This Is John Singer | NobodySurf

This Is John Singer

Filmmaker John Singer Playlist & Interview 33 Videos ・ Last Updated: Feb 21 2024

Thanks for checking out my videos.

Nickname: John

Based now: Capistrano Beach, California

Stance: Regular

Born and raised

Born in Columbus, Ohio - moved to San Diego at age 3, and raised in Pacific Beach.

When and how did you start surfing?

1985 in 5th grade, the same year I started skateboarding.

Who are the surfers that inspire you?

The last surfer I saw smiling while surfing and being a big fan of the history of surfing, quite a long list. Tom Ortner, Chris O’Rourke, Midget FarrellyHerbie FletcherNathan FletcherChristian FletcherJ. RiddleMPMRBarry Kanaiaupuni, Billy Hamilton, Joe Quigg, Jimmy Ganzer, George Greenough, Rell Sunn, Rabbit Kekai, Buffalo Keaulana, John Peck, LJ Richards, Donald TakayamaBen AipaBob CooperMatt ArchboldDerek HyndMiki Dora, Fish God, Ari BrowneAndy NieblasCJ NelsonBarry McGeeSteve KrajewskiSkip FryeRory RussellLance CarsonJoyce HoffmanPhil EdwardsBob McTavishWayne Lynch, Tom Blake, Tom Morey, Tom CurrenNat YoungTerry FitzgeraldLarry Bertlemann, and Bunker Spreckles. There are still many many more I missed!

Where are your favorite surf spots that you've been to?

SwamisSan OnofreTrestlesMalibu, Leo Carrillo, RinconPrivates & Four Mile in Santa CruzNoriega St. in San Francisco, and Bolinas.

Where are the surf spots you want to visit in the future that you've never been to?

Batukaras, Java

Which type of surfboards and fin setups are you into?

I grew up shortboarding and was taught to dislike longboarding. After getting sick of doing the same top to bottom snappy cutback style of surfing I wanted to draw new lines, it just got too repetitive and monotonous. Around this time in 2011, I was hired as the Art director for Catchsurf a new soft-top company, so conveniently, I ditched my hard boards and started soft topping. I just liked the carefree sessions of catching lots of waves.

Derek Hynd had been developing a beautiful finless approach to surfing that spoke to me, so I decided to give it a try. After doing it for a week the progression curve becomes very steep and I was hooked! So nowadays I surf finless mostly, and with 1/2” Twin nubs; they provide just enough trim alignment and lift to get higher up on the lip, and they still release whenever you want them to. I also now enjoy single fin longboarding, because the waves are small here a lot and longboarding is super fun on small waves.

Which one video would you highlight in this playlist and why?

The “Crime Two Songs” film, a 9 1/2 minute culmination of some of my favorite footage from 2021-2022. Ryan Canon of Log Rap filmed the footage of Dane Petersen at Malibu.

What cameras and lenses do you use?


What editing tool do you use?

Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects

What's your favorite focal length?

400mm - 600mm F5.0 - F13 depending on the distance of my subject.

When and how did you start filming?

2002 I created an underground skateboard brand called Ole’ and would film/edit all the videos. Later I was working as a media designer in San Francisco for various brands and was doing a lot video editing.

Who are the creators that inspire you?

LeRoy Grannis, Art Brewer, Paul Witzig, Mark Gonzales, Barry McGee, Tommy Guerrero, Alex Kopps, Andy Warhol, Tom Morey, Reynolds YaterDick HooleBruce BrownJack McCoyGeorge GreenoughJeff DivineAndrew KidmanRick Griffin, Steven Soderbergh, Herbie Fletcher, and Jeff Neu.

What are the surf films/videos that inspire you?

Litmus, Five Summer Stories, The Endless Summer, Tubular Swells, North Shore, Sprout, Ocean Fever, A Matter of Style, and Wave Warriors.

Other than surf films?

Casino, Over The Edge, The Shining, Fantastic Planet, Sorcerer, A Clockwork Orange, Slap Shot, Best in Show, Pulp Fiction, Raising Arizona, The Hudsucker Proxy, King of New York, Gummo, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, The Big Lebowski, Clockers, Apocalypse Now, Thrashin’, ET, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Fargo, Rushmore, Blue Velvet, Pink Floyd The Wall, Pi, Caddyshack, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Christmas Vacation, True Romance, Mouse by Girl Skateboards, Tent City by Antihero Skateboards, Welcome to Hell by Toy Machine Skateboards, Streets on Fire / Wheels on Fire by Santa Cruz Skateboards, H St. Shackle me Not / Hocus Pocus, and Non-Fiction by Real Skateboards.

Who are your favorite bands and musicians?

I enjoy an eclectic mix of music - The Ventures, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk, The Wipers, The Damned, Wu-Tang Clan, The Dictators, Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, B-52's, X, Government Issue, Naked Raygun, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tony Allen, Tenor Saw, The Rolling Stones, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, Superchunk, Built to Spill, Jawbreaker, The Cure, Meat Puppets, Rakim, KMD, Sade, Brand Nubian, Parliament, Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, Bob James, Dennis Coffey, D Train, Ebo Taylor, Cymande, T. Rex, Big L, Junior Murvin, Joe Gibbs, Tangerine Dream, Molchat Dona, Death in June, Howlin’ Wolf, Barrington Levy, Sonic Youth, Love, The Ramones, and Black Sabbath.

Tracks you love?

Spotify Playlist: John Singer

  1. "Independent Intavenshan" by Linton Kwesi Johnson
  2. "Shocking - Dub" by Linton Kwesi Johnson
  3. "Natty Contractor/ Drunken Master" by Michael Black & Ranking Joe
  4. "Working My Way Back To You" by George Nooks & Trinity
  5. "Cool Out Son/ Nice Up The Party" by Junior Murvin w/ Welton Irie & Prince Weedy
  6. "Time Stiff/ Time So Rough" by Junior Murvin & Trinity
  7. "Lone Ranger And Tonto" by Tenor Saw
  8. "Nah Follow No Fashion" by Sugar Minott
  9. "Rope In/ Love In A Jamdown" by Cornell Campbell & Lui Lepkie
  10. "Inglan Is A Bitch" by Linton Kwesi Johnson