The Making of The Bodhi Wave Documentary

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Read about The Bodhi Wave, a documentary being made in 2016-17 by Canadian indie filmmaker, Jazeen Hollings, in her own words!

The Bodhi Wave is an environmental/travel documentary focused on the lives, ambitions, and struggles of the four-change makers of Bodhi Surf School. But there will be more on that later. I think it’s appropriate to bring to light my own motivations, and a brief origin story.

In early 2016 I serendipitously stumbled upon the passionate and ambitious Travis, Pilar, Gibran, and Adrianne, after my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at Bodhi Surf School.

The Bodhi Wave documentary poster

Zen moments on the board and the mat

When my parents returned, I expected to be bombarded about the Zen moments on the board and the mat. What I wasn’t expecting was the talk of boycotting plastic straws, how important it is to protect the ocean, and my parents almost unsettling sense of calm. At first I chalked it off to their impressionability, but with a bit more investigating, it seems as though the Bodhi Team has made quite an environmental impact for a facility of their size. It was clear that my parents left Bodhi Surf School they had gained four new friends. I soon met Travis Bays via email and later on, Skype.

After a few email correspondences with Travis, the idea for an environmental documentary was born and the making of The Bodhi Wave had become my new passion. I was already full of tough decisions, twists, and turns in deciding how to truthfully portray the goings-on of Bodhi Surf School.

The teams’ online transparency about their ocean preservation initiatives, surf lesson strategies, benefits of yoga and even their personal lives are very evident. I did not think they would benefit from another promotional piece. So, The Bodhi Wave will dig deeper into their stories and illuminate the whys and hows of their motivations, ambitions, and struggles.

25th Anniversary at Bodhi Surf

Three months to figure out this elusive “something”

Starting in December 2016, I will be following the team for three months to conduct interviews, document meetings and the day-to-day operations of Travis, Pilar, Gibran and Adrianne as well as friends, family, researchers, community members, guests, and employees. Until then I am undergoing some extensive research on how surfing, yoga, making a difference, environmentalism, and their lives all tie together. As much as the people are the center of the film, I will also be capturing the beauty and serenity of Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica. The above will shape the narrative of the film and hopefully it will answer some of the following questions:

What is this elusive “something” that visitors experience when at the Bodhi Surf School? Why did they all leave their respective lives and venture down this path? How do they connect so personally and emotionally with guests and community members? What does this all mean for environmental conservation? How can their work influence the work of others?

This is a story about those who paddle out to turn the tide — about four business owners, intent on changing the world, one guest at a time. As I take a positive approach to this documentary, it will hopefully inspire others to do what they can (no matter how small) for their own environments.

I want to give a special shout-out to my parents for supporting me on this new journey as well as Travis, Pilar, Gibran, and Adrianne for their belief a little indie designer and filmmaker from Toronto, Canada.

Stay tuned for more on The Bodhi Wave and in the meantime join my documentary film process on the film’s Facebook page where there will be vlogs, music for the film, news and updates until I fly out in December.

Notes for The Bodhi Wave

Written by Jazeen Hollings

Jazeen is a filmmaker and designer from Toronto, Canada. She has an eye for a good story, endless curiosity and adaptability. As a change-making creative she is always aware of her role in providing ethical, social and environmentally responsible communications. Because she has her hands in so many pies (co-hosting and producing her own podcast, researching for a strategic innovation lab, directing/editing independent short films, and running her own freelance business) she is invested in all aspects of the process.

UPDATE: Donate to the crowdfunding campaign and watch the promotional videos here!

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The article is from a guest contributor. If you would like to contribute on the Bodhi Surf + Yoga blog, please email us at [email protected]

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