What we do is a big reflection of who we are—and for director Krystle Wright, and the athletes in this film, that means following their passions in the outdoors. Whether that's getting rowdy on the trail, in the climbing gym or behind the camera, it takes guts. We chatted with Krystle to get the behind-the-scenes story of Where The Wild Things Keep Playing.
The athletes and the scenery in this are stunning—what was the biggest challenge of putting this piece together?
The biggest challenge was for me to remove the expectations after the success of the first film, Where The Wild Things Play. The first film was created out of a space where I had no expectation and I honestly thought no one would really see it. Heck, if I got a couple thousand views, I would've been ecstatic with that. And while Where The Wild Things Play was warmly received, I also received criticism for the lack of diversity I presented—and that's something I've thought about a lot as our industry learns to move forward and evolve out of the past. Technically there were no sudden surprises [during the film production], but the thought process has occupied for mind for the past two years, and I wanted to make sure this film was created in a similar format to the first, where it came out of passion and fun rather than being burdened by other's expectations, much of which I've created in my own mind.
Can you tell me about the characters in the film? What made you choose them specifically?
What I needed to do was reach out away from my immediate community and force myself to step out of routine. I realized that I've become accustomed to working with certain friends, which can be a great thing, but it was time to push myself in meeting new athletes and extending my community again. Across the world, I wanted to discover athletes who may not have received as much attention and yet were out there doing their thing and having a damn good time. Honestly, my heart feels full and rich for the incredible experiences I was granted as others welcomed me into their lives with open arms. Having cups of tea with Monet's Grandma who started running in her 70s, or surfing with Ikit who I now call my younger sister, as we fast became friends in the surf in the Philippines, or reconnecting with fellow ocean soul Natasha as we laughed our heads off freediving in the freezing waters of Northern Wales—it wasn't necessarily the act of me choosing, rather it was a chaotic journey where the athletes chose to welcome me into their lives or not.
What was your favorite bit to shoot?
It's impossible for me to compare experiences. It's been a wild, chaotic ride in piecing together this sequel film. I am incredibly appreciative that others—whether I knew them or not—would give me their trust and support in helping me create this film.
Did you have any funny mishaps during the shoot?
Perhaps the funniest thing to look back on is the number of times that nothing went to plan. Traveling from half a world away, no matter how much planning and communication was put in place, I would just have to laugh and accept when some of our shoots were completely shut down with aspects that were completely out of my control. It felt like I was going insane some days, but what a journey this short film has been, and hopefully the audience will connect with the vibe of this one.
If you could sum up one thing all these athletes share, what would you say?
It's so important to be unapologetic about doing what makes you happy! If you love to run, then run for miles with a smile across the face. If you love to surf, then throw yourself to the ocean. If you love to ski, then don't worry what others may think. Stubbornness can be a great attitude to behold. It's also a film that is meant to be fun—I wasn't trying to do anything super serious. It's a celebration of getting stoked on being outside and having a great time, whether it's alone or with friends.
In order to film all these wildly diverse types of sports in such a wide array of landscapes. Did you have to learn anything new or add a new skill to catch any of those shots?
Everything was already in my skill set. However, this film would not have been possible if it weren't the help for a few other filmmakers in bringing this piece together! For example, I'm not a skydiver, but I wanted to bring that sport into the mix. If anything, I had to really up my game in logistics, planning how to meet up with so many incredible people across the world. It was well worth the effort, as the film gets me emotional as I remember all the adventures and the incredible women who welcomed me into their lives.