As a screen writer she has worked for the likes of Red Bull Media House interviewing icons of youth culture from lowbrow artist Robert Williams to Atari computer games entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell and Wired Magazine founders Louis Rosetto and Jane Metcalfe to write 9 x 25 minute episodes of The Ripple Effect. As a writer / producer she created a short film for the National Trust celebrating their bellyboarding heritage.
Director of London Surf / Film Festival and Approaching Lines International Festival of Surf, Demi has worked with some of surf culture’s most exciting brands, artists, filmmakers and musicians to curate programmes, one-off screenings and special events to delight and entertain.
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5 minutes with…
What’s your connection to the sea? What drew you to the sea and why surfing?
Growing up we always sought out the sea. Even when we lived in the middle of desert we’d pack up the 4×4 and head to the coast to camp-out for the weekend, to clear the dust and find some breathing space. The ocean drew us together but also gave us our freedom. I think that’s how I still feel about the sea and surfing.
When and why did you get into writing/photography/ etc?
At school my best friend and I produced a magazine which was immediately banned and as a result became an overnight playground sensation. It taught me a lot about the power of words and the art of marketing… Before becoming a writer I worked in London handling the UK communications for brands like Quiksilver and Converse which may have reignited my wanderlust somewhat…at the start of the millennium I made a rash decision, handed in my notice and decided to go off and write a book. I bought a van and set off for a year on the road with my camera and former surf magazine editor Chris Nelson to document the European coastline from Scotland to Morocco; Surfing Europe came out in 2004 and I’ve been writing books and contributing to publications from Wavelength to Cooler and The Independent to The Telegraph ever since.
What piece of your work are you most proud?
Surfing Europe as it was a pretty big gamble. We didn’t have a publisher, we didn’t have a commission, we just had an idea we believed in and a book we wanted to write. We clocked up thousands of miles, photos and stories then came home and found a publisher. When I look at it now there are a lot of things I’d want to change and do differently but it was the first book that Chris (Nelson) and I wrote together and it started the next chapter. It made me realise that you can’t be afraid to follow your own path, make your own chances and go after your dreams.
Who do you most admire?
Anyone who puts the effort in and tries to do ‘it’ well. Whatever ‘it’ is.
What would be your dream session?
Sunshine is a pre-requisite but not necessarily summer and I don’t mind a passing rain shower or two; I love the way it sounds on the surface of the sea, like 10,000 pins being dropped on glass. 2-3 ft A-frame with a just little bit of punch, bodysurfing, bellyboarding, mat riding, surfing… whatever works is OK by me.