“Without Thought,” a twelve-minute documentary exploring the flow state and peak experience while touching on the true beauty of the surfing experience and why we do it. Narrated by Dr. Richard Moss, featuring the surfing of Mark Dickinson. A collaboration with Dan Crockett & John Eldridge. Without Thought was filmed and edited by Ollie Banks.
For those who’ve never heard of the “Without Thought” please explain the film’s premise.
Without Thought explores our relationship with surfing and nature, particularly the flow state and peak experience. We chose to focus on surfing, but the idea runs through everything from sport to sex to conversation. Chances are you’ve felt the flow state in a meaningful session, peak experience in your personal best waves/performance. Both are mystical, so we chose an interview subject who could articulate what the flow state and peak experience mean. This interview is illustrated by a pioneer surfer called Mark Dickinson, from the North-East of England.
photo by: Ollie Banks
What was inspiration for the film?
One of my university tutors, Nick Ford, used to show us pictures of Nias in lectures and talk about Thurso in Scotland. He got me interested in the flow state and peak experience and this led to a dissertation. It’s fitting that the final minutes of the film go down in beautiful Thurso tubes. John Eldridge hooked up and captured the Moss interview. Ollie Banks filmed the surfing and edited it together, really making the film. It was a decade between idea and realization!
Did you learn anything about surfing or filmmaking during the production?
I learned that when something is meant to happen, it does, even if it takes ten years. Watching Mark surf I always find an education.
Why do you think its important for surfers to explore their relationship to surfing?
Feeling connected to nature is the best thing about surfing, this film searches that connection.
What’s next for you?
Another KooK for Winter, submissions call soon. I just finished 26 Nothings (an alphabet of short stories) and I’m wondering which novel to focus on. I’m spending more time in cities at the moment, enjoying the workings of non surf culture, drinking up other inspirations. It feels good to walk away from surfing for a bit…