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Saturday, November 27, 2010
Updated: November 28, 4:51 PM ET
"Innersection" disappoints N.C. crowd

This is the first of several dispatches from ESPN Surfing correspondents on the simultaneous premieres of Taylor Steele's much anticipated Innersection fillm. Stay tuned for more.

Emily Conser and Danielle Bourgeois at the "Innersection" premiere in Wilmington, N.C.

"Um, the surfing was sick."

Well, seeing as it's 2010, obviously the action was guaranteed to be sick for Taylor Steele's newest creation, "Innersection." Other than that, this writer -- along with a healthy chunk of the 300 people or so attending the Wilmington, NC, premiere -- felt considering all the online rhetoric, all the surf pub pre-press, all the calling upon us to vote, comment, etc., all the damn hype ... "Innersection" kind of blew.

Kelly Slater eyeballs the crowd at the "Innersection" premiere in Wilmington, N.C.

Sighs, grumblings, and at least one vociferous "what the hell was that!?" filled the UNCW campus theatre. We were baffled at why favorite son Ben Bourgeois' section (filmed and edited by Jerry Ricciotti) was so grossly stripped (half the action, and none of the archival footy originally seen in the edit). The part seemed more like a pop-up ad than one of the most ambitious celluloid ventures of Bourgeois' life. In comparison, a slow-motion lifestyle meandering segued between Craig Anderson's action clippings dwarfed Benny's entire running time.

That's more time given to some ginger flying a helicopter than to North Carolina's best surfer ever.

"I watched every part online," said Bourgeois of his section. "Some were so over the top, people either loved or hated it. Mine was kind of middle ground. It wasn't overboard and all weird and techno, but not too bland, either. That's where we went right."

Where producers went wrong (besides spelling the guy's name wrong) was an obviously rushed final presentation. All the build-up going into this thing, all the promises of rewarding the surfer's talents along with the videographer's creativity, Taylor Steele and Nathan Myers dropped the ball on this one. Of course, you wouldn't know that, talking to Benny.

"Just knowing Jerry's footage was going on the Web for a lot of people to see was awesome," finished Ben, "What's killer is Jerry and I are good friends so it was great to put our heads together and come up with something like this."

Tony Delcotto, Tony Butler, Ben Bourgeois and Jerry Ricciotti at the "Innersection" premiere in Wilmington, N.C.