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Synopsis: The Watermen is a film about surf photographers who shoot from the water and the dangers and challenges they face to get the shot published in surf magazines throughout the world. As a water photographer myself, I soon realized that most people do not have any idea how water photographers get the shot of the surfer inside the barrel. The most common questions I would hear are, “were you on a board” or “are you on a boat?” I would simply explain to them all I have is just my camera and a pair of swim fins and this response would lead to more questions. Most people are not aware of the dangers that water photographers face, which can range from drowning, being hit by a surfboard, or being attacked by a shark. My goal is to tell the story of water photographers around the world from Ireland to Mexico and show the passion of each photographer and the different challenges they face to reach the ultimate goal. Every photographer’s dream is to have his or her images grace the pages or even better the cover of Surf Magazines.



Run Time

57 minutes


Dan Merkel
Jeff Divine
Brian Bielmann
Jim Russi

Directed by

Johnny Gonzales

Produced by

Johnny Gonzales

Edited by

Johnny Gonzales


Antonio Beliveau
Jan Skubiszewski

Director's Statement

I wanted to make this film to educate the audience on what water photographers have to go through to get the perfect shot.

Director's Bio

Johnny Gonzales grew up in Orange County and from an early age, he enjoyed movies and documentaries. He started as an action sports photographer and soon made the transition into film. He enjoys telling a story that will move or inspire the audience through digital media. He recently graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills with a bachelor’s degree in digital media arts.

Country of Origin

United Stated, England, Mexico, Ireland

Production Year


Official Website



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