Episode 04 //
Corey and Sean are back at it again with the fourth installation of the Beneath the Surface Podcast: San Somewhere. When Sean approaches Corey in 2019 with a video narrative of paddle board surfing dogs down in Mexico, Corey responds the only way one should: “Sounds rad to me, man.” And Sean was off.
In this podcast episode, Corey and Sean take you behind the camera of their 2019 video, San Somewhere. It’s crazy how fate works for Sean Murphy. From surfing at Silver Strand in Oxnard, California, a great place to get your tires slashed and your ass beat if you’re not a local, to meeting future lifelong friend and skateboarding bulldog fur-dad, Ron Davis, this episode showcases how happenstance just so happens to make a kickass video.
Get ready for a crazy ride, spanning from California all the way to Scorpion Bay, San Juanico, all in the pursuit of some SUP with dogs.
Coming at you direct, from the middle of nowhere, to the center of everywhere.
Who's In The Episode
Lead Designer, Co-Founder, and CEO at BOTE, Corey Cooper is a licensed engineer hailing from Auburn University. Corey is the pioneer of the DarkRoom, assisting with the design of the machinery, concepting the layout and ultimately developing the workflow used in DarkRoom production. Corey’s passion for this project is so strong that on any given day, regardless of how busy things are at BOTE, you will often find Corey working in the DarkRoom.
Sean Murphy is the Director of Photography at BOTE and a world-renowned photographer based in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. After spending most of his career based in Los Angeles, shooting for brands like Adidas, Red Bull, and Toyota, just to name a few, Sean moved back to the Redneck Riviera. You can find Sean capturing gritty America and spontaneous moments that translate into visually stunning photography.
BOTE Creative Director, Rob McAbee, brings the style when it comes to designing paddle boards and the awesome gear that accompanies them. With over 25 years of professional brand building and marketing experience, Rob combined his love for fishing with his love for creative design when he joined the BOTE family in 2013. An avid fly fisher, Rob is the founder of BugslingerTM Fly Gear and, in collaboration with Corey, the creative brain behind the BOTE brand.
Ron Davis is a man of many talents, but his own proclamation is that he’s a beach bum in the highest regard. He is also a lover of dogs and looks to marry his two passions of surf and mutts as much as possible. Spending a good chunk of his life in Oxnard, California, Ron decided to make Scorpion Bay, San Juanico, his permanent home for an undetermined amount of time. When he’s not catching a wave with two or more dogs on his board, you’ll find him contributing to the community of Scorpion Bay any way he can.
Links From The Episode
- Meet the OG of dogs on wheels, Tillman the Bulldog.
- Even Oxnards visitor site pleads for good surfing etiquette at Silver Strand.
- Gotta check out Scorpion Bay for yourself? We don’t blame you.
- Sean Murphy does it again with stunning photography and turns out, he’s pretty good at writing, too.
- If you get the urge to try SUP with your dog, check out the Flood Paddle Board.
“Ron is a great guy so it didn’t take much for us to become fast friends. I quickly learned that Ron was a bit of a celebrity, or should I say - Tillman was the celebrity. Remember that skateboarding dog from the late 2000’s? Tillman was Ron’s best friend. I would shoot photos of Ron, Tillman and his other bulldogs at the beach, skimboarding, surfing, skateboarding, you name it.” – Sean Murphy / Director of Photography
Corey and Sean kick off the episode by explaining their rigorous process in selecting a narrative. That is, Sean mentions paddle board surfing street dogs and Corey’s all in.
00:02:05 Silver Strand in Oxnard, California
Going back five or so years, Sean’s hanging with his buddy Dan in California, and they want to go surf Silver Strand in Oxnard. Which wouldn’t be a problem… if they were locals. Visitors gracing the sands of Silver Strand don’t necessarily get a warm fuzzy welcome, and if they know you’re not local, get ready for a knife fight.
00:03:05 Tillman the Surfing Bulldog
Luckily, Dan had a childhood friend that just so happened to live in the neighborhood at the time, and that friend was Ron Davis. Ron’s the kind of guy that knows everyone, so the group was able to go surfing without the violent initiations. It’s then that Sean learns Ron has three bulldogs… that surf. And skateboard. And snowboard. Oh, and the craziest part - his bulldog Tillman just so happens to be the original skateboarding bulldog, with over 5 million YouTube views and commercial contracts.
“Ron is a great guy so it didn’t take much for us to become fast friends. I quickly learned that Ron was a bit of a celebrity, or should I say - Tillman was the celebrity. Remember that skateboarding dog from the late 2000’s? Tillman was Ron’s best friend. I would shoot photos of Ron, Tillman and his other bulldogs at the beach, skimboarding, surfing, skateboarding, you name.” - Sean Murphy / Director of Photography
00:04:31 Scorpion Bay, San Juanico
Surfing dogs. Knife fights. It’s the perfect recipe for an instant friendship between Sean and Ron. After a couple years, Ron’s three bulldogs, one by one, cross the rainbow bridge and Ron found himself taking up permanent residency in Scorpion Bay, San Juanico and adopting street dogs to give them a better life and, obviously, to teach them to surf. Scorpion Bay gets its name from its shape, and Sean describes it as a place where the waves are so long, your legs will give out before the wave breaks. Thankfully, dogs seem to have a higher tolerance.
00:07:06 Sketchy Shit From Cabo to Scorpion Bay
Ron’s game for a SUP surfing dog video, so Sean and Creative Director, Rob McAbee, fly into Cabo and rent a car. While there’s much debate on how long it takes to go from Cabo to Scorpion Bay, one thing is for sure: there’s sketchy shit happening at every turn. Good thing they make it there, now they just have to make film magic happen with their three day deadline. That’s right, THREE days. Let’s hope nothing bad happens (obvious foreshadowing).
00:08:13 Give the Dog a Voice
Breaking the BOTE mold of doing profiles on people and their real life experiences, the team decides to shoot this from a dog's perspective. And shooting from a dog's perspective, while tricky, proved to be the creative edge they needed to really blow their traditional format out of the water.
00:10:25 A Surfing Video With No Surf
With only three days to shoot San Somewhere, the team gets to work but quickly comes to the sickening realization that there’s very little surf. In fact, out of the entire three days spent on Scorpion Bay, there was only a single moment of time, two hours, where there was surf. And when shit is going south and you see a small reprieve, you act fast.
00:11:55 It’s More Than Surfing Dogs
During filming, it became apparent that this video was more than just surfing dogs, it was about the town, the surfing culture, and the people. Scorpion Bay is a true sanctuary for those who live for the surf.
“There’s a bunch of expats that live down there and just literally live for the surf. Like they move there, they surf. That’s it. That’s all they do. They all have a different story. Just weird stuff going on everywhere.” - Sean Murphy / Director of Photography
00:13:13 Rob McAbee and Sean Murphy, An Inverse Relationship
Rob finds himself multitasking as both BOTE Creative Director and film assistant to Sean Murphy. Somehow, their complete opposite styles make them the perfect team.
“You guys (Sean and Rob) are like the yin and the yang. Rob is totally organized and you’re a giant walking disaster. I mean, just filming this podcast you tripped over a cord, you broke a microphone. And so it goes.” - Corey Cooper / CEO and Co-Founder
A video from a dog's point of view, badass. See ya next time!