Going Vertical: Documentary exploring who started the shortboard revolution.
The epic search to unravel surfing's great mystery… who started the Shortboard Revolution?
Was it as legend has it, the Hawaiians with their giant waves and proud Polynesian tradition, or the Californians, who continue to be the commercial machine of modern surfing? Or was it the brainchild of Australian surfing legend and surfboard designer Bob McTavish, collaborating with American expat, George Greenough.
The debate still rages across the Pacific - who really lit the fuse of this surfing revolution during the tumultuous 1967 'summer of love' that turned the sport, literally, upside down.
Over the last four decades, dozens of books, movies and magazine articles have reinforced the prevailing view of surfing' history - that Bob McTavish is the one-and-only-King of the short board revolution.
But is this claim true? Not according to a groundswell of opinion that's erupted recently in the United States challenging that long-held belief.
Going Vertical, for the first time, tells both sides of this compelling story.
Filmed in Australia, Hawaii and California and featuring extraordinary archival footage of surf legends of the past four decades as well as the hottest surfers today, Going Vertical, is not your usual surfing film.
Set to a pumping soundtrack including tracks by Pearl Jam, Powderfinger, Spoon and Boards of Canada plus iconic artists from the summer of love including Manfred Man, Russell Morris and Thunderclap Newman, Going Vertical is the story of an era, of a revolution and the extraordinary characters who made it happen.
PRODUCER - Robert Raymond
Robert was a successful manager, concert producer and promoter in the music industry. His clients during those years included George Harrison, John Mayall, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Splitz Enz, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs and Dragon. He also produced Australian and New Zealand concert tours for artists including Elton John, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Frank Sinatra, Ravi Shankar, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Doobie Brothers, Steven Wonder and many more.
In the US Robert Raymond had a successful career as a Producer having been a Producer of Steven's Spielberg's Schindler's List, winner of seven Academy Awards, after having initiated the worldwide release of Thomas Keneally's best- selling book Schindler's Ark, including negotiating the sale of the film rights to Steven Spielberg. He was Executive Producer of Somebody's Sweetheart, starring Michael Madsen and Julianne Moore, and Lust in the Dust with director Paul Bartel.
Robert was a producer for Green/Einstein productions on the NBC movie of the week Uptown Women on Downtown Drugs and produced Pippin, which was directed by Bob Fosse for television from a live performance in Toronto, Canada, and produced many other television specials and series including Focus on Hollywood and Hollywood Up Close.
In 2005 Robert decided to return to Australia to develop projects for his own production company Blueseas Films. He Executive Produced Great Sporting Duels, a 52 x 1 hour TV series, distributed internationally by Beyond International and Killer Instinct, a 52 x 1 hour TV series that screened in the US, the UK and in Europe.
DIRECTOR - David Bradbury
David Bradbury is one of Australia's best known and highly regarded documentary filmmakers. His films have been shown on all the major Australian commercial and public broadcast networks as well as overseas. He has won countless international film festival prizes, won five AFI awards and been nominated for two Academy Awards (for Frontline, which profiled war cameraman Neil Davis, and Chile: Hasta Cuando?, on the brutal military dictatorship of General Pinochet).
David Bradbury has earned an international reputation as a filmmaker willing to go to extraordinary lengths for a cause, exposing political oppression and environmental vandalism. His acclaimed films include A Hard Rain, Fond Memories of Cuba, Raul the Terrible, Blowin' in the Wind, Wamsley's War, Jabiluka, Loggerheads, The Battle for Byron, The Last Whale, Nazi Supergrass, Shoalwater: Up for Grabs, Polska, South of the Border, State of Shock, Nicaragua: No Pasaran and Public Enemy Number One.
TECHNICAL ADVISOR AND HERO OF THE STORY - Bob McTavish
Bob McTavish was born in Mackay, Queensland in 1944 meaning he's the youngest 67-year-old barrel-rider on the planet. 'Barrel-rider' means he still surfs big waves and charges like a rhino, trying hard to make the most challenging situation the ocean can hurl at him.
Bob left home at 14, worked as office boy, then panel operator at 4BH Brisbane, looking to go into disc jockeying, but he got the sack for stretching his weekends at the coast just once too often. So he ended up surfing full time at 17 and surviving however he could. His surfing desire was insatiable, and in 1963, he stowed away on an ocean liner just to surf the Hawaiian big surf. He scored a month of great waves before the authorities caught up and sent him home.
