Demi Taylor is a writer, Director at Approaching Lines and Co-founder of the London Surf / Film Festival. She lives in Cornwall with her partner Chris Nelson.
What was the journey that lead you to start the London Surf / Film Festival?
Chris and I met on a press trip – he was a magazine editor and I was managing the PR for the world’s largest surf brand – and the rest is history! We fell in love, packed in our desk jobs, packed up our Winnebago and headed off on a year-long road trip documenting the Atlantic coastline of Europe. We came home, scored a publishing deal, wrote our first book and we’ve been writing partners ever since. We spent a decade writing about surf, travel and culture for brands, books and the national press before founding the London Surf / Film Festival. It’s a celebration of the cream of contemporary surf culture fusing film, art, music, talks, workshops and more, and 2020 is our 10th Edition.
What are you most proud of in your life so far?
On a professional level? I’m probably most proud that people entrust us to tell their stories. We have a film in development following the life of a surfing world champion and we’ve been lucky enough to tell the tales of icons and entrepreneurs from the likes of Atari creator Nolan Bushnell to the founders of Wired Magazine. But it was a real honour for us to be tasked with writing the tribute film for wetsuit pioneer Jack O’Neill.
What books are you reading currently, have read that had an impact on you or plan to read in the future?
I was late to the party and have only just read Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’. It’s a beautiful, sad, funny, exciting, touching, fresh and a heart breakingly accurate account of being young and in love. As feels fitting, I devoured it in an intense sitting.
Do you need to create a particular space in order to be able to write? If so what interior elements are important to create the optimum space to be able to write?
For me, it’s about creating a good internal space of calm, quiet and focus. That usually means putting on my enormous headphones to dull the distractions and having some sort of middle distance to gaze into and loose myself in.
If you had any advice to someone wanting to become a writer or film maker what would it be?
Start. Don’t worry about it being perfect on the first pass, it won’t be. You will get past the horror point of self-doubt (on every project). Don’t stop.
What plans do you have for the future?
Write, tell tales, make movies, make supper, go surfing, travel, stay happy. Not necessarily in that order.
Where can we find out more about you? Approachinglines.com, Londonsurffilmfestival.com
And lastly – what is your favourite cushion from ‘The World in Cushions’ and why?This one from the Harris Tweed collection. I love to travel but I also love coming home and there’s that feeling of warmth and familiarity with Harris Tweed. It speaks of the environment and the landscape it was created in and takes me back to a fantastic week spent walking, fishing and swimming around the lochs and tarns of the highlands with friends.