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.