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Posts Tagged ‘waterlust’

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Patrick-Rynne-243x300The SA Innerview

Over the past couple of years, the incredible videographers and creatives at Waterlust have set the bar incredibly high for the ultimate in waterborne sports video, and there are few brands stronger than theirs.  They continue to grow in many ways, and tomorrow we’ll release a brand new video that really shows what they’re all about.  We took the chance to grab founder Patrick Rynne to answer a few burning questions we have about Waterlust in this SA Innerview.  Go over and sign up for their newsletter now so you never miss another lusty adventure.

SA: Can you explain how Waterlust actually evolved? In other words, how did you go from being a science student to creating the most recognizable brand in nautical filmmaking?

PR: It really started with that first Kite vs. Moth video we did back in 2010. Kite racing had just started to get popular and we were all curious how it would stack up against other high performance classes on a simple windward leeward course. I somehow drew the short straw of being in charge of logistics and filming, but through it, I discovered a love of filmmaking that I never knew I had. I was a grad student at the time working on my PhD, and realized that many of my sailing friends had the same passion for the ocean as my science friends. Film is a great way to capture those mutual feelings, and I thought it would be fun to make videos that did that. For the rest of my PhD I spent every spare minute I had making films about things I thought were interesting. Every time I made a new one, I tried to make it better than the last. I still feel that way.

SA: How did you see the existing video landscape for sailing and other maritime adventure sports when you jumped in, and how has it changed since?

PR: For guys like me, who don’t have any background in film or photography, I think the technology has really enabled creativity. Without simple point and shoot cameras like GoPros and iPhones, I probably would never have gotten into this. In my opinion, good equipment shouldn’t get in the way of the experience. I chuckle when I see people using camera kits that cost more than a car to get a shot that you could get with a phone. It’s sort of a double-edge sword in that sense. Technology is always changing and it’s fun to be at the leading edge: 4K, 8K, spherical, drones, whatever the trend may be. But at the end of the day, you still need to craft a story that has a nice beginning, middle and end. No fancy gear will make that process any easier.

Lower cost and easier to operate gear has made “wet” storytelling accessible to anybody. When you think about it, taking a camera in the water 10 years ago was pretty risky. Nobody had waterproof electronics besides the pros. It’s been pretty rad to see a much broader scope of work being done in the maritime world now that equipment is cheaper. Everybody is shooting, from the weekend warrior to the professional. It’s pretty amazing how quickly it changed!

SA: How do you fund Waterlust?  What’s your business model going forward? Can events hire you, or would that interfere with your storytelling?

PR: For the first few years we had no funding, we just did it and sort of experimented with things. We always had a mission to inspire people and get them thinking about the environment, and we didn’t want anything to interfere with that process until our identify was well defined. GoPro was our first major sponsorship, later came Sperry. We also have had lots of amazing equipment sponsors that support us with gear. It’s really fun getting to meet like-minded people across different industries…that might be one of the best aspects of my job.

At the end of 2014 we decided to develop Waterlust into an apparel brand as part of a longer term strategy. Sponsorships are amazing, but they come and go. We want to keep doing this for as long as we can, and we needed a firmer business model. Fiona’s sister was working as a designer up in NYC and we convinced her to pack up and move to Miami and lead our apparel team. Since then, it’s been very exciting as we learn to make products that reflect our values. We refuse to rush the process and didn’t want folks thinking that we were just slapping our logo on crap and selling it. We’re taking our time and only releasing products that we’re really proud of.

We don’t do for-hire film or photography work because it gets in the way of telling an authentic story. We’re not a production company. If somebody paid us a bunch of money to cover their event, it would be inherently biased. I’d feel pressure to make them happy. That isn’t to say we won’t cover events, we did a documentary on R2AK last year. It’s just that we pick and choose what we cover based on what we find interesting. It’s a bit of an unconventional approach, but it works for us.

SA: You nearly lost your girl in a very well-known wreck during your trip to Iceland – ironically, your RV turned into a kite, severely injuring Fiona.  What went through your mind when you were upside down in the air?  Did you consider dropping the whole thing and doing something ‘safer’?

PR: The accident was definitely the most traumatic experience any of us have experienced. We had our entire team in the vehicle when it happened, so Waterlust almost got completely wiped out by a gust of wind. Pretty ironic when you think about it! I think at the time we were all thinking that it would just be a nuisance. Maybe we’d have to get the van towed and pick our gear out of the mud, but being killed or paralyzed never entered my mind. Even Fiona talks about being trapped under the car and not thinking it was going to end badly until it started crushing her. It’s funny how you can feel invincible right up to the “oh shit” moment.

We had a lot of time after to reflect and think about whether or not to throttle back. Fiona has a Masters, I’ve got a PhD…there is plenty of other work we can do. But ultimately, we both feel like Waterlust is something special and that the juice is worth the squeeze. Now we’re just a bit more cautious with safety and try to anticipate the curve balls better. We also decided not to travel much in 2016 while Fiona was healing…then we went to Siberia in March, so clearly that didn’t last long.

