The Zone : Jack Coleman’s new surf movie

Who are you and where are you right now?

Well I guess my name is Jack Coleman and I’m an independent film maker & photographer, who is living out his dream shooting surfings most interesting characters, known and unknown. I split time between California & the rest of the world chasing swells & trying to create imagery that inspires people to explore the spiritual realm of the life journey, that is surfing.


Tell me about your new film “The Zone” and how long have you been getting footage for this film?

THE ZONE is my longest project to date, it was shot over a two year time period. Now going on 16 months. This film was definitely my most passionate with the largest commitment I ever made to creating a truthful piece of cinema. The film is inspired by those who are featured in it, surfers like Ryan Burch & Derek Hynd who have transcended their respective selves to become the cutting edge of what surfing truly is. THE ZONE is that conscience place where a surfer becomes one with the ocean, these surfers flow autonomously only letting the wave dictate what they do with its energy.  That’s THE ZONE!

Can you tell us some of the people starring in the film?

The whole cast only includes 11 surfers currently, I wanted to keep the cast to just the surfers I like, Not what the mainstream has been force feeding us. Although, some cast members are internationally known as the leaders in what they have contributed to surfing. The cast is : Rangi Ormond, Ari Browne, Derek Hynd, Derrick Disney, Bryce Young, Ryan Burch, Rob Machado, Robin Kegel, Justin Adams, Alex Knost, Ozzie Wright, and possibly David Rastovich as the final piece to the puzzle that is THE ZONE.

You usually feature underground surfers in your films, people like Justin Adams, Rangi Ormond, Ari Browne, and a lot of other people that the mainstream surf media wouldn’t cover. Who are some of the new people featuring in “The Zone”?

That’s right, I love these underground guys. I feel what they do is just as important as what Kelly Slater did, or who won what contest, or did a certain air. This film has a couple new guys I’ve added that I’m proud to say, are legit surfers that have a true love for what they do, in and out of the water. I’d say my newest & brightest new cast member would be Derrick Disney & Bryce Young. These two guys are peaking physically and mentally right Now. Barely into their mid-twenties they are the future of innovative alternative board riding elite. Just the equipment they ride really seperates them from the rest of surfing, and by the way, they charge some pretty big waves as well. Look for these two guys to stand out in the movie! I’m so excited to feature such dynamic surfers like them, they feed off each other and push each other to take it just that much further.

Which countries have you traveled to for “The Zone”?  Can you tell us of any stories that stand out in your mind?

This film I visited for the first time, the Caribbean and South Africa. Other counties are – lots of Australia, a good amount of Baja, Mexico, some California, sprinkled in with a touch of Mainland Mexico. The trip that stands out to me was Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa. Got to stay right on supertubes and film my surfing hero Derek Hynd just about everyday. It was truly a religious experience. The amount of speed he generates from the wave is beyond iconic, it’s revolutionary.  I feel that trip was the crossroads for me both spiritually & mentally. That wave is a lot like life, it never gives you anything that is simple, it’s so complex, like each section is its own distraction. Manuevering through it takes lots of skill, which is where you wanna be when you’re trying to reach the top.

Would “The Zone” also be documented in film just like your past works “Polyester”, “Happy Beach”, “Groove Move”, “Secret Sound Underground”?

THE ZONE is the first feature film I’ve ever done that will feature digital imagery. Of course more than half the film was shot with Super 8 analog film. With shooting just film it limited my capacity to create usable work. I was limited to a certain focal range of capturing. With digital now I can shoot waves I never got a chance to shoot properly before. I guess in a nutshell, digital has opened up the look of my films to a point that is where I want them to go right now, a place where it can be enjoyed by a wider audience that what my super 8 films in the past projected.

Do you think you’ll ever stop using film and transfer over to digital?

I definitely won’t stop. It’s engraved in me to a point that it is a part of my process, it’s a part of me. But like I said, digital has opened up my perspective to so many new possibilities, which is a great thing to have.

Was this film totally self-funded?

Pretty much, maybe Co-Produced by 4 other donors. There is no corporate sponsor attachment, and all the footage and traveling you see throughout the film was all paid by money I earn from photo jobs & film sales. My dream was to strictly live life 100% involved in the work, trying to create a piece that has some sort of substance to it, I feel like I’ve done that with this movie. I gave it all up to just focus my energy on the ocean.

Your films always have a good music soundtrack accompanied to it.  Who are some of the artists that you feature in “The Zone”?

Well, you will just have to see the movie. This is by far my favorite soundtrack for a film I’ve done. Seems like lots of the sound falls into the time periods from 1968-74, and half those artists hale from Germany. Also some middle eastern sounds, like from Turkey & Iran stuff from the late 60s.

When can we expect to see the final premiere of “The Zone”?

The final premiere is almost set for the first part of July, 2016. I’m currently finishing the production in the last week of shooting. In 2 weeks it will be ready to go into print. It will be available through digital channels like Vimeo, & iTunes, as well as a physical DVD if you like to support the project through that way.

There is little monetary return in making surf films, especially using film, why do you keep making it?

Because I truly honestly love surfing and I feel fortunate to be able to live out my dream doing what I love. To a certain extent, I think it’s just me. I like to live a simple life, I’m not chasing money. I truly do it for the love, and people right now seem to be supporting that. So I’ll keep doing them til there is nothing more to say. But I feel surfing needs a voice of change.

Any plans on a new film after “The Zone”?

Possibly, yeah. I think I got another in me. Gonna take my time for sure though. I know it takes at least two years to put something legitimate together for the people to enjoy, at least, by my standards.

Plans on coming out to Taiwan anytime in the future?

Yes, Taiwan has been a dream trip of mine for about 6 years now. I’m closer to making that dream a reality – Taiwan is heavy on my radar in the coming year.

Who would you like to give shakas to?

Harry Henderson who is kinda my right hand for this project, I’d call him a talent coordinator and almost like a manager to me. Also Paul Naude & John Cambridge for their generosity and support throughout the making of the film.

Last words for all the Taiwanese surfers to get them stoked on “The Zone”?

Get conscience. Get involved with the ocean on a higher level. This film is a vessel for you to release yourself into what you want to become. THE ZONE will help you realize surfing’s potential. Break free from the mainstream, find your connection to this beautiful place called earth!



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