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Blake and Gilso Chase That Feeling

By Nicola Smith on January 21, 2022 in News

On top of the world. Photo: Ryan Anderson

Blake Thornton and Matthew Gilsenan, two mates from Maroubra, are about to premiere a documentary that showcases the best of the world’s adventure spots.
Chase That Feeling charts their journey as they visit a
new corner of the globe annually for seven years. The pair worked for eleven months of the year to facilitate their annual adventures.
Mr Thornton and Mr Gilsenan have been friends since childhood and have a shared love of filmmaking and adventure sports.
“When I was growing up, I always had the family camcorder out and was always filming stuff which led to us wanting to film each other surfing,” Mr Gilsenan told The Beast. “I filmed Blake a lot when he was getting into the professional part of his career and we made little edits.”
“You meet so many people in life, but you can tell really quickly who you’re in tune with and who you mesh with,” Mr Thornton added.
Thornton, a former professional surfer, Randwick Council lifeguard and surf coach said that the idea for the film arose organically from an ordinary holiday.
“We did a trip to Mexico and did a lot of filming, and Matt made a little edit that got a lot of traction – not just surfing but the travel and stuff,” Thornton explained. “We thought, there’s something more here, more of a story that was engaging, and that was the catalyst for doing more.”
The film covers locations from Tahiti to Canada and Alaska to Iceland, with most of the filming originally being done by the two friends.
“In the truest sense we were a mobile rolling production team. We were living in RVs, and if you weren’t driving you were naming clips and we were just hustling. We were learning on the go too, we didn’t have a background in story telling by any means,” Mr Thornton explained.
As time went on, they also hired local cameramen in each location.
Viewers of the film will experience breathtaking scenery in the locations the boys visited, as well as follow them as they take on some of the toughest challenges the natural world has to offer, like snowboarding in Alaska.
Another highlight of their trip was the natural beauty of Iceland.
“We went in the height of summer, so we had surf sessions from 11pm until 2am because there were 24 hours of daylight,” Mr Thornton told The Beast.
“What we were cramming into our days was ridiculous. There was a little bit of action, but most of it was the landscape and how much it changes. It’s breathtaking. It was like a fantasy.”
The film has been a long time coming, with COVID creating major delays for its release. Looking back, this has led to great rewards in post-production, which they hope will be evident in the final product.
“We worked on post production for two years with our Editor and Director of Photography, Colin Clarke,” Mr Gilsenan told The Beast.
“That extra time allowed us to be so detailed and granular, it’s been a real blessing.”
After two years of travel restrictions, the two friends hope that the film will feed a hunger for adventure in their viewers.
“We’re hoping that there will be a connection to a broader audience where everyone does have jobs and responsibilities but also dreams of adventure. We were no different, but we buckled down and did the work and were lucky enough to experience everything in the movie,” Mr Gilsenan said.
Chase That Feeling will premiere at Randwick Ritz on February 19, 2022. For more information, please visit