• Occ-Cast Episode 8 featuring Kai Neville

In Episode 8, Occy is joined by Kai Neville, the man behind classic surf films like Modern Collective and Lost Atlas, to discuss how Kai got started, Kai's favorite film to work on and Occy's new sponsorship opportunity.

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To see all previous Occ-Cast's, visit the Occ-Cast page on our blog.

Full audio transcript -

0:00hey everyone the guys at billabong

0:01giving away a trip to stay at the

0:03billabong team house at pipe on the

0:05North Shore of Hawaii visit

0:08billboard.com to enter the sweepstakes

0:09and now on to the podcast

0:16now welcome back to the archives I've

0:27got kind never with me an entreprenuer

0:30filmer so if I all-around legend thanks

0:34for coming

0:35she's ecstatic to be here all right and

0:38follow up all the way from Sunita do

0:40this for me of course as soon as I heard

0:42that you want to be on the show was like

0:43I wouldn't miss that one so they're fit

0:45stoked to be here yeah it's good bday

0:47it's been a big day I how's your fly fly

0:50was mellow but was actually asleep like

0:53this morning

0:54you wouldn't yeah serious yeah so we get

0:56my spot at your suppose it's a passport

0:59and was it it was pretty fun big like

1:03four foot know what such a magnet

1:05yeah well you had a south swell the

1:07chorus well yeah now it was kind of

1:09funky leaned I was there with Craig

1:12Anderson the other one is and ok call me

1:15tonight i like the funky we also

1:17everything begins

1:18kind of yeah that would flying around

1:20about school just surf and I wasn't

1:22feeling for once

1:23are you certain where they told me one

1:26of the boys from the south coast

1:27ok I got a guy called dead Fox and

1:30Thailand was shooting him and yeah it's

1:33nice just to serve I'm trying to serve

1:35more i'm not you should

1:36yeah film to match then we doing it

1:38myself no now it's gone right yeah yeah

1:41don't get all right

1:43natural father so I just I just let it

1:45was actually perfect i'll just let them

1:46go left every way then I'll just sit

1:48around on the right and do a couple

1:50cutbacks and that was me

1:52so you went all the way from the south

1:53coast service by all the way to sit in

1:56flight and Mary on the gold coast was a

1:57kind of time do I thought we got the

1:59earlier i have three hours under my belt

2:01and then I jumped on the highway and

2:04it's been pretty non-stop getting it

2:06because I got a city roads alike huh

2:08give yourself three hours but you really

2:09need for but i'm cruising yet made it

2:13thank you so how did you start out like


2:18with your filming career

2:21yeah actually not before that i actually

2:24got a little bit of a band picture with

2:26you yes please

2:27because I've watched you now all your

2:30movies modern collective probably my

2:31favorite but I've wondered why you've

2:35never actually wanted to fill me i have

2:38filled you his debt used of dollars you

2:41don't know used to be a little ground

2:42running down here

2:44wait for like guys like you make and

2:46Joel to paddle and yeah and you guys

2:48just didn't know I feel nice i like

2:50that's kinda helps that is really very

2:52feel i'd i'd seriously like I park when

2:55I was like 18 you know what a part down

2:58snap answer and as soon as anyone that I

3:02want to like my favorite surface came

3:03out I would run back to the car grabbed

3:06my camera film today came going sir and

3:10I did that for like six months until i

3:12had enough footage to make it to make an

3:15edit and I showed the guys at surfing

3:18life my kind of snapper snapper real

3:21that are put to music and ended up

3:23yeah I like that little job yeah that's

3:25outside that i put up he'll actually

3:27waiting one right there ready to start

3:30and what you feel like to dig out the

3:32old sections you gotta play it actually

3:34inside I got it

3:37oh so yeah so we'll start with like I'm

3:41when did you start fill me up around and

3:45who did you start feeling I mean yes ass

3:47but so it was great eleven when I chose

3:51right 11 still in school still in school

3:54I chose film and television as an

3:56elective and as soon as I took that

4:00class I was like this is what I want to

4:02do is like the funnest thing you can do

4:03in school and we'd run around making

4:06silly little movies but I've always been

4:09the biggest surf frother i love to surf


4:12it was kind of timing at the time I had

4:14friends like you had a brady everyone

4:17can because I drop-in loser usage on

4:19Kirsten I was surfing but those guys

4:22ended up getting really good

4:24and almost too good to the point where i

4:27got to film you guys and stop surfing

4:29yeah as I was doing film and television

4:31i started to make little edits and yeah

4:36they kinda soon as I did the first and

4:38it i put a Stevie Wonder track to it at

4:40school it showed the taper song very

