For better or worse, when John John drops a new edit the surf world stops. And when it came to the release of JJF’s opus, View From A Blue Moon, late last year, the hype it was built upon was unprecedented.

The feature film was met with rave reviews from the surf world, and features stunning landscapes, and as you’d expect, some incredible hi-fidelity surfing–all shot in ultra-high-definition 4K.

But one thing viewers don’t get to see is the inspiration for the film–for instance, how John John’s love of photography influenced its creative direction.

“Growing up, my mom took us traveling around the world,” John John says. “And she was always taking photos everywhere we went. It kind of inspired me to start taking photos.”

“It gives you a really good understanding of how everything works, and so you have a better idea of how shots will look. Moving that into cinema and bigger projects, it’s really cool because the end result comes out really amazing.”

These types of insights, and more logistical ones–like traveling to a spot with 52 Pelican cases full of camera gear–give you a brand new appreciation for the film itself.