SA: Will you cover the R2AK this year?

PR: Not this year, but we’re stoked to be fans and stay glued to the tracker! It’s such a cool race! I’ve got my money on Roger Mann, that guy is a beast!

SA: Lots of videographers struggle with creating narrative.  How do you do such a good job of it?  Is there a trick?

PR: Every project is different. I think as the producer you need to take a step back and decide what is the best method to tell the story. A narrator, interviews, text, music only? Once you figure out which method fits what you’re shooting, then you need to figure out your storyline and define it clearly. If you’re interviewing, you need to ask the right questions. If you’re narrating, you need to find the right tone. If it’s text, boil the words down to only those that are needed. My only trick would be that less is more. Only say what you need to say.

SA: You’ve shot mindblowing pieces on kiting, dinghy and offshore sail racing, iceboats, foilers, diving, river kayaking – just about everything.  What’s your favorite to shoot, and why? To participate in?

PR: That’s a really tough question! R2AK was pretty special because we got to have our own adventure in parallel with the racers and had no idea what to expect or really how to do it. It kept us on our toes 24 hours a day which was pretty exciting. In terms of sports, really anything that gets me in the water makes me happy. If I get to participate in the subject, that’s even better. Nobody wants to be the cameraman off in the corner with a big lens missing all the fun.

SA: Can you give us a tease for what’s ahead in 2016/7?

PR: We just got back from Siberia filming ice sailing. I got to try it and was pretty blown away. That video should come this fall. We’ve got a big expedition in July that involves building boats which is something I’ve always been drawn to. We’re also doing a lot more work directly with Ocean Scientists which I think people will find super interesting. There are so many stories to tell! In terms of products, we’ll be building on our legging line and moving into buffs, boardshorts, rash guards etc…fundamental gear you’d want for a day on the water. We’ve got some pretty exciting designs coming that we’re stoked to unveil!

SA: Would you ever do a VOR as a media crew?

PR: I wouldn’t say never, but it’s definitely not on my radar. I don’t have that dream coursing through my veins like the offshore folks. I think I’d lack the drive to do it and editing on a sailboat is miserable work. But who knows….but for sure the only way I’d do it is if Branning was navigating with Enright and Towill driving.


June 1st, 2016 by admin

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We’re proud to have been with Pat Rynne and the Waterlust team since the very beginning, and watching Pat and Fiona grow their scientific, filmmaking and creative talents has been a wonderful journey for everyone who’s been along for the ride.

John Casey headed to the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) last week on Key Biscayne to discuss all things marine, sailing, video, and more with Dr. Rynne on the JC Worldwide podcast; Click the play button above or download it for later to hear about Fiona’s new shark study, the full story about the Waterlust RV crash and injuries last summer, and lots more.


March 21st, 2016 by admin

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Pat Rynne’s Waterlust videos have brought some of the most beautiful parts of our sport to the world over the past few years, and we’re lucky to call him a friend and occasional co-conspirator.  Few understand just how far Pat goes to pursue his passion, but an incident last week puts it all into perspective.  Our thoughts go out to Pat’s partner Fiona (who just underwent surgery and is in recovery) and the rest of their injured crew. You can share your support over here.

Dear friends,

Last Saturday while filming in Iceland, our amazing team of Fiona Graham, Laura Graham, Jennah Caster, Jenny Adler, Greg Owen and myself were involved in a motor vehicle accident. We were driving on a straight and paved road along the coast in the western part of the country and were hit by an extremely strong gust of wind deemed a ‘microburst.’ The force of the wind powerfully flipped our 6-person caravan off the road into a nearby marshland. We were driving slowly, at around 25mph at the time of the accident. We had been monitoring the weather throughout the morning and had not experienced winds that impaired our driving ability until this moment.

The camper did at least one full rotation and came to rest right side up off the road. The wind in this gust was blowing by my estimates in excess of 70 knots, tearing the camper structure off the frame of the car and blowing it out to sea. This is why the crash site appears like a high speed crash with such high levels of destruction. From what I can tell, the wind was accelerating through a small topographic feature that created the gust. I can’t be certain, this is just my assessment.

Immediately after the accident it was unclear who was injured and who wasn’t. For the first minutes we couldn’t find everybody amongst the debris. The details of what transpired over the next 30 minutes are not important, but in summary we determined that Greg had suffered a head laceration, Jenny had suffered a head injury, and Fiona had severely injured her back and was unable to move from the position she had landed when thrown from the vehicle. Laura, Jennah and myself escaped without substantial injury.

