We love meeting surfers and creatives from around the world, and Nicole Gormley ticks all of those boxes. As a surfer, freelance filmmaker and who’s worked on documentaries for National Geographic, we just had to find out more about this inspiring woman!
Name: Nicole Gormley aka Gromlet
Location: Venice, CA, USA
Social Media / Website Links: Nicolegormley.com \ IG: @Gromlet
What’s your day job?
My day job is a bit of an ever-changing, but I work as a freelance filmmaker and tv producer specialising in adventure, nature, and environmental content. What I do largely depends on the project and client. Sometimes that means I am directing, producing, setting up all of the logistics, sometimes supervising an edit, sometimes all of it one man band style, other times in larger crews. It depends on the specific project. Yes, my job does take me all of over the world which I love, and I get to work with a lot of really talented, awesome, and different people. In terms of previous projects, I’ve done a handful of shows and documentaries for Discovery, Nat Geo, CNN, Travel Channel, etc. But recently I’ve been getting more and more into branded content mostly because I’ve been able to centre those projects around the things I love… like fishing, surfing, and my friends. Expeditions and environmental work are always my favourite though. I got into media in a bit of a round about way. I studied marine biology in college, but I think I secretly knew I didn’t want to pursue research. I’ve always loved natural history documentaries like Blue Planet, and Planet Earth so somehow became obsessed with the idea of working on Shark Week. So my last couple years of college I interned at Discovery Channel which led me to my first job on set once I graduated. Those first couple years on shows were pretty crazy… I was travelling almost 300 days out of the year and was learning a ton but really struggled with wanting to make positive and impactful ocean-related content. I realised to do that I wanted to be able to direct and shoot my stuff, so I just started shooting more and more of the stuff I’ve always loved like the ocean, surf, and expeditions. I still have a lot of projects I want to do and ultimately hope I make a film that truly leaves the world a better place so still a lot of room to grow.
What is it about the ocean/surfing that captivates you?
Whenever I am in the ocean, I am complete. I can be present without thinking about anything else. And if I am thinking about something else, it helps me work through my thoughts in a positive and meditative way. Surfing, fishing, diving even in days of bad conditions, there is no other place I’d rather be. And I’ve never really found that anywhere else.
Is it difficult to be away from home for long periods of time?
Yes and No. It’s always fun on the road. Especially when you are with your friends in a really awesome place doing something that you are stoked on. But it can be draining and sometimes hard to find alone time; which although I love people is pretty important to me. I’ve started to get better though and trying to find more of a balance between taking time between projects to stay excited and inspired.
How long have you been surfing?
I surfed pretty infrequently in high school with friends. But it wasn’t until I graduated from college I got more and more into it. I realised I couldn’t snowboard as much as I used to when in school, so I really turned to surfing to get outside. I loved that I could surf every day if wanted to. Biggest regret though was that I didn’t start earlier!
Which countries have you surfed in and were’s your favourite place to surf?
Because of my job I’ve gotten a chance to surf in a fair bit of places. Central America, Portugal, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Indo, kind of all over. But there are still so many places I want to go. In terms of my favourite, honestly, I love surfing at home in southern California in September with friends. It’s the best time of year when the water is still warm, and it’s not as crowded because schools are back in session. As a destination, I love any place with warm, clear water bonus points if there is really good food.
The best advice you’ve ever been given?
Being scared or failing is ok. Not trying, is not.
Who inspires you?
That’s a toughie. The list goes on and on and for different reasons. I think the common thread is people that pursue something bigger than themselves. Who are empathetic. Connected. And honest. In general, people that aren’t afraid to be themselves and real. Stand up for what they believe in without taking themselves to seriously.
Your favourite Podcast or Netflix Series or Book at the moment?
I just finished up a great book called Kiss the Ground. It’s about regenerative agriculture and changing how we eat can change the world and protect the environment. I’m super into connecting back to nature through our food, trying to understand where it came from, and the impact it has so it was a great read. I also highly recommend anything from Michael Pollan as well on this subject.
In terms of Netflix, weirdly obsessed with a show called Ugly Delicious at the moment.
Podcast – Always and forever, Radiolab and Ted Talks.