael Novy, Mitch WoodlandAlex Halsey, Pierre Louis Costes and Jake Stone, are all world class riders at the top of their game right now, who impressed you the most during filming?

Probably Halsey. He had to work the hardest to keep up with the other riders, but in the end he stands out I think. He also scored the last section of the film, and arguably the best section. I’ve never seen someone improve so quickly, and it’s funny ‘cause you see that throughout the film. Everyone progresses over the year, Alex perhaps more than anyone.

Why did you decide to focus on five younger riders rather than the standard ‘biggest names, best waves’ formula that’s been used for bodyboard films in the past?

I chose the young guys ‘cause it was an original format that hadn’t been tried out in bodyboarding before. Chad [Waldron] made There’s No I in a similar format, however, he targeted some bigger names and that video was a classic. Given my age and who my mates were, I thought it would be suitable to go for the younger generation of riders that people haven’t seen to the same extent as guys like Ryan [Hardy], Ben [Player] and Kingy [Damian King].

You’ve been locked up editing for the past couple of months, how does it feel to finally have this thing in the bag? Bet you’re psyched for the premiere tomorrow night, huh?

It feels incredible to have all the finished copies sitting behind me right now. I couldn’t be more excited to show people what I have been working on for the past year and a bit. It should be a sick night!

What was the last wave that you filmed for the video? Did you score any sneaky last minute sessions?

The last sessions I filmed were at my local break, North Point. It was off its chops. It felt like it turned on for the end of the video. Pierre and Mitch had bailed, so Alex was the only one left, he stepped it up and had what I think were the best surfs of his life. People will be impressed with his surfing during sessions especially. He really put himself forward as a top rider to be.

What are your plans now that you’re done with the film? Do you have any other projects in the works?

Nothing concrete at the moment. I need to buy a new camera and then I’ll be back in the game but for now I’m just taking a little break!

The Three Conscious Project will premiere this Saturday, 24th September at the Regal Theatre, Subiaco, Western Australia. Doors open at 7.30pm, grab your tickets here for only $12.00. Tickets will also be available at the door and you’ll be able to pick up the DVD for just 20 bucks on the night. For more information, visit

Photo courtesy of Chris Gurney.

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