If you’ve seen vids of Brett Burcher surf, you’re well aware he’s not afraid of a big ol’ slabby ledgey rocky horrow show. What might seem counter intuitive, is these seemingly mindless acts that Brett performs, are done so will a big ol’ brain splashing around inside his skull. Brett’s a hyper intelligent, driven and he’s dedicated many months producing what you’re about to watch with filmmaker Darcy Ward. Brett also wrote the narration himself, and hand picked voice over artists from the various regions that feature in the film to perform each section’s narration. Quite the guy. Now watch him get dangerous.


Burch’s run down of the piece:

Documented over 18 months, Engrained is the brainchild and passion project of cinematographer Darcy Ward and myself. Artistically captured, the 21 minute film is a visual feast tied together with underlying narration, with the aim of taking the viewer on a journey to each picturesque landscape as we slowly return home to familiar waters.  The concept for Engrained evolved off the back of Eye Sea, a short film Darcy and I created together in 2015, vimeo.com/229083880.

Darcy and I have been good mates and worked closely together for 5 years and what began as a simple back and forth of ideas, eventually grew into something we set our minds too bringing alive. We began filming and let the ideas, narrative and locations naturally evolve and come together as we set about chasing the waves and experiences we wanted to pursue.

Our main objective for the development of Engrained was to combine and portray our passions, Darcys ‘filmmaking’ and my ‘writing’, through our love for the ocean and all things that are engrained into it. We wanted to invite the audience to perhaps reflect on their relationship, or deeper understanding with or about the ocean, a particular location or anything at all they are passionate about. Writing the text for the narration instilled an emotional connection and doubled as a representation of the underlying beauty and appreciation we both have for the locations and experiences attached to each trip.

The film was entirely planned, written, created and produced by Darcy and myself. The whole process of the movie took over 18 months, filming, sourcing the narrators, finding the perfect music and piecing it all together. The text for each section was written during or after every trip to try and capture the essence of what we had just experienced or were feeling at that particular moment.  We had financial support from my sponsors Ocean and Earth,  Globe and Brunotti, but the majority of what you see is self funded. Once we had all the content and a shared vision for the film, Darcy packed up shop from Queensland and lived at my place on the south coast for 6 months. He had the creative eye to tie it all together seamlessly and the narrators and music we sourced just moulded to the visuals and feel of the movie so well. 

Engrained – it was more about taking the viewer on a symbolic journey and combining our favourite locations with our favourite surfers and bringing attention to the hidden depth that lies beyond the visuals.

Locations visited in the film are Ireland, Scotland, Tasmania (Shipsterns), The Australian Outback and the East Coast of Aus. Featured surfers are Brett Burcher, Russ Bierke, Sean Mawson, Louie Hynd, Elliot Marshall, Paul Morgan, Nath Bartlett, Khy Hoole and Glen McDonald.

Music By Woodes, Marrie Sioux, Bad Dreems, Sammy Smith, Bored Nothing.

Contributing filmers- Andrew Kaineder, Clem McInerney, Talon Clemow, Max Zappas, Simon Treweek, Tim Bonython, Dave Fox

Danny Johnson