4:45superstitious I was throwing your 60 was

4:48gonna say that I kind of just yeah I

4:50fell in love with it

4:51mmm and it just kind of I don't know

4:55kind of fellow my feet I guess after

4:57that first first in it I started feeling

5:01those guys they got better move to the

5:03gold coast started filming guys like me

5:05can I don't even know anyone I just

5:07you're just lucky living here because

5:09there's so many good sir

5:10yeah yeah you just roll up to dbar and

5:12on the right diet yeah and then I kindly

5:16as I got older I started get my little

5:19clip of guys that I travel around with

5:20ya and I'm your relationship with Taylor

5:23still are some people say you know the

5:26australian version of taylor steele that

5:28that have a sit sit with you on my life

5:31yeah and I'm sure yeah my head that way

5:35better way better and now I don't know

5:37but did he like influence you or

5:39teachers stuff for sure I grew up

5:44watching Taylor steal movies so as a

5:46grand we throwing the VHS tapes loose

5:50change momentum and they got money


5:52yeah all those flicks we watch them all

5:55day and then go sir

5:56and he's been like one of the biggest

5:59influences for me especially the way he

6:02changed the way sir filmmaking was made

6:04where it wasn't so much about the

6:08technology and it was more about the

6:11action and that's what we we were really

6:13socked on like what was actually

6:15happening the heirs and not so much the

6:17beautiful imagery like the films of I

6:20guess the ids and seventies were just


6:23yeah but I wasn't about the action you

6:25may like a check mikonam movie

6:27yeah well i love i love her like it

6:29exactly cool my views are different like

6:31spot where you can tell tyler really

6:34didn't care as much about the he was

6:37shooting with because I'm I'm sure when

6:38he started it was a is like a little

6:40handycam yeah i think- a tiny one last

6:44way like all we can get a shitty little

6:45handycam and put some cool music to it

6:48so I was psyched on that generation and

6:53I was in Hawaii one year working for

6:55surfing life magazine and are staying

6:58with dion ages at the bodyguard house

7:00and we were just running around feeling

7:02a little project and he came running

7:05back he's like I tail still wants to

7:07meet you

7:08I think he wants to offer you a job I

7:10like shut the fuck up goodbye

7:12what are you talking to their did like I

7:14thought he's just taking appears as the

7:15boys doing is like not come with me now

7:18and I don't know where we were just on

7:20he wasn't it

7:22we were Rockies and he was staying in a

7:24house around one of the ways hows ya

7:26this and this is like Taylor at peak of

7:29his career

7:30we still still a pig but I'm i'll just

7:34wait okay cool and I was so nervous and

7:36he was like hey nice to meet you I've

7:39seen some of the work you doing and gave

7:41me these details and said I'm looking

7:42for films to you know work on the next

7:45project and send an email went back and

7:49forth and he offered me a job and I was

7:52working for what I was so amazing world

7:55is old on and he was a pretty amazing

7:59mentor for a couple years is the

8:01progression of my film career I've got

8:03one story about Taylor still like to

8:05know you're not just like like Tyler but

8:09you know he's been feeling and Kelly in

8:11that for years but I'm i was one time

8:14got to work with Tyler

8:16and I was in Bali and there's a big

8:18swell even James and there we had like a

8:22thing was a rocky ground comfort junger

8:24anyway so the big schools that Julia and

8:27Taylor leave this new chengdu right and

8:30so he hired a helicopter

8:32yeah for the day so is that are I'm

8:35gonna get film you gonna get on the

8:37helicopter we're gonna go to jail and

8:38I'm like sleep okay i'm not you know I

8:41cannot bring a bigger board is like hard

8:42and what size ball is gonna fit in this

8:44i bought it six five and six straight so

8:47we got to the airport in bally 65 did

8:50not fit in

8:51ya that's a straight in the hell you got

8:53that in the only got mad and the 6-3

8:55like like actually i think what 68 and

8:58didn't fit in the 65 like generally out

9:01by three inches so the Balinese a pilot

9:05took one door off and he said when we

9:07sweet just like just chatted in there is

9:09no it's loaded jail and from valley with

9:12one with that only one door on the on

9:14the helicopter and I was freaking

9:17outlets and we landed and we got there

9:20running high time that was perfect speed

9:21or if I was tired was already there and

9:24I'm and i don't think i ever used that

9:27is that clear when I filming trilogy ya

9:30feel like you've got a pot like an

9:33underground part in one of these

9:35feelings coming on its models really

9:36yeah I have to dig that heart thank you

9:38please do that is ok one of those guys I

9:42he'll like but now I didn't you know

