Park City Film Series will host ‘iON the Barrel Vol. 2’ screening
For the past three years, filmmaker Tony "Harro" Harrington has focused on his documentary trilogy about the Barrel, the "Holy Grail" of surfing waves.
The first film, "iON the Barrel," was made two years ago and the screenings were a success, so Harrington decided to continue with ‘iON the Barrel Vol. 2."
"We completed filming last August and did a short tour in Australia and launched a North American tour at the Triple Crown of Surfing at the Turtle Bay Hotel in Hawaii," Harrington said during a phone interview from Jackson, Wyoming. "There was a lot of people from the mountain regions who come to Hawaii to get their summer fix before the long winter sets in and they asked if we ever thought about doing a mountain tour with the film."
So, Harrington put together a short-run tour in the Western United States that started off in Tahoe City, California, and went to Aspen, Colorado, and Jackson, Wyoming.
The tour will make a stop at the Park City Film Series at the Prospector Theater, 2175 Sidewinder Dr., on Thursday, Feb. 19.
"We’re stoked to have it down in Park City with the Park City Film Series," Harrington said. "From there, we’ll be up in Sun Valley, Idaho, and we have a couple of screenings scheduled in Alaska of all places."
"iON the Barrel Vol. 2" amped up what Harrington and his crew did with Vol. 1.
"Our concept in the first film was to introduce the Barrel, and what we did was head to iconic surf locations around the world such as the Mexican Pipeline in Puerto Escondido, the Gold Coast in Australia and other places," he said. "For Vol. 2, we stepped up the exploration and spent two months with two four-wheel drives and two Jet Skis in the Northwest and Southern Australia.
"There was no phone reception, but we had our camping gear and a tent just for computers and hard drives," Harrington said. "We had a satellite dish for sending and receiving emails and checking forecasts."
The crew met many marine biologists and did some diving with sea lions.
"We, of course, spent time documenting some incredible barrels, some of which have never been filmed," Harrington said.
The crew made its way to Indonesia and, for seven weeks, traveled through the islands near Sumatra.
"We also spent three months at Jaws in Maui, and documented the best pipeline in years and then went to the Mavericks in California," Harrington said. "We are pretty obsessive in what we do and we captured all we did in 10 months."
While that may seem an incredible feat, Harrington and his crew knew what they were doing because they have 30 years of filming surf and skiing documentaries under their belts.
"We storm chase and try to capture the big waves, but we also find those big mountains for skiing in Alaska and Greenland," he said.
What made most of the incredible shots possible in the ‘iON the Barrel" series was the technological advances with point-of-view [POV] cameras.
"We’ve been using iON POV cameras that shoot at 120 frames per second, and we can slow the action down so we can see what’s happening in the barrel," Harrington said. "We get to show the surfers’ perspectives of what it’s like back in the tube. We couple that with Epic cameras from the shoreline and water housings from the water. To have access to that type of technology and take it to the extremes is something that we dreamed of doing."
Still, every shot they made was challenging.
"When a swirl comes through and hits a particular surf break, there will only be two or three waves that will show out of the day," Harrington explained. "If you don’t shoot those, then you’ve missed it all.
"There are very few perfect waves that come in and we spend a lot of time, money and effort to get there," he said with a laugh. "If I miss the shot, I might as well go back to washing dishes."
Editing the hours of footage was another challenge, but Harrington knows what he needs for his films.
"We look for, firstly, the most gnarliest waves, the stuff that make people who aren’t surfers sit back and say, ‘Oh, my God,’" he said. "Then we look for the surfers’ actions, but the overarching aspect is telling a story.
"There is a lot of surf porn or snow porn that is all high action that looks cool, but for someone in the audience, who may not be in that realm, you may lose their attention," Harrington said. "So, what we’ve been stoked to produce is to make something that will hold the audience’s attention for 60 minutes through storytelling and hearing the athletes talk about how they got to where they are and why they do it."
The athletes featured in the documentary include Josiah Schmucker, Dave Macaulay, Dave Kalama, Jamie O’Brien, Reef McIntosh, Mick Fanning and Don Adrian.
Katharine Wang, executive director of the Park City Film Series, felt hosting a special screening of ‘iON the Barrel Vol. 2" would be a treat for Park City and would add to the nonprofit’s mission of bringing interesting art films to town.
"Ten years ago, the Park City Film Series decided to branch out and bring ski films into our community," Wang told The Park Record. "The Park City Film Series board has talked about expanding our offerings throughout the year with these types of films.
"We’re such an athletic and outdoor community," she said. "So people love biking films, ski films and climbing films and have that sense of adventure. So we thought, ‘What about surfing films? Surfing is a related sport to skiing and snowboarding, which most of us enjoy."
After the screening, the audience will have the opportunity to ask Harrington a few questions, Wang said.
"That’s like catnip to our audiences, especially after Sundance, when everyone is excited to see a film and ask the filmmaker questions," she said.
The Park City Film Series will present a special screening of Tony Harrington’s "iON the Barrel Vol. 2," not rated, at the Prospector Theater, 2175 Sidewinder Dr., on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available by visiting http://www.parkcityfilmseries.org .
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