For making waves in modern creative media.
Taylor Steele was already a legendary surf filmmaker in 2010 when he launched Innersection.TV, a unique media platform that merges the instant gratification of social media with the crowdsourced content of web video—plus the high production values of traditional filmmaking. Wave riders from around the world post their best footage every month to gain attention and vie for a spot in an annual Innersection film and a $10,000 prize. The 2013 project was its most ambitious: Viewers picked their favorite six directors, and each was sent to a different exotic locale to film a section of an epic surf-travel film called Se7en Signs, which has screened around the world and is available on DVD and iTunes. "When we first started Innersection, it was to showcase the top [people], but it soon became more of a place for the future stars, both filmers and surfers," says Steele, who funds the endeavor through advertising, sponsorships, and film sales. "By having all these filmmakers out there, we have thousands of guerrilla marketers doing a lot of the work for us."