While waiting for an emergency response team to arrive, we stayed with Fiona and protected her from the swirling debris that were flying violently about the wreckage. It felt like we were in a Tornado. It took about 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and during this time it was unclear whether Fiona was bleeding internally. For all involved, these were the scariest moments of our lives as we thought we were losing her. An ambulance arrived and it was determined that Fiona needed to be emergency evacuated by Coast Guard helicopter to Reykjavik for immediate medical care.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.28.52 AMThe Coast Guard crew arrived after another 30 minutes and performed a skilled landing in the extremely gusty wind nearby. I was able to accompany Fiona on the flight and she was incredibly brave. Once in Reykjavik Fiona was attended to by a large team of medical experts in the cities primary hospital. It was quickly determined that Fiona has fractured her Sacrum and partially crushed her Pelvis. The Sacrum is the bone that connects the spine to the pelvis. The nature of Fiona’s injury is that the fracture is unstable, meaning she cannot not move without further endangering her spinal chord and neurological functions. During this evaluation period it was determined that much of Fiona’s neurological function is in tact. She can move her legs, toes, etc. However, the unstable condition of her bones meant she was at constant risk of further injury.

From Saturday to Wednesday (yesterday) Fiona was immobilized flat on a bed while her condition stabilized in Iceland. During this time we sent her CT scans and X-Rays to family and friends in the United States for review. We were extremely lucky for her case to be forwarded to an expert team in Boston who all agreed that Fiona required immediate surgery to stabilize her bones. Unfortunately this surgery is so complex that few surgeons around that world can perform it, and the hospital in Iceland was not suitable to perform it.

During this time Laura and Jennah were absolute rockstars, helping Fiona manage her pain and organizing all the logistics related to recovering our property from the accident. Volunteers walked the accident site and found more or less all of our belongings. For scale of the wind, one man found some of our wallets and phones 700 meters downwind from the wreck.

After days of logistical planning we were able to secure Fiona a flight on a commercial flight to Boston yesterday. The airline was extremely helpful and essentially folded 9 seats down such that a stretcher could be fixed above it. During transit she could not be moved from a laying down position without risking her spinal chord. Every time we moved her from one stretcher to another was extremely painful for her, but she handled it with absolute poise and courage. We arrived last night in Boston and were met with an emergency medical crew to transport Fiona from Logan airport to Massachusetts General Hospital. This transport went incredibly smoothly despite arriving from a foreign country. We are incredibly thankful for everybody’s efforts in facilitating this.

We are currently in Mass General where Fiona is scheduled for surgery tomorrow (Friday). The surgery is complex but we have one of the best specialists for this injury in the world performing it. She will be given a variety of screws and plates to stabilize her sacrum and pelvis and provide her the stability she requires to recover. Fiona has been brave beyond words through all of this, but this final major hurdle is understandably very scary for her and all of us that love her.

I apologize for sharing this information in such a crude manner as Facebook. We didn’t want to communicate this to friends publicly until we knew the full extent of Fiona’s injuries and the path forward to her recovery. Our best case scenario is that she will make more or less a full recovery without any neurological damage. It’s unclear whether this will happen or not, but her early tests suggest it is possible and we’re happy and thankful to be in that position given the severity of the accident. As with everything so far, we will cross each bridge as we reach it. We are thankful for the strength and love from both the Graham and Rynne families and feel confident that we can tackle whatever lies ahead.

Fiona will be incapacitated for some time and will not be able to read texts or emails on her own for approximately a week, maybe more. I am happy to read your notes to her, so feel free to pass them onto me either in this message thread or via direct message to me or email ([email protected]). I won’t be answering phone calls from anybody besides family during this time because I need to stay focused on being with her, so please stick to email or Facebeook messages for now. Down the road I will be sure to connect with you all in person, by phone or through email once I have time. In the meanwhile, please be patient.

There is nobody else in the world that has more strength, budding positivity, or determination than Fiona. This is one of the many reasons we all love her so very much. I know she can fight through this and win, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get there.

much love,


October 5th, 2015 by admin

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With the day of the sail racing ‘music video’ style behind us, sailing’s cutting edge creatives have been learning to speak truth to sailing with new shots, creative editing, and real narrative.  And along with Petey Crawford and Sam Greenfield, no one is pushing harder than Waterlust’s Pat and Fiona, and this is their most masterful work yet in a short career full of gorgeous, creative sailing and maritime movies.

It’s the story of the ‘Angry Burds’ – Tripp and Trevor Burd and the hi-po 23-foot beach cat they took from Washington to Alaska in this summer’s epic new R2AK.  But it’s also the story of one of the baddest media vehicles we’ve ever seen, a gorgeous editor and her creatively explosive man, an epic road trip, and a pair of brothers bonded in the forge of the ocean.

The 30 minute piece is the kind of show that Warren Miller  or David Brown would be proud of; part ‘surf style’ and part adventure story.  Drone footage, time lapse roadwork, and the sheer beauty of the Inside Passage make it something you can share with your grandmother or granddaughter equally.  Sit back, grab an icy beverage and your favorite sailor, and enjoy.  And huge props to the folks at Sperry for making the film and the Burds’ program possible.


August 14th, 2015 by admin

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Half aerial-yoga, half acrobatic kiting, the latest exposition of slow-motion sailing from Pat Rynne and Waterlust. For something entirely different and ten times trippier from WL, clicky. Oh and thanks to Sperry for making this shit real.


February 11th, 2015 by admin