Nate Tyler Has Art on Asyms Mastered in This 16mm Flick

Emilee Geist

The Inertia

Nate Tyler’s day-to-day seems to play out like the scripted life of an artist/surfer. He lives in Central California with family in their hand-built home where he spends parts of the afternoon shaping lifesize modern, abstract steel sculptures. He finds waves that he rides on abstract, asymmetrical shapes. And watching him partake in both, you can’t help but feel that the style and flow of one is constantly inspiring and moving the other. Tyler seems to be living and breathing his creativity.

Just reading the words makes you think of a throwback 16mm surf flick with an equally groovy soundtrack. So that’s exactly what filmmaker Matt Payne did to capture Tyler’s process in Central California.

“I think shooting in 16mm captures Nate and this section of coast in a very natural way,” says Payne. “I tried to really slip into Nate’s world. He lives a certain kind of life—in both surfing and his sculptures—that really fits with the landscape. I think making a longer film that’s quieter and a little slowed down reflects that. I also wanted to pay homage to the filmmakers from the past who shot California in the same format, like Bruce Brown and Sonny Miller. Filming on a Bolex camera means you’re going to have flaws, but those flaws are part of what makes it interesting. And the moments you do get mean that much more.”

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