Docs

World Surf League Studios reveals debut programming slate

World Surf League Studios, the production arm of the World Surf League, the governing body for professional surfers, has unveiled its debut slate of non-fiction programming. The slate consists of a ...
August 20, 2019

World Surf League Studios, the production arm of the World Surf League, the governing body for professional surfers, has unveiled its debut slate of non-fiction programming.

The slate consists of a raft of documentaries, docuseries and daily short-form content designed for distribution across multiple platforms. Featured throughout the surf-focused library is content from established and award-winning prodcos, rising filmmakers and innovative producers.

Box to Box Films (Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive) has inked a partnership with World Surf League Studios to develop a multi-part docuseries set to chronicle the 2020 WSL Championship Tour. The intimate series will document some of the world’s greatest surfers throughout the 2020 season as they navigate dark and choppy waters in an attempt to reach the podium. Production is scheduled to begin in March 2020.

Deep Blue: The Mark Visser Project, meanwhile, will serve as the first project to stem from the recently penned partnership between WSL Studios and Pilgrim Media Group. The feature-length documentary is to trace Ocean Warrior course founder and creator Visser – who famously surfed Pe’ahi at night – as he attempts to find and surf the largest unridden wave in the world. A director has yet to be attached to the film.

Elsewhere, WSL Studios has commissioned The Kelly Slater Documentary (pictured). The film provides unprecedented access into the 2019 competitive campaign and personal life of Kelly Slater, 47. Following the 11-time WSL World Champion from Australia’s Gold Coast to Hawaii, the film will profile Slater as he reflects on a three-decade career, impending retirement, the Olympics, and the pressures of maintaining an elite level of performance.

Rounding out the company’s debut slate are Sound Waves, a behind-the-scenes series following various surfers from the moment they arrive at the WSL Championship Tour; adventure series Brilliant Corners, which follows former European Longboard Champion Sam Bleakly as he traverses the globe with his longboard in tow; season two of All In: Life on the Championship Tour, in collaboration with Red Bull; and Transformed, which highlights one transformation story per episode and the impact of surfing. Season two of Transformed has been greenlit and production is underway with a launch in fall 2019.

“WSL Studios is anchored around storytelling that highlights the raw athleticism of the world’s best surfers, extending through everyday people, and the richness of emotions and narratives that surfing invokes,” said WSL President of Content, Media and WSL Studios, Erik Logan. “With our initial slate, we have endeavored to demonstrate the range of stories that are possible through the Studio and the common passion for people, surfing and the ocean.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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