This Is Nathan Oldfield
Filmmaker Nathan Oldfield Playlist and Interview Last Updated: Apr 21 2021
Nathan lives in the Northern Rivers region on the North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. He has been making award-winning independent surf films for twenty years. Nathan is also a photographer whose work is regularly published in international surfing magazines. Nathan was recently included in Surfing World Magazine’s ‘Fifty Most Intriguing People In Surfing.’ Nathan is a contributing filmmaker and photographer for Patagonia.
Nickname: Nath, Nat, Oldy.
Born and raised: I was born in the Blue Mountains several hours from the coast. But at the age of ten, my family moved to the Central Coast of New South Wales. It was a great place to grow up. Beautiful beaches, a variety of waves, relatively uncrowded compared to now.
When and how did you start surfing?
I've bodysurfed and boogie boarded since I was little. But I started consistently surfing at the age of ten. My dad surfs and makes his own surfboards. My first waves were ridden on one of his old single fins that he made back in the seventies.
Who are the surfers that inspires you?
I'm inspired by a lot of different surfers. Where I live, the level of surfing performance in the water across a range of different kinds of equipment and wave conditions is really high. Every time I paddle out, someone will impress me. There are so many good surfers around here that I admire: Dave Rastovich, Torren Martyn, Josie Prendergast, Johnny Abegg, Bob McTavish, Lauren Hill, Taj Richmond, Kai Ellice-Flint, Jai Glindeman, Christian Barker, Rusty Miller, Neal Purchase Junior. As for surfers who live elsewhere, I'm really inspired by Devon Howard, Steph Gilmore, Rob Machado, Ryan Burch and Skip Frye.
Where are your favorite surf spots that you've been to?
I have lots of favorites, some nearby and others much further afield, but I'd rather not say.
Where are the surf spots you want to visit in the future that you've never been to?
Too many to mention really. I can't wait to travel again.
Which type of surfboards and fin setups are you into?
I've always liked to ride a variety of boards. My surfboard shed is full of a lot of different kinds of surfboards: single fins, thrusters, twins, quads, alaias, belly boards, logs, mid lengths, gliders. I've ridden them all and for a long time, I have enjoyed the challenge and freshness of riding a varied quiver. Lately, however, I have been enjoying narrowing down what I'm riding, to see how much ground I can cover with a reduced amount of surfboards. My current daily drivers are a 7'0" egg and an 11'11" glider that my good mate Eden Saul made for me, under the label Dead Kooks. They are both magic boards that I really connect with.
Which one video would you highlight in this playlist and why?
'Wajung', a film I made with one of my dearest friends Dave Rastovich for The Surfer's Journal. It's a small and simple film, but it represents some great memories for me, and a special collaboration with Dave, his shaper, and our good mate Gary McNeill, my brother-in-law musician and composer Nick Wales and my favorite publication The Surfer's Journal.
Gear: Canon DSLRs and lenses. AquaTech water housing.
Editing tool: iMac and Premiere.
What's your favorite focal length?
I don't have a favorite. It just depends on what I'm shooting and how I want to compose the shot and communicate a feeling.
When and how did you start filming?
Just over twenty years ago. I got access to a camera and started shooting friends, and it all kind of organically grew from there.
Who are the creators that inspires you?
Bruce Brown, Albe Falzon, George Greenough, Jack McCoy, Dick Hoole, Sonny Miller, Chris Malloy, Jack Johnson, Scott Soens, Taylor Steele, Andrew Kidman, Thomas Campbell, Jason Baffa, Dave Homcy, Keith Malloy, Ishka Folkwell. I'm bound to have forgotten someone in answering this question, because a lot of creators inspire me.
What are the surf films/videos that inspires you?
Other than surf films?
There are too many to recall really. Whatever I'm watching, whether it's a film or a mini-series, or even a commercial, I'm always studying composition, editing, transitions, camera angles, storylines, soundtracks, character development.
Who are your favorite bands and musicians?
Music is one of the great loves of my life. I like a wide range of music from across different genres and generations. There are too many musicians to recall and list, and if you asked me this question next month or year, the list would have changed.
10 tracks you love?
- "Cherry Blossom" by Matthew Halsall
- "Swing Lo Magellan" by Dirty Projectors
- "Jesus, Etc." by Wilco
- "Campfire" by Kevin Morby
- "Ooh La La" by Faces
- "Oom Sha La La" by Haley Heynderickx
- "I Am The Changer" by Cotton Jones
- "These Days" by Nico
- "Kerina" by Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek
- "Brindavan Hare Ram" by Krishna Das