Todd Hannigan

Ventura, California

Todd Hannigan has surfed in the Pacific Ocean ever since moving from Connecticut at age 4. Growing up in Ventura, California, the young Todd Hannigan had two huge passions: riding the waves of the Pacific Ocean on his surfboard and playing his guitar until his fingers hurt.

At about age 22, it was time to get serious and pick a profession. That’s when Todd’s mom told him that his cousin Jake Glanz taught sound engineering at New York University. Hannigan asked if he could go stay with his cousin on the couch and learn everything he could about music and the world of sound. His mother gave him the green light, and he went to New York to do an internship. That’s when Todd fell in love with sound, music, and engineering. Soon after, he bought his first sound mixer system and has never stopped. It’s what he’s done his entire life.

His decades of work on environmental documentaries for Patagonia show Todd’s commitment to living in harmony with nature as best as possible. He has a deep connection with film and music. He earned a Grammy in 2014 for Big Easy Express (directed by Emmett Malloy) and has had his work featured in eco-film festivals around the globe for years.

Surfing has always been a therapy outlet for Todd and a way to connect with nature. For his entire life, if things were upside down, he could always count on the ocean to set him straight.

What inspired you to become an 11th Hour Racing ambassador?

I care deeply about the ocean and nature, so the idea of getting to make films and tell stories that can help shed light on today’s most critical issues was inspiring and an immediate yes.

Todd was first introduced to 11th Hour Racing with the Shaped by Water project. Todd scored the 20-minute art film, Rhythm of Water. When asked about the relationship between music and the film, Todd said, “I hope it really adds to and enhances the experience. I don’t have control over how people hear it, but I just really hope it feels like one cohesive piece of art. That’s my goal. Hopefully, it ages well and becomes a legacy piece, so when my daughter is grown up, and she’s maybe playing music, she and everyone else can still look at Shaped by Water and think it was well done.”

Why are you passionate about ocean conservation?

My passion comes from a lifetime of interacting and experiencing the healing nature of the ocean. It has given me—so many others—so much. This is a small but powerful way to try to give back and raise awareness about our ocean and how we can help it, honor it, and protect it in our own backyard and across the globe. I believe that film-making can be trend-setting and help influence the next generation of Surfers and musicians to live more sustainably and rise to meet our current challenges.


Supporting the mission

Project name: Farm to Sea: a film

Project mission: Education, Inspiration, Nature Study