Next Big Surfing Movie
Surfing Movie by ALAN NAFZGER
Next Big Surfing Movie – Pecan Street Press
Lubbock ● Austin ● Fort Worth – Next Big Surfing Movie
Verity’s Surfing Movie is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 Alan Nafzger
All rights reserved.
Verity’s Surfing Movie
SEA AND SKY
Written by Alan Nafzger
Verity’s Surfing Movie – FADE IN
BEGIN TITLES – the letters are undulating as water/waves.
EXT. THE SURF – VARIOUS BEACHES – DAY
Surfin’ at Del Mar, Ventura County line, Santa Cruz and Trestle, all over Manhattan, and down Doheny Way. Pacific Palisades. La Jolla. Surfers riding the huge waves. Surfers crouching in tiny barrels hand dragging the surf. Little kids surfing. Seniors surfing. Females surfing. Lifeguards nervously watching through binoculars. Premium athletes zipping down 10-foot walls of water. Surf competitions. Surfers surrounded by girls. Autographs. Surfboards and gear. T-Shirts. Parties and more surfing. Ambulance carting a surfer away. Medevac helicopters. Surfers watching ankle high waves waiting and waiting. This sequence might be something like a modern SoCal version of Endless Summer (1966).
A surfer is being interviewed by a documentary journalist.
Coral is a surfers worst enemy. It cuts you like a dirty, ragged, razor-sharp knife. It rips jagged openings on your skin and leaves behind bacteria that cause infections that may stay with you for the rest of your life. The scars certainly will.
Many of the world’s best surfing breaks end in tons of water slamming down on serrated coral.
Think of it as a chance for you to learn what it feels like to be a block of cheese being pushed through a grater.
INT. VERITY’S HOME – PROVIDENCE – DAY
We pull back from the surfing and we realize that it is only on television. PAN right to a window to the outside. It is the northeast and winter; there is a foot of snow in the front yard.
PAN right more and we see Verity O’MARA (70), an English Literature professor. She is dressed in black. She is an emotional blank page. She stares, unblinking, at the surfing video on her television.
There is a knock on the door. Verity rises without turning off the television. There are two UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS in suits to escort her to a memorial service. She opens the door and they enter.
Are you ready?
Next Big Surfing Movie
She nods “yes”.
We see her black matching purse, which she leaves on a table. Stairs down; everyone is somber and do not speak. The three exit the home to the street.
EXT. VERITY’S HOME – PROVIDENCE – DAY
The street was recently plowed and we see three feet of snow in a pile at the curb. A neighbor is out shoveling snow from Verity’s sidewalk. He has almost cut a clear path to the street.
Half covered with snow, there is a realtor’s sign listing the house for sale.
Verity stops, still with a blank emotionless stare, and she looks at the neighbor. There is a long beat.
Next Big Surfing Movie
Verity and the men step over some snow and enter a black funerary car.
EXT. STREET – NEIGHBOURHOOD to UNIVERSITY – DAY
The funeral car drives through the neighborhood until it reaches the university. Silence.
EXT. UNIVERSITY – PROVIDENCE – DAY
An east coast Ivy League, very traditional look. There is snow but it is a bright sunny day.
On the far left, students are engaged in a snowball fight. On the near right, two fraternities are playing a football game in the snow.
Verity and the men exit the funeral car. We hear organ music coming from the chapel.
One fraternity scores a touchdown. The student, with the ball in the end zone, notices Verity entering the building.
Verity’s Surfing Movie
Verity and the men stop. Verity watches for a few seconds she doesn’t wave back. She looks confused. And then she starts walking again toward the chapel.
It is a dead ball, but student #1 is roughly tackled by a member of the opposing fraternity. The ball is fumbled and student #1 is driven hard and deep into the snow.
You idiot. Her husband died.
I didn’t know.
The hit was a flagrant foul, after the play was dead. Even for an informal fun game this is a bit extreme. The football players rush to the end zone.
Verity glances out the corner of her eye as she enters the building. The fraternities might fight, pushing and grabbing jerseys. Everyone is at arms length.
