|This is surf filmmaker supreme Bruce Brown's first film: the story of five surfers on their dream trip to Hawaii, spending an entire winter living and surfing on the North Shore of Oahu on $100 a month. Try doing that today!
"It was the summer of 1958. I was a 20-year-old lifeguard in San Clemente, California, which to date is the only real job I've ever held. At nights I worked as a glorified janitor at Dale Velzy's surf shop. Occasionally, while I swept up, Dale would show an 8mm surf film I'd made while stationed on a submarine in Hawaii. He charged 25 cents, and on a big night we'd rake in as much as six dollars. Dale, however, being of of surfing's great characters, envisioned bigger and better things for me. We spent the summer negotiating about making a "real" (16mm surf film). He'd pay for it and I would make it. Eventually, Velzy put up $5,000 which was to include, among other things, camera equipment, 50 rolls of film, six plane tickets to Hawaii and my living expenses until the film was completed. I looked for some surfers who not only wanted a free plane ticket to Hawaii, but who could afford to pay their own expenses once there. I found Del Cannon, an old friend; Henry Ford and Freddy Pfhaler, two well-known surfers from the South Bay; Kemp Aaberg, a hot, up-and-comer; and Dick Thomas, who was the only one of us old enough to have an ID. We boarded the plane for the 12-hour flight to Hawaii, which gave me plenty of time to read my book, "How to Make a Movie." Remember, Slippery When Wet is 42 years old - it was my first film - I was only 20 years old - so gimme a break!" Bruce Brown