This Is Trent Stevens
Filmmaker Trent Stevens Playlist & Interview Last Updated: May 28 2021
I am a photographer and filmmaker from California who focuses on Longboard, Big Wave, and underdog-focused storytelling.
When and how did you start surfing?
My mothers family were some of the original settlers/surfers in Waikiki, so surfing has always been a part of my families lineage. When I was 8 years old, visiting my cousins, I was fortunate enough to have my Uncle Jim push me into a wave at Chun's Reef on the North Shore of Oahu. I remember the fear of the reef transforming into the joy of gliding. I could have been a Doctor, Lawyer, or President but alas from that moment on I was a Surfer! I have based my life around that feeling ever since. Mahalo Uncle!
Who are the surfers that inspires you?
Where are your favorite surf spots that you've been to?
Spent some time working the camp "Surf Tours Nicaragua", as the staff photographer, in Miramar Nicaragua. That has to be one of the best variety of waves I have ever experienced. From Outside reef peeling into a slab point to heaving offshore beach breaks, I consistently got barreled (..head dipped) every day for months. My other favorite spot to travel to has to be Saladita, Mexico, where I have gone the past few years to film for Mexi Log Fest. It's the left hand Malibu!
Where are the surf spots you want to visit in the future that you've never been to?
Which type of surfboards and fin setups are you into?
I prefer pintail single fin nose riders, big gliders, and high performance 5 fin Bonzers. The Bonzers ability to generate massive amounts of speed quickly has completely transformed my surfing.
Which one video would you highlight in this playlist and why?
I would love to show the "jive" of Jacob Ellis and his Daughter Uma, surfing Rincon together. It was my first video to reach a million views and while it is short and viral, I feel like it captures the stoke in a wholesome way. One doesn't need to be a surfer to enjoy it!
Gear: Canon 1dx mk ii, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye, Canon 24mm f2.8, 35mm f2, 50mm f1.4, 85mm 1.8, 70-200 f.28, and the 600mm f4 (inherited from my late father).
Editing tool: Adobe Premiere. Adobe creates the best products.
What's your favorite focal length?
In water, it's the fisheye for barrels, but on land, the 600mm is so my favorite lens because of the awesome amount of compression as well as I feel a connection to my family.
When and how did you start filming?
My family owned a 1-hour photo lab growing up so I was always around the trade. I owned my first surf photography website when I was a teenager and I've kept up the craft off and on ever since. Nothing else has brought me as much joy while introducing me to so many fascinating, dedicated, and eclectic people. Filming is a beautiful way to experience life because it allows you to immerse yourself into somebody's perspective while expressing yourself. The ocean also has an innate ability to both excite and relax my mind and body.
Who are the creators that inspires you?
What are the surf films/videos that inspires you?
Single Fin Yellow, Sprout, 180 Degrees South.
Other than surf films?
Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, & Evil Dead III: Army of Darkness.
Who are your favorite bands and musicians?
The Ragged Jubilee, Neil Young, Kokoroko, Shuggie Otis, Charlie Parr, Elephant Revival, Mason Jennings, & Hand Made Moments.
10 tracks you love?
- "Saving a Life" by Richard Houghten
- "Abusey Junction" by Kokoroko
- "Apollo's Mood" by The Olympians
- "Djorelon/Union of Sun and Moon" by Goat
- "The Moan" by The Ragged Jubilee
- "On the Beach" by Neil Young
- "Sailing the Solar Flairs" by Dirtwire
- "Millionaire Falconaire" by Lion Cut
- "Cheap Wine" by Charlie Parr
- "Ghost" by Skin and Bones