In early July of this summer Noah Kawaguchi frantically called Cam Winkelman, both second year business majors at Point Loma Nazarene University, in a state of frenzy. The call concerned Winkelman coming out to Hawaii to film Kawaguchi surfing and according to Kawaguchi, Winkelman was about to miss the biggest south swell in decades by a couple of days. The phone call worked. Winkelman flew out to Hawaii on July 15, 2022, a day before the Code Red II Swell of 2022 hit the southern shore of Oahu. In that week Winkelman recorded most of the footage in his and Kawaguchi’s new movie, “Bloom.”
“Bloom” is a surf film shot and edited by Cam Winkelman with footage solely of Noah Kawaguchi. A majority of the film is shot on the south shore of Oahu, not far from Kawaguchi’s house. It premieres in the ARC on Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. Kawaguchi describes that his goal of the film is to encapsulate the beauty of the ocean rather than just present surfing clips.
“Bloom is a short surf film that is very focused on the beauty of the ocean. It’s not just a bunch of gnarly tearing up [waves] clips but it’s a lot of appreciation for the ocean,” Kawaguchi said.
The name of the film also corresponds with the nature of the waves and the ocean.
“The way I’ve always thought about waves is that they’re kind of like flowers that come and go. They bloom and they’re beautiful and they wither away and they’re only here for a short period of time,” Kawaguchi said.
Kawaguchi was born and raised in Hawaii and has surfed the south shore of Oahu for most of his life. He met Cam Winkelman at PLNU when he transferred here in the spring of 2022 and since then the two have clicked creatively.
“It just really worked out with his creative outlook. He [Winkelman] takes some beautiful videos. It wasn’t really something we had to fish for,” Kawaguchi said.
When Winkelmn came out to Oahu there wasn’t a clear plan in mind for a film to be made. Winkelman was just there to hang out with his friends and get some clips of them surfing. Through that process, “Bloom” was born.
“It’s almost like the way I view the world or a day in my life. We didn’t deviate away from my normal schedule, Cam just kind of hopped in,” Kawaguchi said.
Growing up in San Diego, Winkelman had never seen waves like the ones that were coming in during the Code Red II swell. According to Magic Seaweed the biggest buoy readings since 1995 were recorded on the south shore of Oahu during the swell.
“It was scary. The waves were big. I was just trying to not die and just getting some cool videos in between those moments of trying not to die,” Winkelman said.
Kawaguchi also noted the size of the waves too.
“We drive down to Ala Moana Beach Park and it’s absolutely maxed out, like the biggest I’ve ever seen it,” Kawaguchi said.
During a four day period Kawaguchi and Winkelman were able to capture most of the footage seen in “Bloom.” Winkelman spent a month in Hawaii and when the two got back to school they had a vision of what they wanted to make, and after hours of editing footage from Winkelman’s trip to Hawaii, they came up with “Bloom.” Kawaguchi was able to set up a premiere date on campus for the movie in November.
The premiere will include live music, food, and drinks. The live music will be put together by a friend of Kawaguchi, second year business major, Bradley Miner who will be playing guitar. Miner was able to get some friends together to form a band to play in Kawaguchi’s premiere. Kawaguchi wanted the premiere to be an event rather than just the screening of the film.
“Just got the invitation from Noah. Stoked out of my mind to be playing before the premiere and now that it’s getting closer I’m so excited,” Miner said.
Despite not having a plan in July, Winkelman and Kawaguchi have been able to call on friends and once in a decade swells to put together their surf film, “Bloom.” The premiere is free to attend and all are welcome.
Written By: Steve Anderson