"Whale Tail": the animated surf cartoon with a psychedelic twist

October 2, 2018 | Surfing
Whale Tail: an animated surf cartoon by Paul Ferraris

Paul Ferraris is a surfer and a multifaceted independent visual artist from San Francisco, California.

But he is also a teacher who is getting his students to learn the secrets of animated cartoons. So, he worked on an example, and the result is an eye-catching and surprisingly relaxing short film.

Animated cartoons can be extremely time-consuming, but things have changed a little bit in the past couple of decades.

Ferraris used original video captured by Ishka Folkwell and featuring Torren Martyn, and then applied a few after effects that made the footage look like a film or a cartoon. On top of that, Paul added music by the Grateful Dead.

The photographer-filmmaker ended up creating a striking animated story with a post-LSD twist. Ferraris named it "Whale Tail," and for a good reason.

"Whale Tail" is a psychedelic story about a young San Francisco surfer who was looking for surf before the online surf forecasts, back in a time when you had to feel the elements or listen to the radio to get reliable ocean data.

On a barely surfable morning, the 20-year-old saw a whale emerge out of the water. And then, all of a sudden, it blinked, submerged and, a few minutes later, its tail started slapping the water like if it was waving at the surfer.

The waves got really good after that. Was it because of the magical whale?