Dustin Humphrey, AKA D. Hump is a master of the visual expression. Once you couldn’t open a surf magazine without a photo credit going to D. Hump. At one point, he and surf film mogul Taylor Steele had created the film and book “Sipping Jetstreams”. It had seemed as if he was reaching his zenith. Then one day, his photo credits disappeared. He had moved on. For a few years, many had wondered “whatever happened to D. Hump?” Then Deus Ex Machina burst on to the scene with incredible content, footage, clothing, motorcycles and beautifully crafted surfboards. D. Hump the surf photographer was now Dustin Humphrey, one of the creative geniuses behind Deus Ex Machina and their Temple of Enthusiasm in Bali. Deus Ex Machina meaning in Latin “God from the machine”, was started by former Mambo clothing founder Dare Jennings. Jennings had sold Mambo in 2000, and after six years of being restless, Deus Ex Machina was born in Sydney. Not too long after, Jennings had teamed up with Humphrey and they created the Temple of Enthusiasm, a place that sounds almost too good to be true for a surfer. It is this Temple that seems to serve as a source of inspiration, community and constant creativity. Shapers come from all over the world to serve shaping residencies, and other creative types tend to gravitate towards. It is this community and creative compound that Humphrey calls home and it would only seem logical that he would gravitate towards the visual creative medium once again. And thus, Humphrey’s latest project was born: I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night. The film is a cinematic visual overload of perfect waves, incredible surfing on all sorts of equipment from logs, to modernized equipment from the past, and high performance sticks. The cinematography and musical selection is A+ quality, worthy of many film festival awards in the near future no doubt. After a successful run of premieres around the world, I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night is now released online for the masses. We had caught up with Dustin Humphrey to discuss his latest release.
When you started out on this project, was there an intention or layout before you started filming or was it something that happened more organically?
We had an idea, a starting point and then let it evolve organically as the season evolved.
I found the way you shot the surfing on the logs was really refreshing. Was there a certain technique or style that you were going for?
One of my DP’s Andre Cricket is a master at pulling focus on a 1200mm lens. Anybody who knows about shooting action knows what a feat this is. Our cameras are low end but our lenses are the best. Because of those lenses we are able to achieve a more cinematic look
There are some incredible aerial shots in this film that gives a whole different perspective to places like Bali and other parts of Indonesia. Were you using a proper helicopter or drones? What are your thoughts on filming with drones and it’s accessibility today? Have you experimented with them at all?
We did use a drone. It’s the future. I used to shoot a lot from Helicopters and I loved it. But you can’t deny the amazingly smooth shots that a good drone operator can produce. With that said I think they can’t be over used. I wouldn’t want to watch a full section of a film with only aerial drone shots.
Was there a large crew traveling with you, while you were filming outside of Bali?
It was not a large drew in terms of other productions. I have a core crew of three guys (two DP’s and a still photographer). We are a tight nit group.
Where are you finding your inspiration from these days? Are there certain films or filmmakers that you draw upon when you go into a project such as this?
You know I just love movies whether it is dramas or documentaries. So I wouldn’t say my inspirations come from one place. It’s more just a style that my crew and me like. Filmmaking is merely a hobby for me these days. They are side projects that I am able to make with my friends. It really is just about documenting our adventures and try and do it in a creative way. We are blessed we have this creative outlet.
There is such a diverse amount of boards being ridden in this film; do you find that you have to adjust your filming technique according to the boards that the surfers are riding?
Yes, we do our best to feature the characteristics of each board. The boards are very special to us because they are all built here in the back yard.
Do you think there is a difference between filming a guy on a high performance short board as opposed to someone surfing a pinny single fin or a Bonzer?
Absolutely. There is no wrong or right. But after years of documenting surfing this is what appeals to me. People don’t watch our films for air after air. My hope is that they watch it.
What were some of the challenges you faced with making this film?
There are always challenges but hardships are the essence of a travelers tale!
Any note worthy accidents or misadventures along the way while filming?
Nothing major. Just the norm, a few motorcycle crashes, flooded housing. But it’s all part of it!
When you are filming in such beautiful locations and isolated waves, do you worry about the amount of exposure you might be bringing to these areas?
It’s always in the back of your head. But I have always been very cautious not to name places. And we do our best to leave a positive impact on anywhere we travel to.
There is an incredible segment of Ulu’s in the film. The mood and camera angle beautifully done and had shades of Alby Falzon. Were you thinking of “Morning of The Earth” when you filmed that particular session?
Absolutely. Alby has always been an influence. We were not trying to copy it but when we viewed the footage we saw the similarities so we scored a song here at the Temple to suit the section.
Do you think The Temple is a sort of Neverland for surfers and that you might be Peter Pan and all the surfers there are “The Lost Boys”?
Ha, that’s the first time I have heard that analogy but yeah it kind of suits!
From watching the film, it’s hard not to be envious and feel like The Temple is some fairytale place. Is that the reality for you? Is The Temple “Neverland?”
Life is not like the movies but this would be pretty close! We are having a good time in all of our creative pursuits!
Do you have any other projects that you are working on?
‘South to Sian’!
To Watch I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT click here: //deuscustoms.com/?release=i-had-too-much-to-dream-last-night#watch-and-win