Ever watched a movie and been so inspired to venture out into the wild and do just that. Shelter captured just that. The Moonshine Conspiracy formed around 1998 and collectively produced 6 films in total. All movies had a very melancholy feel and in comparison to what was being released around the same time period (Taylor Steele’s Poor Specimen production house) the movies grasped the grass roots approach of surfing and took a different perspective. Everything from filming on 16mm film, which really suits surfing films due to the dull colours and soft appearance it achieves. To the cast in their movies which mostly consisted of Kelly, Rob, The Malloys, Taylor Knox and Shane Dorian as a base cast, adding complementing surfers to the roster of each movie produced.
Hatched out of the retro-sensible mind of Emmett Malloy, the Malloy Brothers and Jack Johnson, Shelter was produced by The Moonshine Conspiracy in 2001. The concept was a throwback and somewhat of a homage to Morning Of The Earth, and they definitely achieved it by basing the crew in a house in farmland Byron Bay. The approach to basically banish any form of competitive or commercial components of surfing from the house to soak up and throw back to what surfing is all about. Surfing, shaping boards, making music all out of a house that really sets a humbling melody tone throughout the whole movie. Whats even cooler is watching the boards they’re riding, how different they have changed to what we know and ride today. Even filming the movie has a different feel which really isolates the distinct separation of yesteryear and modern surfing films. Overall the movie instills some sort of drive to want to get a group of buddies together, find a beach shack and hold up in it for a few weeks, surfing, hanging out and just creating good times.
The one thing that these style of films did really well was cross over different disciplines of surfing from shortboards and logs to retro throw backs to show that as long as your a surfer it doesn’t matter. Having fun and doing it in style is the most important part of being a surfer. Some interesting stories pop up through the movie which opens your eyes to some things you may not be aware of. Remember this is now 16 years old and all the surfers featured in it include the likes of Rob, Taylor Knox, Joel Tudor, Mick Fanning, Dingo, Jack Johnson, The Malloys, Slater, Conan Hayes, Nathan Webster, Nat Young (OG Nat Young), Brad Gerlach, Donavon F., Shane Dorian. All of whom are still incredibly relevant in modern surfing today. Sit back and enjoy this classic, you’ll be humbled by how good it is.