surfer Garrett McNamaraStar of HBO Documentary Series One of the few people on the planet who can describe exactly what it’s like to be chased by a giant wall of water.
“It’s just so choppy and the wind is just going through your face and your whole body,” McNamara said during a panel discussion. 100 foot wave As part of Contenders Television of Deadline: Documentary + Unscripted Event. “As you’re coming down [the wave], you want to see if it’s going to keep you from behind or if there’s an exit, if you can make it or you should go deeper or run up to the shoulder or try to pull into the barrel. And if you pull into the barrel, it’s like you’re in this special place where time doesn’t exist… it’s the most exhilarating, wonderful feeling on earth.
Series produced, directed and executive produced by Chris Smith and executive produced Joe Lewis, follows McNamara and his wife Nicole as they travel to points around the world in search of Titanic waves for Garrett to surf. Nicole acts as a spotter from the land, alerting jet-ski drivers to trample her husband when a monster wave is forming.
“Sometimes they can’t even see when the waves are coming – they’re in the trough of these waves,” Nicole said. “So, it’s very important to have that spotter, and to have a spotter who knows what they’re talking about and has an attention span because there’s a lot of downtime, just waiting.”
Smith directs Emmy-nominated 2017 documentary Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, about Jim Carrey’s immortal vision to play comedian Andy Kaufman in the film. He said that he is attracted to unconventional personalities like Carey and McNamara.
“I’m always looking for people who think differently than everyone else, and I think Garrett fits that mold a hundred percent,” Smith said. “With any project that’s worth [it]I think what people are interested in seeing is someone who thinks differently.”
Lewis is instrumental in helping to capture the beauty and drama of gliding beneath McNamara in ocean waters from Portugal to Hawaii to Alaska or being crushed by these aquatic giants.
Lewis said, “From a productive standpoint, you have to be prepared to shoot in the most dangerous surf you can imagine with 10, 12 cameras – cameras are flying, cameras in the water, cameras on land, cameras after surfers.” ” “You have to be able to do it in one go and not only do it well enough, but … the best it’s done so far.”
Check back on Monday for the panel video.