Documentary filmmaker, Bruce Brown passed away on Sunday. Brown was one of several young filmmakers in the 1960’s who made low budget documentaries on surfing and the beach life style. His classic, was the 1966 movie The Endless Summer. The film cost $50,000 to make, as Brown traveled the globe with two surfers, following summer as it passed from one hemisphere to the other.
There was just something magical about that film. Distributors wanted nothing to do with it, but Brown rented a movie house to show the film for a week. It played for 18 months.
The Endless Summer had a profound effect on me, and my deep seated wanderlust. It wasn’t the surfing that drove my interest, but the world travel, and the idea of following summer from country to country. I saw the film long after its debut, but like the millions before me, I absolutely loved it.
Brown, who surfed and rode a motorcycle most of his life, earned an Academy Award nomination for his 1971 documentary On Any Sunday, a film about the life of motorcycle racers. Steve McQueen was a producer on the film.
Brown’s son, Dana, is also a documentary filmmaker, having Dust to Glory in his credits.
Bruce Brown was 80.