Reel Talk: Mikala Jones, on the coolest GoPro edit

By now you’ve probably seen this seriously rad GoPro edit by Mikala Jones. After we posted in a few weeks back, Cyrus got in touch with Jones to get the details on how this clip came about, how he got such clean shots and what in the world he was doing before GoPro was this crisp. But first, in case you need a reminder, here’s the clip again:

Your new video is mind-blowing. When did you start and what filming sessions stand out in your mind?

Thanks, I started filming around the end of May. Marlon, Varun and I did a trip up to Kandui Villas in the Ments.

I knew a few of the GoPro guys for a few years now.  Marlon and I worked on the Hero 2 trailer two years ago. So we always had a camera or two in our bags. 

When I got the new GoPro 3, I was amazed how much they improved the picture quality. It was like night and day, I really started paying attention to detail and light from then on.

Then I got a few good clips and I was hooked.

Talk about your progression filming POV shots — did you start with another kind of camera before a GoPro? How has the quality of cameras over the years helped you capture new angles?

I started out doing photos with a 7D on a tail mount. Then I figured it was easier to do hand-held stuff with it. That is still hard work. The quality is there but it’s a normal-size water housing. I would  paddle into waves with my water housing under my chin, grabbing it as I stood up. I figured out the angles  by just pressing the buttons, seeing how it looks and adjusting things to get what I wanted. I never got into the video side with my 7D, it was always photos.

The new GoPros are the perfect size to keep in your board short pocket and the quality for video or photos are great now. I actually haven’t used my 7D set up all year. It can’t really fit in your pocket.

Talk about the waves in this new edit — did they happen at break? One session? Or what’s it a collection? Describe the waves and conditions.

It was pretty much three trips within a month and a half. You can tell by my colour of boards changing from trip to trip. The last section on my yellow board was all in one morning.

I lost four cameras and flooded one in that time. Its was heartbreaking when I lost a camera with good clips on it. It takes a pretty good size wave to get a decent clip, not too small, not too big, but big enough to get your camera blasted out of your hands. I have a clip of a me getting blasted then finding my camera on the reef seven or eight minutes later. I was pretty lucky to find that camera. 

Describe your setup — how do you catch these waves and film at the same time?

I usually use my mouth piece because I can paddle with it, either keep it in my mouth or grabbing it with my hand.

Also I can put it in my pocket when the battery runs out or if the waves go to shit. I pretty much shot all those clips with only a friend or two around. I don’t really like filming when there’s a bunch of other people out. I also used a poll for most of the beginning clips on the green board. It’s hard to paddle around while biting on a poll with a GoPro. It hurts your mouth and teeth.

I got the clip: “looking in pass to behind my back” from my little brother Keoni. He had a super sick one from Sumbawa two years ago. I like that concept a lot.

Any plans for the next year?

For next year? I’m thinking month to month, week to week…I’ll be heading home to Hawaii for the winter, keeping my eye on the swell charts. There’s been heaps of swell everywhere this spring or fall, depends where you are in the world. I’ll be releasing a new GoPro edit probably in November. I been sitting on some clips for a few weeks now. I’m here in Indo and it’s still firing.  

Thank you for watching my video.

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