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Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown

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Also Known As: Bruce A. Brown Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: California, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, actor, editor, sound recordist, director of photography, surfer, house rebuilder

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Dedicated surfer and occasional filmmaker, Bruce Brown ignited an international surfing craze with his 1966 documentary classic, "Endless Summer" (1966). Designated the "Chairman of the Boards" by "Entertainment Weekly," he gained fame and fortune by doing it his way. Brown started out shooting silent footage of his friends surfing off the shore of his native southern California. An instinctual showman, he began screening his little movies at local high schools, providing on-site narration and a tape deck soundtrack. Brown went on to raise a $50,000 budget to undertake a much more ambitious project. Equipped with a sturdy windup 16mm Bolex camera, he teamed up with two teen surfers, Robert August and Mike Hynson, to film a quasi-spiritual quest around the world in search of perfect wave. Their trek led them to Malibu, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. "Endless Summer" boasted extraordinary images and a beguiling innocence. This low-budget and initially self-distributed documentary eventually grossed $30 million.Brown explored motorcycling, another sometimes obsessive pastime, in his next documentary feature, "On Any Sunday" (1971). The charismatic presence of...

Dedicated surfer and occasional filmmaker, Bruce Brown ignited an international surfing craze with his 1966 documentary classic, "Endless Summer" (1966). Designated the "Chairman of the Boards" by "Entertainment Weekly," he gained fame and fortune by doing it his way. Brown started out shooting silent footage of his friends surfing off the shore of his native southern California. An instinctual showman, he began screening his little movies at local high schools, providing on-site narration and a tape deck soundtrack. Brown went on to raise a $50,000 budget to undertake a much more ambitious project. Equipped with a sturdy windup 16mm Bolex camera, he teamed up with two teen surfers, Robert August and Mike Hynson, to film a quasi-spiritual quest around the world in search of perfect wave. Their trek led them to Malibu, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. "Endless Summer" boasted extraordinary images and a beguiling innocence. This low-budget and initially self-distributed documentary eventually grossed $30 million.

Brown explored motorcycling, another sometimes obsessive pastime, in his next documentary feature, "On Any Sunday" (1971). The charismatic presence of ultra-cool movie star Steve McQueen helped make this another solid box-office success for the part-time filmmaker. With a nest egg rumored to amount to $49 million, Brown took off the next few decades before returning behind the camera. He wrote, directed, and narrated the unexpected follow-up, "Endless Summer II" (1994), wherein he followed a new young surfing duo along much of the same route taken by his original stars. Perhaps somewhat less innocent, the $3.5 million sequel utilized a professional crew and state-of-the-art 35mm underwater cameras to display the 56 year-old Brown's undying passion for awesome scenes of surfing.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
  24-7, The Movie (1997) Director
4.
  On Any Sunday (1971) Director
5.
  The Endless Summer (1966) Director
6.
  Barefoot Adventure (1960) Director
7.
  Slippery When Wet (1959) Director
8.
  Surf Crazy (1959) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Water Logged (2010)
3.
4.
 Dust to Glory (2005) Cast
5.
 Curse of the Jade Scorpion, The (2001) Radio Announcer
6.
 Tomorrow Night (1998) Clean
7.
 Zipperface (1993) Brewster Harris
8.
10.
 On Any Sunday (1971) Narrator
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1959:
Began shooting silent footage of his friends surfing
:
Began screening his films in Southern California high school gyms
1964:
Began traveling the world with two young "surf bums", a windup 16mm Bolex camera, and a $50,000 budget in search of "the perfect wave"
1966:
Produced, directed, scripted, shot, edited, recorded sound, and narrated his feature debut, "Endless Summer"
1966:
Premiered his film at a soldout screening in Wichita KS
1966:
Opened the film at Kips Bay Theater in NYC without the help of a professional distributor or a press agent
:
"Endless Summer" eventually grossed approximately $30 million
1971:
Released his second feature, "On Any Sunday", a documentary about motorcycling starring Steve McQueen (produced, directed, scripted, and narrated)
1971:
Received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary
1994:
Returned to filmmaking after 23 years with "Endless Summer II" (scripted, directed and narrated)
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Notes

"This is not to say that 'The Endless Summer', which follows two young surfers as they ride the waves around the world, is a perfect documentary, or that it displays much cinematic skill beyond the demands of the subject matter. But the subject matter itself--the challenge and joy of a sport that is part swimming, part skiing, part sky-diving and part Russian roulette--is buoyant fun.

"That is, as long as Mr. Brown keeps his camera focused toward the breakers.

"There are marvelous shots in color of surfers testing the waters off Malibu, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and, particularly, off Oahu, where the waves are 40 feet high. There is a hypnotic beauty and almost continuous excitement in these scenes."

--Vincent Canby in The New York Times, June 16, 1966.

"After getting rich from 'The Endless Summer', and from 1971's 'On Any Sunday', an Academy Award-nominated documentary on motorcycle racing that he made with Steve McQueen, he moved on to other things. 'I got into restoring cars, and then building houses, and trading commodities,' he says, a little vaguely. He and the family were into 'self-sufficiency,' too--during the late '70s, Brown built a house in Southern California, where he and his wife, Pat, and their three children [now grown] lived with no phone, no power, and few other amenities, not far from the surf but as far as he could get from civilization. . . ."

--From an article by Bill Cosford in Entertainment Weekly, June 10, 1994.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Pat Brown.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Dana Brown. Worked on "Endless Summer II".

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