9:44what's going on

9:45no idea i'm gonna hit there she was

9:49anyway I'm wanted to ask you what's your

9:54favorite film sound that you've done

9:58with along with alone yet many of you

10:02done with billable yeah yeah I've done

10:06well kinda I guess the biggest film i

10:08worked on the long was probably with

10:09tight trilogy

10:11yeah and that was that was kind of

10:15probably one of these projects I've ever

10:17worked on that time I've been working

10:19for Taylor for like six months

10:21and to get thrown in the mix with

10:24sandeep ties was like I was just such a

10:26grown like just like doing these funds

10:28like bug lied and with my heroes and

10:31that's probably because one that was

10:33probably the finest a project to work

10:36with them but yeah the ones being fun to

10:39work with the last year just their team

10:41right now cause I creed and ya know they

10:45got Otis showing about Callen and

10:49freestone and everyone's tripping and

10:52diverse yes it's been it's been good

10:54working with those guys the last kind of

10:5612 months and yeah they kind of training

10:59yeah the boys yeah I mean well not your

11:02favorite film for billabong get your

11:04favourite film that you worked on there


11:08yeah okay so i guess the one that stands

11:11there is definitely a modern collective

11:14yummy even looking back on that now is

11:18kind of pretty strange i was talking

11:21about this with some of the boys that

11:22were in the movie the other day because

11:25I had worked on stranger than fiction

11:27with tyler steel which was a part base

11:29film and yeah that was kind of

11:31introducing the next-gen of guys Dan

11:33Reynolds jody smith they all got a

11:35section yet nickel and I really gelled

11:39with the younger crop that what kind of

11:42under guys like Bruce and Andy time

11:46yeah well as guys that have been written

11:48for like Tyler's movies last three years

11:50and after we feel stranger than fiction

11:53titles like hey do whatever you want it

11:58pretty much is like come up with the


12:02oh I'll tries a budget and yeah you can

12:05kind of take the reins and lightweight

12:07next film and i was like i just kind of

12:10took it and ran and and paid at the

12:13answer six guys and minimal locations

12:17and sort of showing surf trips in the

12:19lifestyle those guys and we was always

12:22so green and so young and making that

12:24project that it was a good thing like

12:27now all will wait at the time I was 22 i

12:30started we didn't really think about

12:33what we're doing we just did it and like

12:35that way yeah just kind of worked and we

12:39made a blog kind of updating a daily

12:41actually look at the blog the other day

12:43and it's just something funny how like

12:45young and roll it is and so that was a

12:49really fun film for me that could have

12:52gone either way I guess I don't even

12:54think about it because we were so

12:55involved in most of the project their

12:58time we'll just fill me listening to

12:59music and making movies that if it

13:02didn't go well that probably would have

13:04been it but for some reason it kind of

13:07kind of had a little cult following and

13:10there was something there that people

13:12liked and it kind of set myself up for

13:14doing three films straight after that 15

13:18items actually but that's probably live

13:20five altogether after that

13:22yeah weekend in nine min yeah okay so i

13:25did i did mine collected yeah and which

13:27was a big it

13:28yeah well it can't it was yeah i guess

13:31it was a hit i'm stoked india and then

13:33straight after that I went off mines

13:36down my own production company in the

13:38first film that I raised a budget for

13:40was lost atlas

13:42mhm so that was another twelve-month

13:43project with similar cast a couple of

13:45new guys like Craig Anderson and stuff

13:47got involved in that

13:48and then after that one it was d

13:50suburbia and then I did a little sort of

13:53project with joy smith bending colors

13:56mhm and then I did cluster which was

13:58like we're really starting year ago

14:00mmm that was fly big project so i can we

14:02spent 12 months on each project so it's

14:05a pretty hectic run okay

14:07busy yeah busy running around just so

14:10kind of just got spat out like a year

14:11ago did that well I guess that was crazy

14:13what am i doing now and look up pump the

14:15brakes a little bit so there are but but

14:18yeah that was what kind of started it


14:20yeah and so your next question I'd like

14:23who is the hardest when they see you

14:26don't probably actually after nine names

14:29the one person i want to ask first of

14:33all these like 10 Reynolds on right now

14:35he's a different character oh yeah last

14:37time I saw Diane was um at trestles the

14:42year did I am was on my way to Brazil

14:46that I was like I had like a third in

14:49margaret river and then i got like a 90

