For its second annual Imaginarium contest, TransWorld Surf magazine posed an interesting challenge to three teams representing the companies Body Glove, VonZipper, and Sanuk: to conceptualize and produce a unique and creative photo submission and to create a short video.
“The themes and ideas were up to them, and they were free to use any props, lighting, and equipment,” explain the editors. “The only rule was no Photoshop.”
The VonZipper team included photographer/director Michael Muller, who shot a ton of photos and codirected (with GT) the short film The Summer of Darkness. The images appear in the current issue of TransWorld Surf, and the video is on view at the magazine’s website.
“The Summer of Darkness is a reflection of the life and times of four young lads on a quest to blow minds, break hearts, and rip the lip. Our submission is not about surfing. It’s a lifestyle piece about the never-ending pursuit of good times and the things that happen when you jump in a convertible and get weird,” the Von Zipper team explains.
“In an attempt to push the limits of surf photography and give a different tweak on the same shit you’ve already seen, we teamed up with renowned and award-winning photographer Michael Muller to bring something different to the lineup. Michael’s commercial work speaks for itself. From movie posters to album covers, billboards to fashion spreads, his groundbreaking animal photography to VonZipper ads, his work is immediately recognizable, and there’s a reason why he’s one of the most sought after lensmen in the business.
We lit up The Summer of Darkness with Michael’s patented water housing flash units. These one-of-a-kind strobes are a four pack of 1200-watt studio lights put into water housings, connected by 125 cords to their individual power sources and then synced to the camera. It’s a flotilla of battery barges and sync cables, with a crew deeper than P. Diddy’s, to support the shoot. The results are unique and speak for themselves.”
Here’s a selection of Michael’s photos. The Summer of Darkness is embedded at the end of the post.
Directors: GT and Michael Muller
Video: George Trimm
Original music: Wake Up Lucid
Narration: WN Tomlinson
Surfers: Jack Freestone, Luke Davis, Tanner Rozunko, and Christian Wach