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23 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Surf & Adventure Videographer Dalton Smith of NPI Productions

4 min read

23 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Surf & Adventure Videographer Dalton Smith of NPI Productions

Dalton Smith is the founder of a cinematography team based in Cocoa Beach, FL focused on action sports, adventure, and surfing.

We're stoked that he and his team have been working with Slyde Handboards since 2013.  We've shared the journey with Dalton first hand, as he's successfully turned his hobby into a full-time business.
  1. Dalton is about to turn 27, and 1st picked up a camera when he was 12.
  2. He was born and raised on the Space Coast of Florida.
  3. He started making videos in 2009, it was when GoPro's came along that really took video making to the next level.
  4. Prior to doing filming making full-time he was doing kayak tours and surf lessons to make ends meet.
  5. NPI Productions started with friends "it's funny cause everyone that still works with me are some of my best friends." In the beginning, "we had no idea what we were doing, we were good at making videos, and good at having fun, and it continued to lead us to more people."
  6. He strongly believes that "team work makes the dream work"
  7. NPI Productions the name came from his dad on his 16th birthday which stands for No Pun Intended
  8. 2012 was their 1st paid gig, he did a video of a skim boarder named Willy, and his sponsor saw it on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It was an expense paid trip for a 5 day Skim Jam competition, with no actual pay. Ultimately though, one of the guys at the company did write us a check for a little bit of money. "1st time someone was like here's some money to use your cameras to film something we do."
  9. 2014 really shifted gears, and NPI Productions became a business, and it's been growth every since.
  10. Their 1st big account was Ron Johns Surf Shop, which happened in 2012 when he sold them a billboard image, but NPI Productions didn't go full swing with them until 2014.
  11. Dalton hit up Slyde Handboards in the very beginning stages, when he was trying to get his business off the ground.
  12. He believes one of the most important things in turning a hobby into a business is consistency.  "Buying new camera gear and learning new stuff is part of it, but it's all about consistency of content." 
  13. While also being able to be flexible because things will change no matter what. "A lot people come out with a ton of steam, they have a great talent or great idea, then they hit that plateau and they don't know how to go from here to here."
  14. In November Dalton hung out with Kelly Slater at his house for 3 hours, while his friend Corey Howellworked on his foot and talked smoothie recipes. "He's just a normal guy, he had ace hardware bag and was changing his own lightbulbs"
  15. Talking with Kelly Slater he felt like he got 5 years of knowledge in 3 hours, we talked about food, surfing, life, business.  
  16. He shoots mostly all video, and use a variety of cameras, for years they used a Nikon D750, Sony FS700, recently just bought Panasonic GH5S. Combined with 2 drones, GoPros, I guess you'd say a little bit of everything.
  17. If he were to suggest one camera it would be  Panasonic GH5S  (it's the money maker).
  18. Dalton enjoys filming on the beach because it gives him more options, "but when you nail a shot in the water you're so much more engaged and involved." Ultimately, "If it's shore break get me in the water, if it's really big keep me on the beach."
  19. His favorite video he's filmed, is his "Stoke Series" episodes because they tell stories. One episode in particular was on the Space coast "engulfed his love for story telling and for adventure."
  20. He's excited for a new scope, of episodes called the "Daycations Series"
  21. His overall take on running a film business "it looks glamorous on Facebook, but it's so gnarly sometimes with the hours."
  22. His personal take on being a filmmaker "I'm addicted to positive stuff, I like the vibe, and I enjoy what I do."
  23. Dalton's advice for someone wanting to get into videography " There's a lot need an a lot of competition in the space. Get a good job doing something else first, so that you can fund what you want to do." Plus, ask yourself do you really want it? Because you have to sacrifice a lot. 
  24. The cost involved in a good set up... "Cameras keep getting better and cheaper for the most part, so it's getting easier on the wallet." You can essentially go shoot a video tomorrow for around 4grand. Remember It's all about slow growth you by a little bit, here and there. 
  25. He's advice on the content business. "If you want to build a business with content, you have to just go shoot, go to  your local skateboard park, beach, event, but it on Instagram and Facebook and keep doing it. Consistency really stands out, and is key."
  26. 3 of the guys that work for him, he found thru social media.
  27. His all motto for the business, "Have fun with it, don't loose it. Realize why you're doing it, and stay doing it for the right reasons."
  28. Dalton's handboard of choice is the Bula, he loves being able to paddle with both hands. I'm also really stoked on the Phish "I was making more in out of the barrels, on the phish than any other board."
  29. He believes there's a "New Age bodysurfing Movement" and handboarding will continue to grow "For a lot of reasons not everyone can go surf, surf, whether that's waves or where they live, or their condition or whatever. Having something that can fit into a backpack that some kid in New York City can jump on a subway, and go out to Long Island opens the doors of possibilities for people. 

Check out more of NPI Production HERE

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