14:52trestles and i went up to like 20 on the

14:53writers in the QSC and I was not trying

14:56to chase three qualifying but they don't

14:58run into him it like it's super a modern

15:01or like a liquor store in anything that

15:04make sense yeah it's definitely find

15:07anger he was buying beer and I was like

15:09okay you go and I'm like I was a bomb

15:11that just lost in a lot of pet to get

15:14asked us and I tell him or I mean yeah

15:15we care but I was like a lady's buying

15:18beer and i'm behind be a bit yeah we see

15:20to work with easy really easy going

15:22super easygoing yeah he's one of the

15:25most like modest guys and one of the

15:27most talented guys I've ever worked with

15:29sure if I think the first trip I did for

15:32him when we were filming stranger than


15:35he's so modest just meet him and it was

15:38around the q7 you

15:41Mr Price probably the time ok but I came

15:43out just so we can kind of make the most

15:45of it trying now some clips when he was

15:48in the context of that you got knocked

15:49over it it was a one-day the way for

15:53community didn't care now

15:54yeah he was more cycling feeling at the

15:56time no one way one day the ways what

15:58kind of shitty these days I don't film

16:00come surf and like I'm like are not

16:03doing them are beside their families are

16:05really ok cool and then go down to feel

16:07midnight he nailed something for the

16:08movie like kinda like he just wants to

16:11hang out and so yeah he's so modest his

16:13only brother desire but it but he's the

16:17biggest he's one of the biggest surf

16:19property out there which i think is what

16:22has kept down calm down

16:24who's do he just literally love to surf

16:26all day what's the clips drink beer and

16:29just do his own thing is that's always

16:31in there that's all he does he is a

16:32simple life yeah and I think he likes

16:34surrounding himself with that people

16:36like that and friendly people and since

16:38I've of blood work with him over the


16:40obviously these Dame's Danny's the

16:42century dude you never know what he's

16:44gonna do next but I think that's why

16:45people love it

16:47yeah they're typically and what I can't

16:50say the worst but I'm maybe the hardest

16:52guides for the you can't say anyone can

16:56you really i'm trying to think to try

16:58and I'll someone down someone that's

17:00just been a pretty just like not like

17:03the way six feet like where I you and

17:05Donna has well I guess I was kind of

17:08lucky that you can't really do that

17:12these days you cannot turn not in what

17:14we doing like you could maybe get away

17:16with that in the competitive scene but

17:19being a free server if you're a jerk to

17:22work with like you're not working with a

17:24pretty much like I think that's kinda

17:26being the mentality even through

17:29Taylor's films through my films as where

17:31we're going to work we're gonna serve

17:34it's gonna be fine like if you're on

17:36your own

17:37we'd triple difficult to work with that

17:39you're not clicking with the rest of the

17:40guys and you know in common so you're

17:42not coming I've kinda had a pretty like

17:45that's being a mentality like you're

17:47gonna be fun to work with video so

17:49anyone that I know I haven't worked with

17:51anyone that's been a nightmare really

17:53not nice people

17:54cool I don't know haha maybe I've been

17:56lucky or just having authored you give

17:59me a weird look

18:00oh yeah yeah you know I happened when we

18:02went to France last year and out here

18:04with the best part of the trip for me so

18:06that River way we don't wait we drink 10

18:08day and surf the river I know and we

18:10know we did but we call the wife of the

18:14first that life is too small it was too

18:16small this was just to explain to

18:18everyone here they just they just lived

18:20up on so awesome I did yeah we went to

18:22the winery with select bad decision

18:25you don't go to a French chatter before

18:27surfing I know when someone's surfing

18:30caviar white wine and red wine it's a

18:33kind of recipe for disaster with a bunch

18:34of young sir just to explain to the

18:37audience yeah we're in a place here in

18:39board our in France and so on the full

18:41moon the every full moon the the wave

18:44comes into the river and so it's a

18:46toddler why so it comes at a certain

18:48time every year and the first day we the

18:51first time we caught it was so fun and

18:53it was good we are searching for like 10

18:54minutes but in a second day we went to

18:56the winery in the whole time

18:59yeah and i think it costs a lot of money

19:00we had everyone from like all right

19:02along to shit on a log and everyone in

19:05between so we're all like holding onto

19:08the boat an outrigger and there's like

19:10the waves coming the waves coming in it

19:12came and it didn't break and I missed it

19:14and then lastly drink mr. and I was I

