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Remembering A Legend: Bruce Brown on Making ‘The Endless Summer’

Source: The Guardian/Phil Hoad - December 15, 2017 in Adventure

Remembering A Legend: Bruce Brown on Making ‘The Endless Summer’
Photo: Mohamed Nohassi/Unsplash

Bruce Brown, director

The first Hollywood movies about surfing like Gidget and Beach Blanket Bingo gave the sport a bad rep. They made us out to be a bunch of idiots having food fights. We wanted to show how it really was: a legitimate sport. In 1955, while I was doing military service in Hawaii, I started filming my buddies on the waves. By the early 60s, my surf films were giving me a regular income, and I decided to take more time over one.

The endless summer was a kind of pipe dream – the idea that you could travel around the world and always stay in the middle of summer. We started out in November 1963. Originally, we were going to go only to South Africa, but tickets to go around the world turned out to be $50 cheaper. Mike Hynson and Robert August had been in my previous films, but the main thing was they were able to take off for three months and pay $1,400 for their own tickets.

We started looking at the map of countries like Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria, going: “There’s an ocean there, so maybe we can find some surf.”

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