Giovanni Douresseau, Surfer from South Central

A short documentary piece revolving around surfer Giovanni Douresseau
Brendan Calder
Los Angeles, California
United States
1 Team Member

Hello! My name is Brendan Calder and I am an indie filmmaker and photographer based out of Los Angeles, California. For my junior thesis project I am shooting a short documentary that follows the journey of a surfer named Giovanni Douresseau who grew up in South Central Los Angeles. This project will be shot over the course of 4 months (March through June of 2013) with most of the principal photography taking place during the month of April.


The Project.

At the age of 12, Giovanni weighed 280 pounds and had no sense of purpose in his life. He was taken to the beach during the summer and was introduced to the sport and lifestyle of surfing. After catching his first wave and being introduced to his mentor, Tim Wingard, his life changed forever in ways he could never have imagined. Years later, he has lost over 120 pounds and now lives a completely new lifestyle. In this documentary, Giovanni will recollect the journey he took with his mentor to become who he is today. The piece will also follow him through his present journey as he gives back to the community the gift that was given to him many years ago.

As an avid surfer myself, I am fully aware of the fact that surfing can truly change you in a number of ways for the better—emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually. One of my goals of this piece is to illustrate this fact effectively through Giovanni’s story.  Lastly, even though this documentary is focused mostly on the sport and lifestyle of surfing, the theme of this piece can be related to any activity in which one can develop their passion. The ultimate goal of this project is to highlight Giovanni’s story in such a way as to serve as an inspiration for others.


The Locations.

This documentary will be filmed around the neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles where Giovanni resides, as well as at a variety of different scenic beaches around Los Angeles County such as Malibu, Topanga, Palos Verdes Cove, and many others.


The Costs.

To achieve the desired look of this piece, there are a variety of production costs that will need to be covered over the course of its completion. We will be shooting on a number of different professional quality DSLR Cinema Cameras and lenses, most of which will need to be rented from outside sources. Additionally, we will need to rent a waterproof camera housing to protect the equipment when shooting footage in the ocean. Other miscellaneous fees include food and gas expenses for the crew, as well as location fees from the city of Los Angeles for a few of the locations we will be shooting at. 


The Filmmaker.

The primary focus of my work is to bring unique and inspirational stories to life through beautiful imagery, along with powerful story content. My previous film, 'The Water's Edge,' was an Official Selection of LMU's 'Film Outside the Frame' Contest for sophomore film of the year. I hope to continue along that path with this film. Most recently, I have teamed up with Jungle Ruckus productions as a cinematographer and editor for their team. With the help of of a solid production team and a telling story like Giovanni's, I truly believe that together we can create a film that is beautiful both visually and emotionally.



After this documentary is completed, this film will be submitted to a number of film festivals around the Los Angeles area, in addition to many other festivals worldwide. Our goal is to get the word out there and spread this amazing story to as many people as possible! Part of the production costs will include festival submission fees, so only with your help will we be able to accomplish this! 


Other Ways You Can Help:

If you can't contribute, no problem! Please share this page with your friends to help fund this project- anything you can do will be greatly appreciated. We are very excited to begin the filmmaking process, thank you!


raised in 20 days
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$2,000 USD goal
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This campaign ended on April 16, 2013
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  • $10USD
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    A Digital copy of the finished film(download link on private Vimeo page).

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    Executive Producer

    Executive Producer credit in the closing credits of the film and on IMDB, along with A digital download of the film, DVD copy of the finished film, CD copy of the film's soundtrack, and a 'Special Thanks' credit during the end credits of the film.

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