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FACES OF SURF of his filmmaking skills, Buthman began to cast his net wider than strictly surfing. He set out to create a film that centered on the area’s most iconic and well-known surf personalities, mixed in with original storytelling and narration. In this film, titled Tattle Tales, he focused more on blending good music and scenery into his work, aiming for a more aesthetically pleasing vibe—a departure from the skit-driven Get Rad trilogy. The result was an instant classic, where viewers get to know local legends like Peter Mel, Adam Replogle and Anthony Tashinick, on a more personal level, rather than as just surf stars. “All I knew was that I wanted to make more of an art piece that not only had ripping surfing but showed it in a way that was visually stimulating,” Buthman explains. “Later on I tied it all together with inter-

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esting stories to break up the monotony of just surfing.” With another successful film under his belt, Buthman was able to sneak away to places like Puerto Escondido, in Mexico, where he could satisfy his own hunger for giant barrels, this time on the opposite side of the lens. He also expanded his horizons, traveling with Vice News to West Africa to document an island ruled by vicious apes, and to Liberia to report on the Ebola crisis. Buthman realized while making Tattle Tales that, while he would always continue to film surfing, it was the stories of the people in the surfing community themselves that he wanted to bring to the forefront of his next efforts. Enter Brainwork, an ongoing series in which Buthman allows his subjects to tell their own stories, revealing the things that

make them tick. So far he’s made featurettes on big-wave surfer Anthony Tashnick and professional photographer Dave Nelson. “Over the last year I’ve been doing lots of documentary-style filmmaking for work, and it has highly influenced my personal projects,” he says. “Brainwork is an example of this shifting of gears.” From his humble beginnings as a frothed-out surf flick fanatic, to his evolution into an established filmmaker, Buthman has been able to balance his surfing with his work, and doesn’t plan to slow down on either front. “Looking forward, I want to continue progressing both my surfing and my filmmaking,” he says, “and tell stories worth telling.”


Favorite scene he’s ever shot: “One time I was working for GoPro and they had me swim behind and shoot [model and surfer] Alana Blanchard while she was snorkeling. Haha. That or Anthony Tashnick (pictured above) showing me his shaping room from our Brainwork project. He's a creative individual, to say the least!”

Find Kyle Buthman online at

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Santa Cruz Waves Aug/Sept 2015 Issue 2.2  
Santa Cruz Waves Aug/Sept 2015 Issue 2.2