Broken Jaw Film School

Adventure is all about the unknown. Today I went surfing. So?! big deal, I go surfing all the time. Sometimes twice a day.  Let me remind you that I am not a cameraman or photographer. I am all about Songwriting, Performing and Recording. Today I went surfing with a waterproof video camera.  I was playing with some of our new equipment as Zach wants us all to be familiar with the new gear. This was no ordinary session either. I have only surfed this particular break once in 4 years. Why?
Almost 4 years ago I broke my jaw into 3 pieces at this surf spot. Every hair on the back of my neck and arms is standing up as I remember. I was hit by a wooden surfboard, MY wooden surfboard.  It chipped one of my molars, and one of my front teeth fell out inside my mouth because the bone had snapped clean and could not hold it in place. Not to mention the fin chop on my bicep, a mere footnote in the story. Meanwhile, I was trying to figure out where I was, which way was up and which direction I had to go to make it to shore. Miraculously I was not knocked unconscious. As I began the long paddle into shore I caught myself spitting out pieces of my teeth and thanking God that I was still alive. Zach was still surfing while all this was happening. When I finally made it back to the sand, Carlos was the first to meet me. I had only known Z for maybe a month at this point, and barely knew Carlos. We left immediately in search of a clinic or somewhere to at least get pain killers until we could make it to a hospital.  In the days to follow Z took care of everything. Driving me 2.5 hours to San Jose at 9:00 in the evening, speaking to the doctors, organizing a hotel room, making international phone calls, he even threw me a few Benjamins.  The injury resulted in an operation to implant 2 titanium plates and 6 screws into my jaw. Those I keep for life. The doctor put me on a liquid diet for an entire month. Friendships were solidified that day; friendships that now consist of a lot of laughing, mocking, and the unspoken knowledge that someone always has your back.

Four years later my jaw is totally fine, and I’m back here enjoying another sunset surf. I’m learning about photography and video from Zach and Carlos and sharing my knowledge of audio recording and music. Because we are a small crew, Z wants us all to train each other so that we each know how to do everything on a shoot. It turns out that shooting video in the surf is a lot harder than it looks! You would think that all you have to do is just point and shoot right?  Sure! -if you just want a dizzy home video.  I also learned that I can paddle into waves with a camera in one hand and my video looks horrible! Practice! I have a newfound respect for the photographers who swim all day capturing hours of clean stable smooth footage.

My adventure today reminded me of a few things:  The right knowledge, skills, and equipment are vital.  No matter what task you are undertaking. If you are not armed with these then you will not be equipped to explore the unknown.