Andrew Wyton // Interview
Fill us in on your company and your new movie project.
Our company name is Life of Leisure, operated by Mitch Taylor, Nick Coughlin, and myself Andrew Wyton. We are a surf social club and eco-friendly clothing line based in London Ontario. We focus on water and conservation towards surfing and living in the great lakes region, as well as host parties, film premieres, and concerts keeping the stoke in our community. Our latest project is called Bloom Lagoon. It will be our third lake film as a company; we began without a pre-planned concept, but shortly after we started to collect footage the Lakes had severe algae blooms, so we incorporated the bloom into a fictional approach, which gave me total creative freedom. From there, I put an environmental spin on the idea and ran with it. Think of it as a story when the world’s freshwater supply has become too toxic to support mass human life. Then one lone survivor is transported back in time to the present day, where he and his friends were still able to enjoy the clean water, and extreme conditions of the lakes.
How far do you typically travel to surf and shoot on the lakes? At what length do you cut the line?
There is no limit; as we are despite landlocked surfers in months that are very dry, we will drive as far as we can anywhere around the lakes. I am in a sweet spot living in London, my number one spot is a 45-minute drive in Lake Erie, then 50 minutes to Lake Heron. For decent spots, it’s a solid three-hour drive there both ways unless caught in a winter storm where it can take up to six hours one way. It’s a massive commitment; when there are waves, no matter what you’re out there.
How do you predict where to film and surf on any random day?
I have been surfing the lakes for seven years now, and have it pretty dialled. I save the 24-hour wind report with a photo of the exact spot every time I surf. Over the seven years, I have over 250 sessions in my archives. Years and years and years. If someone was to find the notes on my hard drives, they could make a legit business out of it. But I am a spot hoarder. The Toronto surf scene is exploding with beginner’s geotagging and asking where every spot is. In my films, I keep the locations very low key hiding headlands and distinct locations to protect and respect the core groups living in the area.
What determines you when you go out shooting?
On an average good day, you are looking at 35 plus knots winds. While filming, I hang weights on my tripod to keep it steady while continually fighting the elements including lots of heavy rain and snow. Large systems move in you are out there regardless as to when the peak swell happens in the worst weather you don’t want it to deter you from getting footage. Allot of bagging the camera and elastics to seal everything up, getting a nice water housing would be the next step, but for now, we are very grassroots and just having fun.