BY: ACL Productions
RUNNING TIME: Approx 53 mins
WORDS ? Jim Gaunt
When Pete Cabrinha and Elliot Leboe team up to invest a serious amount of time, energy and, on the face of it, expense, into making a film you can be sure it'll be clean, well-thought-out and impeccably stylish. I can just picture how it went down when Pete called up Elliot:
Elliot: 'Nice Pete. Count me in.'
Pete: 'I've just come up with this mean new tune on my ukulele. I'd love to get that in there.'
Elliot: 'Nice Pete. What else?'
Pete: 'Well, I'd like to produce it, chuck out a few nice turns in Peru, but we should make some space for my riders, too. They're all cool cats and we should do some nice behind the scenes lifestyle video portraits of their lives in an extended bonus section.'
Elliot: 'Super nice. Yeah and I've just scored a load of Super 8mm film for that authentic grainy perspective and style.'
Pete: 'I knew you'd be down with the flavour Elliot. I've drawn up a short-list of shooting spots. How does Maui, the DR, Peru, Guadeloupe and Antigua sound for starters?'
Elliot: 'Pete, if that's what we gotta do to get this done right, then so be it.'
And so goes the life of an international brand owner and his ace video maker buddy. The idea behind Catalyst was to make a DVD that portrays the life of a kiteboarder, well, a professional kiteboarder at least. Although Pete stamps his mark in front of the camera with relish as he hits (as he unbelievably stated last issue) his first lefts as a goofy footer in Peru and then again in Guadeloupe in the bonus section, for the most part, this feels like an Andre Phillip movie with the amount of filth he spreads about in front of Elliot's eager lens. But that's no negative. The official kiteboarding movie star is on devastating form, performing flawlessly for the big boss and earning his wage packet with a heady mix of strapless surfing, powered and inventive wake-style moves and generally laying it down on rails, sliders, chop, kickers or whatever lies in his way. Matching him move for move in the editing suite, Elliot cuts his usual cool mix of backing tracks and visuals to keep you on your toes...think the wah wah guitars of superfly cop movies in the 70s and 80s or the Ocean's 11 soundtrack. Always keen to do something different, he also injects Catalyst with a darker touch in places, mixing Kruder and Dorfmeister smoking beats to the grainy Super 8mm film.
Susi Mai also gets her hands dirty. Her riding in this video is powerful, inventive and precise and she shows she's cultured a very free and adaptive style. It's the little things I like watching the good riders do; how time seems to slow down for them to be able to adjust the end of the trick to have some kind of grab or tweak when most would be panicking and wide-eyeing the landing. How much pop does Cabarete local Alex Soto get? Then there's the blend of old school height and new school technicality of the Richman brothers, the energy of Damien Leroy and Jon Modica and the rich dose of travel, lifestyle and gritty substance that make this an all-round movie that's going to be hard to top this year. Shame the stockings won't be hung out for another nine months.
Catalyst includes ten excellent bonus mini-movie sections that are a cross between MTV Cribs and The Office in which Mr. Leboe really gets to flex his documentary making muscles. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we're lucky to have a movie maker like Elliot who just loves to ride and film kiteboarding.
Watch the trailer now at:
Catalyst was featured in Issue #32.