Soundings: Season 4 Episode 9

Thomas Campbell

On filmmaking, skating, persisting through failure, transparency as an artist, what draws him to his subjects, anti-consumerism, self-expression, and finding freedom in detachment.

Light / Dark

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

Surfer, artist, photographer, and filmmaker Thomas Campbell’s unique perspective was informed by his upbringing in Dana Point, California, his background as a skateboarder, and his experience serving as editor of Skateboarder magazine in the 1990s. His films The Seedling (1999), Sprout (2004), and The Present (2009), which function loosely as a trilogy, aestheticize surfing on the basis of its inherent capacity for playfulness, beauty, and style, standing in contrast to a society increasingly dominated by industry and consumption. In this episode, Campbell sits down with Jamie Brisick to talk about the divergent cultural possibilities between surfing and skating, the importance of having a strong work ethic, being driven by curiosity, the surfing industrial complex, finding creativity in quietude, and his upcoming film. 

Produced by Jonathan Shifflett.
Music by Farmer Dave & the Wizards of the West.

Feature image by Darshaan Gooch.