This Is Ishka Folkwell
Filmmaker Ishka Folkwell Playlist & Interview Last Updated: Sep 16 2021
Growing up I was surrounded by photography, my bedroom doubling as mum's dark room, with pictures hanging on every bit of wall space in the house. But it wasn't until finishing school that I picked up a camera myself. It was traveling that really got me passionate about taking photographs, with all the new faces and unfamiliar landscapes, everything was fresh and fascinating.
When returning back home to Byron Bay, I would find myself taking less photographs and more videos. I started off filming friends surfing (luckily for me a lot of them surfed well) and making little edits, which eventually gave me opportunities to travel and film.
Over the past few years I have been extremely lucky to travel extensively, which has allowed me to photograph and film some incredibly beautiful places and continues to feed me with inspiration to capture more of what the world has to offer.
When and how did you start surfing?
I first started bodyboarding when I was about 12. In my mid 20's I started getting bored of the waves in Byron so I started surfing for something new and have been surfing ever since.
Who are the surfers that inspires you?
I have spent a lot of time with Torren Martyn, so naturally, he has inspired me over the years. I really appreciate the surfing from people like Bryce Young, Asher Pacey, Stephanie Gilmore and Mikey February. People who look like they are having a lot of fun at the same time as surfing extremely well.
Where are your favorite surf spots that you've been to?
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?
Gear: I mainly use a Panasonic Gh5. For surfing, I use the canon 100-400mm (200-800mm with the cropped sensor) and for everything else, I have a few Sigma art lenses that I love, as well as a Panasonic 12-35mm for run and gun stuff.
Editing tool: Premiere Pro
What's your favorite focal length?
For surfing Ill mix it up a fair bit so there are a variety of shots in each session. Other than that I love my Sigma 35mm and 50mm.
When and how did you start filming?
I started filming around the same time I transitioned from bodyboarding to surfing. When it was small I would go surfing and then when it was pumping I would film. Growing up in Byron there were always a lot of good surfers around so I would just film when there were good waves and then put a little edit together and submit it to online surfing platforms. In 2012 I did a solo trip to Mexico, my Friend Torren Martyn happened to be there at the same time so we decided to do a clip together and we have been working together ever since.
Who are the creators that inspires you?
When I first started surfing it was guys like Taylor Steele and Kai Neville that we're releasing the most compelling films. I really appreciated Taylor Steele's approach to making surf films, adding the travel side of things in so it wasn't all about surfing. At the moment I'm really enjoying surf films that have stories. I love a high-performance web clip here and there but they can start to blur into one after a while. I've been fortunate enough to be involved with "needESSENTIALS" the last few years and they have been really supportive in creating films with a bit more depth and story. I have been lucky enough to work with Headland (band) who have written original soundtracks for a lot of my films. Being able to bounce ideas around and get a soundtrack written for a film is a real privilege.
What are the surf films/videos that inspires you?
Other than surf films?
I’m not sure if they have directly "inspired" me but I love anything by Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, and also love a good documentary. I love films that are a little offbeat or have beautiful cinematography and a good soundtrack.
Who are your favorite bands and musicians?
It changes, but at the moment I have been enjoying Bill Callahan, WAR, Edgar Broughton Band, J.J. Cale, Julia Jacklin among others
10 tracks you love?
- "Gun" by Eric Burdon & War
- "To Perth, before the border, closes" by Julia Jacklin
- "Dead Radio" by Rowland S. Howard (not on Spotify)
- "Casey's Last Ride" by Kris Kristofferson
- "Spring" by Bill Callahan
- "The Boss" by James Brown
- "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!!" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
- "Little Star of Bethlehem" by CAN
- "Evening over Rooftops" by Edgar Broughton Band
- "Kenny's Song" by Headland