Short film ‘Limitless’ captures the soul of surfing

By on September 25, 2017

Sometimes a film comes along that perfectly captures a thought or philosophy. It doesn’t have to be profound; it just needs to deliver a coherent, clear message.

Logan Marshall’s Limitless, a 22-minute film shown Friday night at the Dare County Arts Council’s (Surfalorus Film Fest, is that kind of movie.

The editing is excellent, the footage includes images from every season of surfing on the Outer Banks and there are some great aerial shots helping to frame the story.

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But what really sets Limitless apart are the interviews and what three surfers have to say about surfing on the Outer Banks and the sport they love.

“We’re telling the story of the surfing generations on the Outer Banks,” Marshall said. “How it’s progressing. How it’s changed since they started surfing, and what it’s going to turn into.”

“We kind of did it in 20-year periods,” he explains. “Nathan Greenlee who is 20. Jesse Hines is about to turn 38 years old. And Lynn Shell is 62.”

The interviews offer different perspectives.

Greenlee is more likely to go after the challenge, looking to be on the water any time he can. His love for surfing and the chance to push himself to be better is apparent in his what he says and his perspective.

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Hines, a former pro surfer and now owner of Surfin’ Spoon in Nags Head, has a more historic perspective, talking about moves that were cutting edge and rare when he began surfing, but are now commonplace.

He is the midpoint between generations. The father of two young children, he talks about wanting to surf with his kids as they get older; then tempers that with a remark that maybe they’ll just want to be on boogie boards and that he’s ok with that too.

Shaping boards since he was a teenager, Lynn Shell, owner of Outer Banks Boarding Company has a much broader perspective.

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He talks about his love of surfing and what it has meant to him. But he adds that there has to be balance to your life, that surfing can be part of who you are, but there are other things that are important as well.

As remarkable and compelling as Limitless is, the story of Logan Marshall also needs to be included.

Nathan Greenlee (left) and Logan Marshall signing posters at the premier. (Kip Tabb)

This is the first film the junior at Manteo High School, has produced.

He had been working with still photography, and Glassy Look, an image he captured with his GoPro, won first prize in the 2016 Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce My OBX photo contest.

“I ended up buying a (film) camera with the money I won there,” he said.

The idea for Limitless took a while to germinate. The process began when the DCAC asked him if he could shoot a film for Sufalorus. He had been talking to Greenlee, who he frequently surfs with and Shell at OB Boarding Company, where he works.

At some point he realized, those conversations could be the subject of a film.

“We could talk about how it has changed,” Marshall said.

He discovered creating a film was more time consuming than he though it would be.

“I learned that you’ve got to be patient with it. And I’ve learned you need a lot more footage than you’ll ever use. And you have to stay positive with it,” he said.

But he did like it…liked it so much that he’s on to his next project.

“We have a bigger project coming soon,” he explains. “Because on the East Coast things are so different than say California where they have waves all year around. On the East Coast the shape of the wave is different. The color of the water is different Everything is different by the season. We’re pairing people up and giving them a certain time of each season to surf together. Our whole goal is to film the whole thing.”

He’s still capturing still images, with no plans to give that up.

“When I’m not shooting for a project I’m shooting photos,” he said. “I like shooting photos of surfing because you can get them just before they mess up.”

Film, though, has captured his imagination and energy.

“It’s so much fun. It’s my favorite thing right now,” he said.

‘Limitless’ is one of a number of films at the 6th Annual Surfalorus Film Festival. Focusing on surf films, the festival includes a wide range of entries, everything from three- and four-minute shorts to hour-and-a-half feature films.

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