The footage for the film was shot towards the end of Denali’s days, and it was truly magical to revisit the surf breaks and climbing areas he and I had shared over the past 14-plus years. Throughout Denali’s life, he constantly reminded me of the importance of being in nature.
He was never that stoked on being in the city but would truly come to life while on the beach or at the crag.
I had asked Denali to please stick around for the month we were filming, as this project meant so much to me, and true to the connection we shared, he kept that promise nearly to the hour. Denali passed away just days after we wrapped the production.
This was an extremely personal story for me to share, but working with my close friends Ben Knight and Skip Armstrong on the piece allowed for me to really open up and be truly vulnerable. I am so grateful for the talent and heart they put into making this piece come to life. It was a true collaboration and I feel like our friendship shines through in the final piece.