Paddling for Happiness

Thursday 21 June 2018
Martin Pollock

Students from the School of Film & Television have shot a documentary about The Wave Project, a Newquay based mental health charity, who fully recognise the potential of surfing to restore confidence and happiness in young people.

Paddling for Happiness explores the relationship between surfing and mental health, featuring interviews with ex-army veteran Martin Pollock and Wave Project CEO Joe Taylor. Whilst serving in Afghanistan, Martin had both his legs and an arm amputated following an explosion.

The film has been featured in a number of surfing sites and magazines worldwide. These include the world's largest online surf forum Magic Seaweed, top German publication Surfers Mag and Zigzag, the biggest surfing magazine in South Africa. It has also been promoted by world class surfers such as Kelly Slater, who shared the video on his Instagram platform.

Michael Durban, Director of Paddling for Happiness, explained: "Joe Taylor explains to the viewer how surfing can play a big role in bringing about happiness. Martin, our main contributor, gives us his breath-taking personal account of what happened whilst he was serving in Afghanistan, and how surfing brought back his sense of life and happiness.

"One of the best aspects of creating this film was working with Martin. His positivity and willingness to share his story with others is a testament to his mental strength and character, which I respect and admire."

The team faced a lot of challenges whilst filming and producing, including a two to three week wait for suitable waves and Martin's trip to California, which left only one week to gather enough footage. But Michael credits his production team consisting of Ben Evans, Bertrand Lee and Edward Grant for their diligence in creating the film on time.

Their time spent at Falmouth was crucial, as he reflects: "Studying at Falmouth provided an opportunity to gain access to industry standard equipment and technicians, who are always prepared to do their best to help you when you are confused or struggling with something."