INT. UNIVERSITY CHAPEL/auditorium – DAY
Verity is escorted to the front row of the hall with 8 or 10 colleagues. She is clearly the widow. There are university staff, academics and a few students. Maybe some media.
At the front of the hall there is a large framed photo of a distinguished older man – Verity’s deceased husband. There are also four academic science prizes – Nobel, Milner, Kavli, Crafoord, Lasker.
Verity sits and the music is still playing before the memorial service begins.
Verity needs a pen. This might be the first (or second) clue that Verity has Alzheimer’s. Verity realizes she has left her purse at home and turns to another professor…
May I borrow a pen please?
The first, second and third professor there didn’t bring a pen. The fourth has a pen in his coat pocket. Verity smiles at him “thank you”. And the pen is passed down the line.
On a memorial bulletin, she writes a few words. She sits for a moment, folds the paper and returns the pen down the line.
Later, after the service …
Verity is shaking the hands of her husband’s colleagues and friends exiting the chapel, thanking them for attending.
Outside Verity’s hearing, the professors are waiting to console Verity. The professors comment to one another.
There will be a plaque in commemoration.
Maybe the university will erect a statue?
I don’t know why he needs a statue; his books are in every library in the world.
Welcome to the list of the best surfing films of all time. Surf movies are a sub-genre of sports and travel films. More than 1,000 surf flicks have been released since the 1950s, the decade when surfing and cinema met on the sunny shores of California.
Living the dream, searching for new surf spots, riding endless waves, meeting new cultures, and embracing the surfing lifestyle – surf movies are windows to our imagination.
The best surfing movies of all time have a few things in common: the sense of freedom, blue and dreamy waves, surf trips, and endless moments of fun.
In other words, surfers enjoy watching what pleases them aesthetically.
Thomas Edison was one of the first to get surfing into a film.
In 1906, the American inventor captured a dozen surfers riding small offshore rollers at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.
But that was just the beginning. In the next 50 years, the outdoor activity became a popular sport in Hawaii, landed on the West Coast of the USA, and the surf culture started building its proper foundations.
For obvious reasons, the surf movie movement has its roots in California.
In the early 1950s, a 16mm camera cost around $50, and many young surfers-artists wanted to try something new and different.
When the sport of gliding across the waves gained traction in Mainland US, independent filmmakers thought of documenting it by exploring the connection between an outdoor lifestyle, Nature, and the sense of freedom that surfing provided.
Surf Movies: A Lucrative Niche
Bud Browne was a pioneer surf movie director. He started shooting the curl in the 1940s while visiting Hawaii and released his first commercial film, “Hawaiian Surfing Movie,” in 1953.
Browne charged 65 cents for 45 minutes, and he had 500 people watching his first work at John Adams Junior High School in Santa Monica, California.
His first debut film impressed the spectators, but mostly it created an endless world of commercial opportunities for the movie industry.
The answer was quick. Six years after “Hawaiian Surfing Movie,” Hollywood tests the beach party concept with “Gidget.”
The movie was an enormous box office hit.
By that time, John Severson, Bruce Brown, and Greg Noll were already exploring the format, using and mixing short action moments and short interviews with feel-good and comedy sketches.
The 1960s and the 1970s brought new visions and new filming angles and techniques.
Names like Walt Phillips, Paul Witzig, Hal Jepsen, Alby Falzon, Steve Soderberg, and Jack McCoy helped spread the sport to a non-surfing audience.
More recently, Taylor Steele and Chris Malloy continued to evolve the surf movie sub-genre, adding new technologies, modern perspectives, and unexplored filming angles.
To film surfers in the waves, you need more than just perfect offshore conditions and pro athletes; to produce a surf flick that will be remembered, you need creativity, originality, and ingenuity.
So, when the ocean’s flat or when we need extra adrenaline to pump ourselves up and get the blood flowing in our salty veins, there’s nothing like picking up our favorite surf movie and getting inspired.
SurferToday selected the ultimate surf movies.
The waves, the photography, the story, the surf spots, the surfers, and the spirit are always present in these films.