We spoke to him about his latest work
Philipp Vasilev loved surfing ever since he was a young boy, but living in Russia his dream of surfing was not an easy one to accomplish. When later he came to Indonesia, he fell in love with the country, it’s people and… the perfect waves.
How did surf get into your life?
Surfing was like a dream from my childhood. When I was about 6-7 years old I saw some surf video clips and it became a dream. But for a long time I couldn't reach it cause living in Russia that time was not so easy and very hard to travel. So I got to surfing step by step. I started skateboarding when I was 11 and after that kitesurfing when I was 18, because in my hometown, Saint Petersburg, we have Finish Bay and good winds. With the help of kite surfing I started to travel and finally, in 2007 I arrived in Bali and saw real oceane waves. That's how my dream came true. After that I came to Indonesia almost every year.
Are there waves in Russia?
Actually only now surfers started to discover russian waves. There are some at Vladivostok an some good waves at Kamchatka with very beautiful views, but it is cold water surfing. We have some waves also in our south region, Sochi has some waves but to surf such waves you need to have some skills already, because they are not waves like in the ocean, it's not ground swell waves. I am dreaming to do some trips for filmming in Russia but I think it will be little bit later.
How did you start filming?
I watched a lot of skate movies while I was skateboarding, and once I tried to shoot some of my friends with a simple camera and from that time I like to shoot videos but I never did the edits and didn't have my own cam at that time. I started doing something more serious about 3 years ago at Bali. My friend, owner of russian surf school (Take Of Surf Club) has some good equipment for photos, something like good canon lenses and Canon mark2, so I asked him to let me try to shoot something and edit it, and that's how I made my first surf video (https://vimeo.com/42532643). Russian people liked it and from that point I thought I needed to do some more. I never learned in some university for shooting and editing video, I do it all by my self.
Tell us about the Selamat Datang project.
The idea of Selamat Datang was born last year when I had a road trip across Sumbawa, from Yo Yos to Lake and back, I just took my equipment with me and shot some surfing and nature at Sumbawa. After we returned back to Bali I thought that it would be good to show people how beautiful Indonesia is, and the waves it has. So I made my first movie of the Selamat Datang series. I think I will make one movie each year for this series. The goal of them is just to show how people live in Indonesia and that Indonesia is not only Bali, it has a lot of wonderful and beautiful places to be. I love Indo very much and Selamat Datang is like paying tribute to Indonesia, with some of the best waves in the world and very beautiful places. Thanks to Indo we have such a good place in earth where there are very good waves and still got a lot of really wild places. Also you can say that Selamat Datang is not only about surfing, it's more about people who live in Indo and people who like to travel to wild places.
How do you feel about traveling?
I really think that traveling is the best way to know how people live, specially if you travel not by plane, because when you travel by ground (by train by bus or car) you will see many more places than by air and you're free in your movements and directions, you can stop anywhere you want and talk with local people about their life, try some local food and see some local traditions. Any trip by car is amazing, you see how the world is so different and how people are different, even inside one country. I think traveling is the best way to know something more about real life of people.