Q&A With Surf Film Maker Jack McCoy

March 22, 2012, 4:55 pm Jacqueline Chartres Yahoo!7

With the release of Jack McCoy's 25th film 'A Deeper Shade of Blue', Banzai caught up with legendary surf film maker to get all the ins and outs of his latest movie.

Q&A With Surf Film Maker Jack McCoy

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In A Deeper Shade of Blue you focus on portraying the roots of the surfing culture. How much did you enjoy researching and looking back through the history and growth of surfing around the world?
Derek Hynd and I spent about a year and a half researching everything we could find about the people, places and events that helped shape surfing over the last 100 years. Every day we would giggle to ourselves about how much fun we were having discovering things about surfing’s roots and beginnings. It was such a joy. Really enjoyed the entire experience which gave me a greater appreciation of what surfing really is and where it came from.

You’ve been documenting surfing for over 30 years, what was the highlight for you in the production of A Deeper Shade of Blue, were there any surprises for you?
The surprises were daily finding out things that we thought were fact, that sometimes they were not. For instance, Tom Blake is credited with putting the first fin on a surfboard when in fact there were others who had done so before. However Derek and I liked to say that there were some people who “Popularized” something or another to where it caught on. So when the supposed Fact turned out to be a semi hoax, you scratched your head.

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What was the key drive and inspiration behind this film?
To make the best film I could. # 25 is a special number so I wanted to make it a good one.

Is there a key message you want viewers to take away?
That surfing is this ancient pastime that has deep roots in HI and that the evolution of the surfboard is pretty special and that the spirit of Aloha should be returned to surfing in a big way.

There have been so many developments to surfing over 100’s of years, what do you think has been the biggest change and contributing factor?
The evolution of the surfboard.

As a kid growing up on the shores of Hawaii did you always dream of becoming a legendary film maker?
Never! I always dreamed of becoming a proficient waterman, someone who could read the water, conditions like wind, swell direction and tides, and when it was safe to do what I do.

Who’s your favourite surfer of all time to shoot and why?
Just about everyone I’ve ever worked with, they all have added something to my life that has helped me grow as a human being.

In one-two sentences how would you describe the ‘surfing culture’?
Surf culture is something that the ancient Hawaiians did. When the surf was up they dropped everything they were doing and went surfing. Pretty much sums up what everyone who surfs does or thinks of doing when the waves get good.

Just how much has cinematography changed since your first film Tubular Swells which was shot in 1976?
In 1976 I shot 16mm film that only had 3 minutes on each roll. You had to process it and then physically cut it to make a film. Today you have a camera that will record hours of material that you can press a button and see what you shot in seconds. Pretty special. That and the entire process of making a movie is light years ahead of the old daze!

Is 'A Deeper Shade of Blue' your 25th and final film?
No! I hope to make many more, aloha Jack




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