For some time, filmmaker Matej Čebulec says he found himself drawn to the aesthetics of moments like watching a shaper at work in their bay, glimpses of surf sessions, or friends talking story around a campfire on road trips. But as a filmmaker in landlocked Slovenia, he couldn’t dive into telling stories around those moments without uprooting his life to observe them regularly. So while finishing his bachelor’s degree he decided to do just that and moved to Portugal. There, he decided, he’d spend six months working with a surf shop that focuses on handmade boards to meet, interview, and film its ambassadors.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the brakes on his creative plans in early 2020.
Still, with his project already underway, Čebulec had come across one character who was also working and visiting Portugal at the time and had piqued his interest: San Clemente shaper Donald Brink.
“We’d vacation to the sea and I was in love with trying to learn to surf,” Brink remembers his teenage years with a sport that would eventually shape his life. “There was something about it that captured me, so I just went down to the beach every day on my own and I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I was falling in love with trying to figure it out.”
‘The Way We Live’ is a film Čebulec created highlighting Brink’s work and life. The film also features surfing from Eurico Romaguera and Ziggy Alberts. It’s one aesthetically pleasing short about the simple moments that keep us all hooked on a life spent riding waves.