Article

Interview with FiNS Producer Ira Opper

"FiNS" Documents Modern Surfing And The Culture That Comes With It

| posted on July 22, 2010

When you’re not surfing, talking about surfing, or dreaming about surfing, you’re probably watching surfing. So you may have seen “FiNS,” Fuel TV’s show that documents modern surfing and the culture that goes along with it. The series, produced by Opper Sports Productions won its second Emmy Award this year from The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Pacific Southwest Chapter.

Ira Opper, the producer of the show, has created several sports film and series. Read what he has to say about the award and the making of the show:

What is it like to win an Emmy after having received so many?

The productions that are the most challenging to create seem to receive the most recognition. I was very stoked.

What were you thinking when “FiNS” received its second award?

I was more interested in going surfing the next day because there was a south swell.

Does receiving so much recognition change the way you approach your projects or change your personal goals at all?

No. I am more into the process of making television than the end result. The recognition is great, but for me it is all about crafting the story.

How did the idea for “FiNS” come about and what has your experience producing the show been like?

I had just finished producing the all board movie, “FIN” when Fuel TV contracted with my company to produce a contemporary magazine series. Therefore, many “FIN” are “FiNS.” What I do is called plerking, that’s half-work half-play… plerk.

What was your goal for the show?

Create a core surf series, travel the world, hang out with the world’s greatest surfers and make my house payment.

How is “FiNS” different from the other shows and films you’ve done?

“FiNS” is the culmination of all the films (25) and TV shows (150) I have produced.

Any highlights from your experience with the show?

There are so many: hanging with Ozzie and the Goons of Doom in King’s Cross to midnight runs to Mavericks with the Malloys to chasing after Slater on the North Side for a two-minute interview.

How did your crew react to the Emmy awards?

Everyone on the crew’s day rate went up.

Do you think the recognition “FiNS” has received will bring more surfing content to television or make the public more tuned in to coverage of the sport?

No. They would rather watch “American Idol” or “Cops.”

Anything else readers of SurferMag.com should know?

Don’t drop in on me and you can download the show on www.thesurfnetwork.com.