Today I’d like to introduce you guys to Andreas Jartiz, one of the brilliant creatives behind an upcoming roadtrip style surf documentary, The Old, The Young, and The Sea. After the interview, I highly suggest you check out their website – not only is it wonderfully designed, but the images and video on there are a 10 out of 10 when it comes to quality and beauty.

As soon as I heard about their film, I got in touch with Andreas immediately to share their story on Outdoor Minded Mag. This is what it’s all about guys …using your passions to create something more than just ourselves, collaborating with folks that will compliment our strengths and take your ideas to the next level, having a long-term vision and step-by-step, brick-by-brick seeing it through.

That’s what Andreas Jaritz, his partner Mario Hainzl, their crew, and the down-to-earth people in this documentary have done. Whether you surf or not, the story, locations, and people behind this upcoming documentary are worth checking out. 

Without further ado, I present to you the talented Andreas Jaritz. – Lauren

Lauren: Tell us a little bit about where the idea for The Old, The Young, and the Sea originated and the inspiration behind the film.

AndreasAndreas: The idea of OldYoungSea was born somewhere between my exchange semester in Chile in 2007 and Mario’s (longtime travel buddy and co-producer) exchange semester in Senegal in 2008 and the long discussion loaded nights following these study and travel experiences. I think the inspiration came from our roadtrip style journeys, and the excessive consumption of surf movies like Zen & Zero or Tylor Steeles flicks. I also think that travel novel mavericks like Jack Kerouac or Bruce Chatwin had a lasting effect on our crazy idea to make a roadtrip style surf documentary.

Lauren: Who is behind The Old, The Young, and the Sea? What are your stories?

Andreas: The original idea for the movie was bred by landlocked Mario Hainzl and me. Mario and me are from the same village, we served together in the army (in Austria it’s obligatory), and spent a good part of our academic life sticking heads together creating media concepts. In late 2011 we where joined by webdesigner/photographer Stefan Leitner, who I share office with in Graz/Austria. Stefan is the hands-on guy and multitalented one-man-army saving the whole project more than once. And then there is this crazy-enough-to-follow-us bunch of filmers and cutters (Roman Königshofer, Harald Brettermaier and Sebastian Funk). This is the core team. Roman worked in the surf industry as filmer/cutter before. Harald and Sebastian are dedicated cinematographers with loads of experience in travel/tourism and snowboard movies.

Lauren: What did you want to accomplish when you decided to make this film?

Andreas: I think at the very first beginnings of the concept it was that we wanted to create an European counterpart to the surf movies that feature the classical surf route from Los Angeles to Costa Rica. From the first moment we wanted to focus on environmental issues, interculturality and the life of the “ordinary” people. I think there are .. goals we would be as happy to achieve: Inspire people with our stories and draw a colorful and vivid picture of Europe’s Surf Culture.

The Old the Young the Sea Image Credit: Stefan Leitner | Carlos, Garrett McNamara’s Father in Law fighting the plastic planet

Lauren: What makes the European surf culture so unique compared to others throughout the globe?

Andreas: On the one hand it is the proximity of so many different cultures, languages and natural environments. On the other hand it is the fact that even more people from countries (also very diverse in culture and landscape) not connected to the ocean share the same spirit. There is thousands of surfers in Austria for example. Normally the world just connects us with the mountains and yodelling. And also the fact that it was a US director from the 1950s who is supposed to be the first surfer in Europe adds an interesting aspect to the evolution of surfing in Europe.

Lauren: Much of your film focuses on the locals in surf towns scattered along the coast. What was it like hearing stories from these folks, and how did you typically meet them?

