Morgan Masseen traveled from the Outback to Iceland and back to film the deceptively rugged Imogen Caldwell
The filmmaker shares a bit about the making of his video featuring the fearless 23-year-old surfer
Imogen Caldwell was born and raised where the Outback meets the sea in Red Bluff, Western Australia—one of the remotest regions I’ve ever traveled to, known for its abundance of perfect waves, outback dust and treacherous wildlife. She has a knack for charging massive barrels, making her unquestionably the most rugged woman I’ve ever pointed my camera at.
I first met Imogen as we groggily-boarded Martin Daly’s infamous Indy’s Trader 1 in the unforgiving heat of a random Marshall Islands sand atoll. Most everyone in our crew navigated to a flat surface to find sleep after the grueling journey, but I watched with great fascination as this still-teenage woman explored the ancient vessel, brimming with both wide-eyed fascination and the confident knowledge of someone who had spent more time on the sea than land. We chugged slowly towards Martin’s paradisiac island Beren, where we spent the week shooting, of all things, fashion. Imogen proved herself to have the beauty akin to those who walk fashion shows for Karl Lagerfield, and the work ethic of someone with unfettered hunger for opportunity… but continuously, in random moments of free-diving or exploring the island’s gnarled clumps of jungle, I found myself watching this young woman show off traits of someone raised by nature, afraid of nothing.
That was in 2016, and we’ve now forged a relationship that has taken us across around the world. Starting in her mystical home of Red Bluff, Australia, and adventuring out to the fjords of Iceland, ferry rides in Indonesia, and forests of France, we’ve shared many moments with both friends and wildlife that will stay with me forever. To be able to capture her on film was both an immense challenge and honor, and my humble attempt at making a scratch on the tip of the iceberg of her remarkable story.