Shaping surfboards was a natural call and, by the mid-Sixties, Bob was a leading Australian shaper. He was surfing Noosa and dozens of other great surf breaks before the crowds discovered those coastal gems, developing high performance shapes that carried Nat Young to World Champ victory in 1966.
In 1967 he led the Shortboard Revolution, when he and a few mates cut three feet off the average length of a surfboard. He took the new designs to Hawaii and California, and claims to have ignited the fuse that led to the common surfboards of today.
Bob married Lynn in 1971, and they raised 5 kids in the Lennox Head/Byron Bay area. His son Ben, aged 35, has followed in his footsteps, and shapes the bulk of McTavish boards these days.
Bob continued designing and shaping, and developed high-performance windsurfers in the Seventies, new surfboard construction techniques in the Eighties, and revitalised longboards in the Nineties. In '92 he was voted the 'Greatest Shaper of All Time' by his peers. He has contributed countless articles on surfboard design to various surf media and is a very well known name even outside the world of surfing.
McTavish-branded surfboards are now available worldwide and the distinctive 'Big M' logo is a highly acclaimed symbol of fine design and superb quality surfboards.
Bob's first book, Stoked, a funny and insightful look at surfing's early days, has just been published.
NARRATOR - Simon Baker
Simon Baker is an Australian Film and Television actor best known for his portrayal of Patrick Jane in the hit US TV crime drama The Mentalist, as well as his roles in The Land of the Dead and The Devil Wears Prada, and more recently Margin Call.
WRITER - David Margan
David Margan is one of Australia's top current affairs reporters and producers. A journalist for almost 30 years, he has worked on the Nine Network's A Current Affair for more than a decade. David attended The University of Sydney where he edited the student newspaper Honi Soit. He graduated from ABC public affairs radio AM/PM where George Negus, Ray Martin and Richard Carleton trained. During his career, David has been an investigative reporter with ABC TV and an overseas correspondent based in Washington DC. He also presented Nationwide and The 7.30 Report in Queensland and was a producer on the Network Ten Page One program. David has received three Walkley Award nominations and won two Queensland Media awards. David's credo is "a journalist's only mission is to serve the public interest".
WRITER - Phil Jarratt
Born in Wollongong, NSW in 1951, Phil Jarratt has been one of the world's best-known surf writers for more than 30 years. A former editor of Tracks and The Australian Surfers Journal, and contributing editor to The Surfers Journal, Surfer, Surfing and Pacific Longboarder, Jarratt is also the author of several surfing bestsellers, including Kelly Slater: For The Love (Chronicle, 2008), The Mountain & the Wave (Quiksilver, 2006) and Mr Sunset (GPG, 1997). Prior to working on Going Vertical, Phil was scriptwriter and consultant to producers Jeremy Grolsch and Shaun Tomson on Bustin' Down The Door. His next book, Salts and Suits, an insider's take on the $10 billion global surf industry, will be published by Hardie Grant in March 2010. Phil lives in Noosa Heads, Queensland, where he dabbles in shopkeeping and event management.
EDITOR - Ghita Fiorelli
Ghita Fiorelli brings her experience across documentary, music video, corporate video, television dramas, commercials and broadcast packages to the considerable task of editing Going Vertical, integrating contemporary and archival material with interviews recorded across the globe. Ghita's credits include the short drama My Country and the television comedies The Team, Andrew's Guide to Being a Man and Spy Shop. She has worked for major production houses including The Post Lounge, PULSEfx, editing projects including the Tamworth Country Music Awards, channel promos and ID's for Nickelodeon, a music video for Kasey Chambers and special effects composits for the children's programs Don't Blame Me and Outriders. Ghita was also on-line editor for the Screentime telemovie Jessica.
ORIGINAL SCORE AND SOUND DESIGN - Murray Burns
Murray Burns is one of Australia's top composers for screen. His many credits include Julian Lennon's The Whale Dreamers, All Saints, Jack Thompson's Down Under, Wildlife with Olivia Newton John, Madness Behind Bars, Hot Property, Beyond 2000 (series 1 - 14), Hard Copy, Ultimate Athletes, Uncensored (presented by Jana Wendt), Great Wall of Iron and Submarines Sharks of Steel (both directed by Scott Hicks), E Street and Hot Science. Murray also produced Olivia Newton John's gold album Gaia.