Andreas: You really get addicted to the stories of their lives, their projects, their hopes and fears. We really focused on creating a cross section of all sorts of surfers: the fisherman, the unemployed, the immigrant, the rich, the poor, the pro surfer, the legless, the artist…

We found all this people with the help of our partners (especially at the beginning the Surfrider Foundation and Patagonia helped a lot to get things going), by recommendations from people we interviewed and at pure coincidence (just asking random people)

The Old the Young the Sea Image Credit: Stefan Leitner | Patagonia Ambassador Lea Brassy with her Swell Check Vehicle

Lauren: What makes this film different from other surfing documentaries out there?

Andreas: So many surfing documentaries focus on surfing as a sport and lifestyle in a way that the majority of their protagonists always talk about surfing in the interviews. We will consistently try to focus on the lives of the people we met where surfing is the connecting element that almost all of them connects. We want to show the artist, the nurse, the fisherman, the director of an NGO. It’s a portrait about their lives in which surfing plays a decisive role.

Lauren: You focused on six different regions along the European coast. Talk a little bit about these locations and what makes them special in the surfing community.

Andreas: France/Aquitaine: It’s well know as the French California within the surfing community. Lot’s of beautiful urban spots with a nice urban and chic architecture and city backdrop. French are very distinctive and have a lot of style. Surfing is almost a form of art there.

Basque Country / Spain: The Basque region of Spain has a dark recent history because of its separatist movements. Basque surfers try to get rid of these times creating a new perception of what is a good lifestyle. The Basque Country is as diverse as diversity gets: big industry cities followed by pristine coast.

Cantabria, Asturias / Spain: The next two regions in the north of Spain show the very change from urban to deserted, pristine areas. It’s the “Green Spain”.

Galicia: One of Europe’s coastal gems. Wild, rugged coastlines with the highest cliffs, the deepest coves and the longest undeveloped sand beaches you’ll find. Looks a little like Scottland.

Portugal: And then Portugal. Completely different again. Portugal is so small but has so much to offer. Above all some of the best waves to be found in Continental Europe

The Old the Young the Sea Image Credit: Stefan Leitner | Impressive Landscape and a nice backdrop in north Spain

Lauren: Best surf session you’ve ever had and why?

Andreas: Every single surf session together with one of our protagonists along the coast was awesome!

Lauren: Who was one of the most interesting people you met while filming The Old, The Young, and the Sea?

Andreas: For me it was the 70 something years old guy from our first teaser. If I will have the same glance in my eyes and this child like smile when I am old and talk about surfing…yes then I will be satisfied with my live

Lauren: Talk a little bit about some of the challenges that you faced during the filming process.

Andreas: There was no day like the other. Road tripping more than 1200 miles of coast is so exciting but on the other hand extremely exhausting too. You can’t plan breaks or off-days and there is not really anything like a daily-routine. I think this and the fact that five guys lived in two tiny VW vans for over 2 months working, sleeping, eating every day together…that was really challenging. But we haven’t killed each other. We are a much stronger and even more connected team than before 🙂

The Old the Young the Sea Image Credit: Stefan Leitner | The group relaxing by the beach bonfire along the way

Lauren: How much surfing did you get to do while filming?

Andreas: On both trips the weeks saw little surf. Long travelling distances, getting used to the working/travel rhythm and also bad conditions made it hard. But the longer each trip was, the more surf we had. I think about 2-3 times a week on the average. So it wasn’t too bad.

Lauren: When are you expecting to release The Old, The Young, and the Sea?

Andreas: If everything turns out fine we hope to release the movie in early summer 2013.

Image Credit: Stefan Leitner | Patagonia Ambassador Lea Brassy with her Swell Check Vehicle

The Old the Young the Sea Image Credit: Stefan Leitner

The Old the Young the Sea Image Credit: Stefan Leitner | Playa Berria Surreal Days

About The Author

Lauren Rains is the editor at large of Outdoor Minded Mag. She is struck by wanderlust, and spends most waking hours of her life either exploring the outdoors around the globe or working on various passion projects be it film to microadventures to cooking chili. You can read about her adventures in life, biz and travel on her blog, and catch up with her on Twitter at @LaurRAINS.