19:17feel weak and Courtney missed it and

19:19everyone missed it on like because I was

19:22like elbow over the first day it was

19:24like the way was bigger i was here and

19:27everyone got it but there was like it be

19:28at 60 cooks in between it's very weary

19:32and someone else like I'm talking

19:35wildest european-looking people ever

19:38know and then the next day it was pretty

19:40funny runs like like how do you know

19:42what this is the planet like this guy

19:44off as ever

19:45feel it and everyone just missed away

19:47mr. why what would it cost my cool i

19:51wanted to branch into it doesn't think I

19:53my budget yeah the one was delicious it

19:56was and we had a good time we had a

19:59whole time that while what's next are

20:01now you're after portugal say what the

20:04portugal so yeah kinda nice want to put

20:08you on sunday and work with to work with

20:10the blond guy

20:11yeah yeah so afraid yeah pretty much the

20:13whole team will have created and notice

20:16and we'll link up with Jack and count in

20:19and not sure who else is coming but the

20:23plan is to kind of sugar and portable

20:24for a few days and Canaries and canary


20:27yeah so I'm a little bit in the dark on

20:31that one

20:31ok which is cool because I kind of like

20:33that we're just gonna shoot it as we as

20:36we get in there but yeah it's been good

20:38i guess i cut off the back of what we've

20:41talked about before I had those big

20:43projects that i was working on and it

20:46was like a 12-month thing that you can

20:48be yourself too so it's been fun just to

20:51kind of sink my teeth into different

20:53shit and work on work on smaller jobs

20:59and work on some fashion related stuff

21:01and when I've kind of started a few

21:03other companies with the boys that we

21:05have been on and just to mix it up your

21:08shoulder from and what kind of fashion

21:09stuff are you doing on that little girl

21:13swimwear star quickly already tell it's

21:15really hard work now anything that's

21:18different from shooting surfing yes i

21:21still enjoy doing that but I did it for

21:2410 years yeah and it can I think you

21:27need to kind of changing up to keep the

21:30creative juices sort of flowing so I've

21:34been shooting yet stuff she fully and

21:37more commercial stuff that i wouldn't

21:39put on my portfolio really really i'm

21:43gonna it's that it's just like it's just

21:44fun to work on but it's not like creepy

21:47so how do you know actually been a bunch

21:51of but now it's not it's not it's it's

21:53just that commercial

21:55like yeah stuff in it you gotta do it

21:57just different to what I've done in the


21:59ya sure ya uncle and so I'm last

22:02question yep any light next big projects

22:06movies anything that is yeah making that

22:11we need to know about all that you can

22:13tell us about yeah I have a few like

22:17ventures that I'm working on which have

22:19been really fun it's it's actually been

22:23a pretty big project but three years ago

22:25actually started shooting morning

22:27collective and me it's called 1dn I just

22:30mean we really wanted to do a brand of

22:32some sort that was just down and we had

22:34creative control over and we want to do

22:39a clothing label with that we're getting

22:40paid too much money from the responses

22:42back that America could do that that'd

22:45ruin all their careers so we ended up

22:47starting a paki I way which has been

22:50really cool

22:51ok so we we went into that not knowing

22:54anything and the first frames readers

22:57design with terrible and we've kind of

23:00the last three years filled up to pretty

23:04successful company and I've been

23:06spending a lot of time on that working

23:07on the marketing and the first base

23:09today Don Esteban by ok yeah so we're

23:12kind of off on the road but that's like

23:13a little hardware

23:14uh-huh we do all the shipping we do all

23:18the business sort of stuff but we

23:19actually designed the frames in Italy I

23:23where I'm actually going to leave for a

23:24couple days before portugal I know what

23:26are you work on the new range yeah so


23:30what you should maybe sponsor me i'ma go

23:32in let's get okie dokie

23:34that's exactly my thought where all the

23:37time let's get let's go ahead scream

23:39also i thought i had sending somebody

23:41that's gonna throw away right but its

23:43crew free stone cold windy on I'm got

23:47little shorty manners the code up

23:49I mean it's on boys did you hear that

23:51right he's getting the paki ok we will

23:56be thrilled to have you are there are

23:58lots of writers are going to design did

24:00you roll around

24:01sense this wrapper and oh yeah that's

24:04the shit I'm sorry anyway thanks Cole

24:08becoming on why I was just excited and

24:11yeah and safe travels to Portugal Italy

24:14and I'm only waiting for my sunnies

24:16don't worry don't know that this is his


24:24long run