“The Coast” Captures Beauty of Ocean, Life For Surfer Awaiting Diagnosis About Deadly Disease

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A few months before turn­ing 30, Hay­den Peters paid a vis­it to the doc­tor’s office. The doc­tor told him what he knew; Hay­den might have a genet­ic dis­ease that would cut his life short. He might not live much past 30. He would under­go test­ing now, and have to wait three months to find out the results. This prompt­ed Hay­den to make a trade. He left the city in exchange for a life, no mat­ter how long, on the coast. 

“I want to be vul­ner­a­ble in life. I want to be in places that scare me. I want to be in sit­u­a­tions that scare me and bring me clos­er to the things that I love,” he says about halfway through the short film made about his life. He con­tin­ues: “You know, when I get into the ocean I’m vul­ner­a­ble. I’m at the mer­cy of the ocean in every sin­gle way and I know that.  I give up con­trol on the beach.” 

 The Coast, direct­ed by Skip Arm­strong of Wazee Motion Pic­tures in col­lab­o­ra­tion with NRS, shares just a glimpse into one life on the cusp of poten­tial­ly dev­as­tat­ing change. In doing so, it serves up a poignant reminder to all humans that wait­ing to live how and where we want is play­ing with fate.

Com­ing in at just under sev­en min­utes, The Coast is con­sid­ered a short film, but it packs a heady punch. Com­bin­ing film tech­niques that span the sky and dip under water allows The Coast to show­case the Pacif­ic North­west coastal land­scape in a way that few films do. The result is part wan­der from a bird’s eye per­spec­tive and part first-per­son surf film, all of which cap­tures shots that bring to mind clas­sic scenes from The End­less Sum­mer. Per­haps what sets The Coast apart most is what a ded­i­cat­ed homage it pays to the most basic human instinct to thrive, instead of just live.