George Trimm and Danica Elbertse Are Riding the New Wave of Surf Culture.

By Johnathan Feldman / Photographed by Rob Kulisek
(L-R) Danica Elbertse and George Trimm
 
Filmmaker George Trimm and actress/designer Danica Elbertse first met as teenagers while surfing Doheny -- the same beach in Dana Point, California, where Thomas Campbell learned to surf. A beach with gentle waves, Doheny served as a neighborhood playground for many of the creatively-inclined Seedling- and post- Seedling -generation surfers.

Now a couple, Trimm, 25, and Elbertse, 23, first became known for making French neo-synthpop act La Femme's "Sur La Planche," video in 2011. Directed by Trimm, the video stars Elbertse as an ingénue with a gun in a moonlit sea. A re-edited version will soon be released by French label Barclay, along with a new cut of the song.

And for the past four years, Trimm has been working on Forbidden Trimm, his genre-defying film shot entirely in eight and 16 mm. The film follows a group of secret-agent surfers chased across Utopia by fascist shock troopers. (Not a bad allegory for Orange County.) "Forbidden Trimm is the most substantial project that I've worked on," says Elbertse, who stars in the film. "I've spent many hours debating storylines, digging through junkyards, traveling, escaping locals and constructing costumes. I enjoy working from multiple angles."

While filming wraps on Forbidden Trimm, enthusiasts can hunt down Trimm's underground surf short called Bootleg, which he made for Joel Tudor's Kookbox surfboard company. It's been circulating widely and from hand to hand since it was "released" last summer. "We liked the idea that the movie would not be immediately made available commercially or streamed on the Internet," says Trimm. "Rip your own, give it to your friends -- like surf films used to make the rounds. Anyone who wants to see it will see it. But you'll have to work a bit. It was a passion project for me and it should be a passion project for the viewer."

This spring Elbertse can be seen driving a vintage Cadillac and surfing sun-dappled waves in a promotional video for fashion designer Tory Burch directed by Thomas Campbell. She is also planning to launch her own clothing line by the end of this year, intended for girls who "sleep in vans, surf all day and party till the sun rises."

Subscribe to Get More