patrick trefz | Patrick Trefz | Director/ Photographer
PATRICK TREFZ IS A WIDELY ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER OF MANY FEATURE-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY FILMS, INCLUDING: THREAD, IDIOSYNCRASIES, AND SURFERS’ BLOOD.
patrick trefz, photographer, director, water sports, surfing, surf photography, west side, barney, westside, santa cruz, surf, lane, steamers lane, harbor bill,
5
home,page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-5,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-3.6,menu-animation-underline,fs-menu-animation-underline,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.0.1,vc_responsive
flyers-1

Surfers’ Blood World premiere

September 17, 2016

 64th Annual

San Sebastian Film Festival

16-24 September, 2016

 

BY JOEL PATTERSON, EDITOR, SURFER MAGAZINE

 

SURFERS’ BLOOD IS A MID-CAREER RETROSPECTIVE, CONSISTING OF IMAGES FROM TREFZ’S TWO DECADES OF TRAVEL, DOCUMENTING SURF CULTURE THE WORLD OVER. WITH WORK FROM HIS 10-YEAR STINT AS A STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER AT SURFER MAGAZINE, AS WELL AS STILLS FROM HIS MORE RECENT FILMMAKING ENDEAVORS, SURFERS’ BLOOD SHINES A LIGHT INTO SURFING’S LESS COMMERCIAL CORNERS, EXPOSING A COMMUNITY OF WAVE RIDERS AND REGIONS THAT ARE GENERALLY UNAVAILABLE IN THE MAINSTREAM SURF MEDIA. TREFZ UTILIZES A WIDE VARIETY OF EQUIPMENT — 35-MM AND MEDIUM-FORMAT ANALOG CAMERAS, AS WELL AS DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES — TO CREATE A BODY OF WORK THAT, FOR ALL ITS TOPICAL DIVERSITY, IS UNUSUALLY UNIFORM IN TEXTURE, ENERGY, AND DEPTH. HIS SUCCESS HAS NOT COME BY RIDING THE COATTAILS OF MEDIA-SAVVY PROFESSIONAL SURFERS, OR BY ENDLESSLY FOLLOWING THE WORLD TOUR. RATHER, TREFZ HAS BUILT LASTING RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE AND PLACES — RELATIONSHIPS THAT HAVE STOOD THE TEST OF TIME AND REQUIRE REAL COMMITMENT TO MAKE LAST. IT IS THESE RELATIONSHIPS THAT HAVE ALLOWED TREFZ TO GLIMPSE (AND CAPTURE) THE ESSENCE OF INTERNATIONAL SURFING CULTURE.

SURFERS’ BLOOD TELLS THE STORY OF INDIVIDUALS and the DEEP bonds which CONNECT them TO THE SEA. Through OAR AND SURFBOARD SHAPER, PATXI OLIDEN, TREFZ EXPLORES THE OLD WORLD FISHING life OF THE RUGGED BASQUE COAST;  through the ECCENTRIC COMPUTER SHAPES of product designer THOMAS MEYERHOFFER (of Apple computer fame), and the HYDRODYNAMIC SURFBOARDS which CURATOR/SURFER, RICHARD KENVIN, shows at a SONOMA VALLEY ART MUSEUM, he explores the art of shaping; and through three-TIME MAVERICKS BIG WAVE CHAMP, DARRYL ‘FLEA’ VIROSTKO, he documents a man’s ties to the ocean and his epic STRUGGLE TO OVERCOME A METH ADDICTION. Their connection? their deep love of the ocean and the way it shapes their lives.

Patrick Trefz lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. He is a director, producer and photographer and is widely acclaimed for three feature-length documentary films, Thread (2007), Idiosyncrasies (2010), and Surfers’ Blood (2016). He has directed multiple music videos, commercials, and shorts. As a photographer, his work has appeared in publications including Surfer, Big, Geo and The New York Times. He is the author of Santa Cruz: Visions of Surf City (SolidPublishing, 2002), Thread (PowerHouse, 2009), and Surfers’ Blood (PowerHouse Books, 2012).

 SURFERS’ BLOOD

NOMINATED

BEST DOCUMENTARY

SURFER MAGAZINE AWARDS

2016

 THREAD

BEST FILM

INTERNATIONAL SURF

FILM FESTIVAL

 ANGLET, FRANCE.

IDIOSYNCRASIES

BEST FILM

NY SURF FILM FESTIVAL

2010

IDIOSYNCRASIES

 SURFERS’ BLOOD

NOMINATED

BEST DOCUMENTARY

SURFER MAGAZINE AWARDS

2010

GAIL RICH

AWARD WINNER

2004

Rusty Long, Professional Surfer

Trefz is a chameleon in the form of a simple human. He can roll however he needs to roll to adapt to the changing of events in front of him with great ease and flow. Five days of gritty Baja camping straight into New York’s art world was the last time we hung out. All with his one standard bag and a quick stop at home to change a few clothing items and grab a couple more rolls of film for the Rolleiflex he’s had forever. I think as you go on in life, you are drawn to those friends who move at a similar pace to you, enjoy similar things, and for whom you have mutual respect and appreciation. Those types of people are the ones you end up putting your signature on the world with. We’ve had many great travels over the 12 years we’ve been friends, spanning from Rapa Nui to remote Baja, and plain and simple, I just dig the way he does it. A super efficient minimalist. Open to it all. Can hang with weirdos and wealth, travel poor or plush, kind of how I imagine Hemmingway did it, and then have stunning art to show for it. Art that extracts the essence of what was going on and inspires people to get out into the wide world.

Part of being a chameleon is the skill of invisibility. Trefz has a way of being totally neutral and non-intrusive, yet present, among the things he’s documenting, which is why his images exude truth. It’s also a reason I believe he’s cultivated the trust of the very talented, eclectic group of people he chooses to document — or those who choose him as documenter to accurately convey their approach to the world.

A lot of people take pictures in this surf world, but few do so with the deft or depth of Trefz. His work captivates the visual senses, but also has a way of telling a much deeper story than what is visibly there. Stuff that stirs more emotion and provokes more thought and is real. Far from the fallacious, mass-produced, posed shit that’s often churned out in the surf world. He keeps true to what inspires him intellectually and visually, and applies his vision and the many documentary mechanisms he’s mastered, to create simulations of the way he sees the world.

Subaru_logo-BW-V22
clif+bar+logo55
jansport-logosaw
redbull2
quicksolver-320x150b
nike2
op2
levis_logo_300saw

“I have always been fascinated by the focus and concentration it requires to take a good photograph. Nothing else around you matters, you are immersed in the moment, trying to nail that shot, waiting for everything to come together. Hours pass by without noticing​, it doesn’t matter if you are cold or hungry– you are getting the shot. It’s like surfing, pure instinct sets in, all the years of accumulating and honing your creative and technical skills come into play in the moment.”