(see biography above)
Life and a deep sense of adventure took Dick Brewer from his home in Long Beach, California, to Hawaii and in 1959 Dick began on a journey that he would continue for the rest of his life. Before surfboards, Dick Brewer was a master toolmaker, aircraft designer and model aircraft champion. Dick had always been an excellent surfer and he quickly established himself in Hawaii as a big wave rider by charging big Waimea Bay and Sunset. He founded Surfboards Hawaii in Hawaii in 1961 and never looked back. Dick Brewer had found his calling making boards. He created the Dick Brewer Gun and, during his famous Bing Pipeliner era, he continued to shape shorter boards. Brewer, a self-proclaimed shaping guru, served as a teacher and an inspirer of a radical band of young surfers during those radical times. Brewer and Bob McTavish first encountered each other in Hawaii in 1963, establishing a life-long rivalry. Dick Brewer's reputation for making some of the world's finest surfboards has endured. He is considered a guru and the master of the craft of surfboard shaping, having personally shaped over 60,000 by hand.
The quiet American, Bob Cooper had an indelible influence on Australian surfing and surfboards. He was one of the first Californians to visit Australia for its surf, later deciding to stay in the country permanently in 1961. Cooper started surfing at Malibu in 1952, well before the onslaught of commercialisation. He initially worked for worked for Velzy Surfboards in the late 1950's and is acknowledged as an expert in all aspects of surfboard construction.
Mick Fanning is considered one of the most committed, talented and fittest surfers of all time. In 2002 Mick finished in the top five in his rookie year on the ASP World Tour and was moving closer to the number one spot each season when in 2004 he underwent major surgery for a significant injury. A committed training regime saw Mick miraculously return to form and start winning events once again. Although he recovered well from the career threatening injury one of his greatest challenges was still ahead of him. For 15 years Kelly Slater has dominated professional surfing. He is, quite simply, the greatest surfer of all time. Since Kelly won his first world title in 1992 no Australian had beaten him for the World Title. In 2007 Mick changed that. After winning the first event Mick put together one of the most impressive competitive seasons of all time. He won three events, finished runner-up in one and made four semi finals. In 2009 Mick Fanning has his sights firmly set on the number one position again.
Skip Frye is a surfer, board shaper and environmental activist. Skip is known for his gliding, fluid style as well as some of the most in-demand surfboards in the world. He is perhaps, best recognized by his iconic logo, a set of wings commonly referred to as 'Frye Wings'. Skip is also known for his innovation with foiled surfboard fins. After a surfing trip to Australia in 1967, he developed his trademark board shapes: the Egg, Fish and specialized longboard shapes. He has also developed a moderate temperature surf wax ('Man Wax'), ideal for his native San Diego waters and a popular retro skateboard. Skip still surfs daily and shapes in the San Diego area.
Stephanie Gilmore is the most talked about athlete in women's surfing. Just out of her teams, Stephanie has already done more than most of people can dream of. Her life as a surfer began at age 10 when she stood on a bodyboard. By age 17 she was entering world tour events as a wildcard competitor, which paid off with a victory at the 2005 Roxy Pro Gold Coast. In her next season she won another wildcard event, the 2006 Havaianas Beachley Classic. Gilmore's success on the WQS (World Qualifying Series) tour qualified her for the 2007 Foster's ASP Women's World Tour and she did not disappoint. She won four events and claimed the 2007 ,2008, and 2009 World Titles.
Mike Hynson rose to fame as the star of the surf cult classic The Endless Summer. He helped found the legendary WindanSea Surf Club in 1962, was one of the instigators of the Boogie Board in 1965 and is credited as one of the creators of the early shortboard with the development of his down rail board. Always a controversial and rebellious figure, Mike recruited Jimi Hendrix to write the score for the film Rainbow Bridge and to perform on stage at the base of Haleakala two short months before his death. He plunged into a wild obscurity through the following decades, then finally dusted himself off in the 2000's, and now continues to be considered a master craftsman whose boards are coveted the world over.
