Alyssa Malliae documents the confluence of salted and chlorinated New Jersey stoke
SkudinSurf American Dream is an enhancement to the New York/New Jersey surf scene. Pros practice here, groms collect clips and Manhattan’s business elite hit the surf instead of a gym. Factor in the occasional Jacob Zelesky and Ben Gravy sighting and you can see that this wave tank is becoming a focal point to the East Coast circuit.
Alyssa Malliae is tasked with documenting, editing and sharing the surf life at the pool. The job came naturally to her after spending years in the brine off the Jersey coast surfing, shooting and generally just being a core surfer in a scene that’s flown under the radar for years.
What is your role here?
I am the videographer. SkudinSurfAD has a team called the Dream Team. It’s a bunch of kids who made the surf team here. So I usually do a lot of video for them. Like I filmed their practices and then they go do other activities in the mall and I will film that. A lot of the pros come and I’ll film them here. So it’s kind of like making videos for social media.
And what is your background? Are you a film major? A photography major? You just picked up a camera and learned it one day?
Yeah, exactly. I didn’t major in it. I used to just love making travel videos and I decided that’s what I wanted to do. So I started my own little business and loved surfing. So started filming, surfing and somehow ended up here.
Being on hand when Filipe Toledo drops by is part of her job description.
So you started filming at the ocean and then moved to here?
Yeah, a lot of land video. I would just go out and film like whoever was surfing and post it. And then people started asking me, ‘Hey, can you film me?’
So and where was that at?
Usually Manasquan or Belmar, New Jersey. You know those spots?
How was the transition from ocean natural lighting to indoor lighting?
Sometimes the lighting here is tough. During the day, it’s perfect, but at night it’s like really dark here. So you got to get the lighting right. But it’s nice that the waves in the same spot every time. So I know where to shoot. That makes it easier.
Have you learned any tricks for when it’s too dark and you have to adjust all your aperture and shutter speed and stuff?
Yeah, well, my new camera the native ISO to shoot in is 12,800. So like, I’m able to brighten it up without it being grainy.
Nerd Alert! Which camera?
It’s the Sony A7s3. So that’s helpful. My old one. Like, I wasn’t having a hard time, but this one makes it a bit easier and it’s not grainy.
So are you a New Jersey native?
I’m originally from New York, but I moved to New Jersey, like, five years ago.
Okay. And what part of New York?
I don’t like saying I’m from Staten Island, but I don’t like telling people that.
So how is the contrast between New Jersey and Staten Island?
I don’t know. Just the people are different. I feel like everyone’s nicer here. Yeah, there’s a lot more to do. Like the beaches here, obviously. So that’s my favorite part.
What are your plans for the future?
Um, eventually I want to have enough clients where I could hire other videographers to go on a bunch of shoots. I would like to stick with surf video. That’s my favorite. But sometimes you gotta follow where the money is. But if I could hire other people to do the jobs that I don’t like as much, and I could do the surf filming, that would be my goal.
Have you been to other wave pools and checked out their photo setups?
Yeah, I actually just went to Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch. I didn’t see any other filmers while I was there. I was the only one filming, but it was cool. I sat on the back of the jet ski and held my camera along the wave. So that was really fun. .
Who were you shooting?
I also work with Summertime Surf Camp in Bradley Beach, and they took a bunch of people there. So I filmed for them. They brought me to shoot their session. Yeah, it was awesome.
Are there any videographers or artists that you admire?
Yes, actually, my friend, his name is Andy Woodward. He lives in Hawaii. I met him while I was there. He’s just like a really awesome videographer, and films surfing. So he’s somebody I look up to with that. He’s just really good.