• What's the point in being grumpy?
    • Credits:
    • Directed by: Justin Barnwell    |
    • Produced by: Knack Studios    |
    • Screenplay by:
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A Day in Bondi with a Cobba Dingo

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Interview with Director Justin Barnwell from Knack studios.

How long have you lived in Bondi?

 It's going on 12 years now. I moved to Bondi in 2000, there was a buzz in the air with the Olympics round the corner and a volley ball stadium erected on the beach. I will never forget the Olympics in Bondi, mainly due to the awesome left bank that the volley ball stadium on the beach created. Surfing while a match was played and the roars of the crowd echoing into the water. It was a great vibe with a locals only type attitude with parking being impossible. I was new to the surf in Bondi and managed to get heaps of waves… It goes to show how much the sand raking and flat-ness of Bondi creates such shit surf… Bring back the stadium i say! 

How has it changed?

Bondi has changed dramatically since i first moved here. It is evolving. I remember getting a milkshake where platypus shoes is, Playing pool upstairs at the Bondi Hotel, Wining and dining at Jackies, actually going to internet cafe's and drinking at the Regis. Im not necessarily saying that its better or worse now, but lets move on from the past and enjoy the now. 

You've got stuck into helping to create a more creative community with The Camera Club at The beach Rd. How's it going?

 The Camera Club for me was and is such an awesome idea and super fun to be part of the Gallery with good pal and co-pilot of the space, Darryl Nichols. From sprouting the idea, to designing the brand and creating our first show, it's just been god damn fun. A lot of hard work went into making that happen and props to the Beach Road for making this possible. We have had such positive feedback from this and I'm stoked to be apart of efforts to push creativity in Bondi. There are so many interesting people, artists and creative types around, we wanted to embrace this and create a community of like-minded people with the love of photography.

Video on The Camera Club -

Tic Taco has become a yearly exhibition. Is the skate scene in Bondi a highly contested arena to shoot in?

Pretty stoked to have pulled off Tic Taco @ The Beach Burrito for the third year in a row. ( I've been lucky enough to shoot the Vans BOWL-A-RAMA for every year bar one… I remember the first comp they had down there being so freestyle with no barriers, no sponsor signs and just a bunch of rippers shredding the bowl. Today it is an incredible global event and such a slick production. There sure are a heap of photographers that get down to it. With my studio being a stones through from the bowl, i've been lucky enough to be there at the right times and catch the worlds best including Shaun White ( & Tony Hawk (, It's not very often you see these guys skate such a place and you definitely don't want to miss it. 


Tell us about how Knack Studios started?

It all started in 2010 when myself and a few creative pals teamed up as freelancers to work under the one brand. We all had very unique skill sets and joined forces to unleash our creativeness HA! … It has grown into a successful and well respected creative production team specializing in photography, video and design. At present it's myself and fellow Bondi regular Rob Norman leading the group. Myself with a strong background in design, photography and video editing & Rob Norman in film, production and direction.

You've been involved with other community projects in Bondi…

And that's what i love most about Bondi, the community. 

I guess the biggest community im involved with is the surf community. Being a regular black dot scattered across the bay i love paddling out and knowing the majority of the line-up. As cheesy as the saying is , 'only a surfer knows the feeling' it's very true. A tight knit community that takes time and persistence to penetrate and get involved with, but if you stick it out, be respectful and know how to slay, then these are some of the nicest people you will meet and love to have a chat. 

Remember 'Sizzle' Bondi beach community festival? It was in 2010 and celebrated Bondi as a unique and amazing place to live. Featuring the culture, creativity and bringing all the people together. I actually did all the branding and a bunch of the creative. The Garage Art show at the now Camera Club, the movies night at Aquabumps, the Garage Sale Trail and most importantly and funnest of all The Soft-On! The Stab Soft On was a pirate-themed fancy dress foamie competition that wassail about originality, fun and the best of times. Have a look at the video we made and you'll know what I mean...

Being born from the sizzle festival was the Garage Sale Trail. Darryl & Andrew, the brains behind the operations new they were onto something when hundreds of participants took part in The Garage Sale Trail in Bondi, 2010 - leading it into a nation wide event in 2011. Working with the rad dudes at The Republic of Everyone, myself and fellow Knack creative kids have photographed, filmed and edited a heap of content for this amazing idea. Sign up now for this years sale! ( & definitely do yourself a favor and visit P&J's award winning (true) sale on Roscoe Street, this years restored bike and collectable surf board sale is going to off the hook!

What's the plan with Uno Momento?

This is knacks creative baby and latest self created project to launch. After countless surf/skate/snow/music clips with , (don’t get me wrong) awesome shredding with pumping music, we were often wanting more. MORE. Who are these people, what are they thinking, what is a normal day for them, i know they rip but i wanna chat! The concept is based on spending at least one day with them, 24 hours, a surf, a skate, a snowboard, or a god damn funky jam, it doesn’t really matter and that will all depend on the character themselves…Uno Momento aims to find unique individuals with stories to tell, yarns to share and good times to be had… Packaged in short film format – (10 mins max) and housed on dedicated website. 

Our Pilot short film is ‘ A Day in Bondi with a Cobba Dingo’ and features the eccentric Otis Carey. Otis, a pro surfer who is signed with Insight, Arnette, Misfit surfboards, Gravis shoes and Matusse wetsuits, moved from his sleepy Coffs Harbour to down town Bondi Beach and created a storm. Busting Huge airs left right and centre. Heading to the city dwelling beach to get his break, that is exactly what he did. We followed Otis round for a full day and learnt so much about this amazing young man. In the video we chat about him being a father at 22, where he is from and the tribe he belongs to, his addictive nature to cheese whiz’s and his disgust for doing cutbacks. The man has a lot of love to share and we were captivated by his positive attitudes and creativeness.

“I don’t think anyone knows what their purpose is in life, I’m already a happy man. The fact i have a son makes me happy. Every night i go to bed happy. I’m never really grumpy or anything. Whats the point of being grumpy?” Otis Carey. We've got nomadic American surfer Warren Smith and local Australia's favorite skateboard personality Corbin Harris in the edit booth as i type...

You seem to balance love projects with commercial work pretty well, it must take a lot of energy?

I have worked hard on evolving my work into what i want to do rather than what i am told to do. Im fortunate enough to say I do what i love and i love what i do… It took me a while to get to where i am now and definitely wasn't an easy road. But if you put your mind to something, surround yourself with talented motivating people and work hard-enough you'll get there. 


Uno Momento

Knack Studios


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