Duke Kahanamoku was the first person to be inducted into both the Swimming Hall of Fame and the Surfing Hall of Fame. Duke is regarded as the father of modern day surfing. An Olympic Champion swimmer, he popularised the sport internationally by including surfing demonstrations when touring the world giving swimming exhibitions. The greatest Hawaiian export ever!
Gerry Lopez was born in Honolulu and became the Hawaii State Champ at the age of 14. Renowned for his casual style and masterful tube riding skills, he came to be recognised as the best tuberider in the world, and won the prestigious Pipeline Masters competition in 1972 and 1973. The Pipeline Masters has been named the Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters for decades in recognition of his achievements. Lopez played an important role in the industry of commercial surfboard manufacturing. Whilst in Hawaii, and together with other shapers, Lopez started the Lightning Bolt Surfboards brand of high performance shortboards. Lopez created the simple but eye-catching Lightning Bolt jag. Gerry remains a truly great surfer still taday.
Sean Mattison was US Surfing champion winning five East Coast championship titles in his career. Sean became a professional surfer in 1987 after considering an art scholarship out of high school. Choosing his passion for surfing over art, Sean found himself in the Top Ten of the Bud Pro Surfing Tour. After competing for several years, Sean started coaching in 1998 and was part of the coaching team that recently delivered the US its ISA World Gold Medal since 1996.
Mickey Munoz was born in New York City and is one of surfing's early pioneers. He was the stunt double for Sandra Dee in the 1959 Gidget movie and has also featured in documentaries such a Riding Giants. Mickey is also famous for his surfboard shaping and for the surfing stance he developed that became known as the 'quasimoto'. His proudest boast is being the only surfer to hit every decent swell that's hit California in the last 55 years.
Known as 'Da Bull', Greg Noll is the most famous of the all the big-wave surfers. His nickname came about because of the fearless way in which he charged down the biggest waves Hawaii had to offer. In the late Fifites, he was riding waves considered impossible even by local Hawaiians. In 1969 he rode probably the biggest wave ever paddled into unassisted by a jet ski. He's also considered one of the greatest longboard shapers/manufacturers ever.
Nine times World Champion, Kelly Slater is widely acknowledged as the greatest surfer the world has ever seen. His story is the stuff of legend. Slater, the child of a single mother, grew up in Florida where there are only small dribbly waves but with natural talent and burning ambition in abundance, he went to the top of his sport, where he stills remains. Kelly Slater is both the youngest and the oldest world champion in history.
Rennie Yater was one of the first people to build surfboards on a commercial basis, establishing his own company in the 1950's, which still exists today in Santa Barbara.
It was during the 1960s that Yater's two most popular surfboard models were conceived. From 1965-66 he shaped the Yater Spoon, one of the most innovative surfboard designs of the time, and from1969-72 he produced the Pocket Rocket, a surfboard designed with Hawaiian surfing in mind, riding the crest of the shortboard era.
Nat Young has lived the surfing life for almost half a century. He is recognized as one of the great surfers in the history of the sport. His motto is and always has been to "make it a beautiful life ". Nat was an integral part in the redesigning of the longboard in the mid 60s and a co-founder of the longboard renaissance in the early 80s. The four times World Champion still lives his life totally devoted to riding waves, surfing either a long or short board at every opportunity he gets.
Wayne Lynch is one of best examples of the purebred evolutionary surfer, one of that small group who pushed the sport through perhaps its greatest shift of skill -- from the longboard stateliness of the early '60s to the full-bore creativity of the shorter-board '70s and beyond. Lynch was born and raised in the small coastal town of Lorne in Victoria, Australia, some 25 miles southwest of the famous Bells Beach. Like many young Aussies of the time he was in the surf almost from infanthood, riding rubber inflatable mats at the age of six in the small, clean beachbreaks of the area. Wayne won the Australian junior title four years running between 1967 and 1970. In Paul Witzig's movie, Evolution, released in 1969, Lynch, along with Ted Spencer and Nat Young are captured at work on surfing's massive leap forward in style, carving turns from the lip to the base and connecting them in combination as had nobody in surfing history. Lynch is a master craftsman in the world of surfboard shaping.
Go to www.goingvertical.info for lots more.
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