New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
The Bruce Brown Family, along with Bruce Brown Films and Business Partner of 20 years Alex Mecl deeply regret to announce the passing of legendary surfer and filmmaker Bruce Brown on Sunday, December 10, 2017. He died peacefully in his sleep at his family ranch north of Santa
Barbara; he turned 80 years old on December 1.
Brown was an American documentary film director, cinematographer, producer, editor and screenwriter, known as an early pioneer of surf films. He became famous for producing and shooting much of the film footage for "The Endless Summer" which follows the adventures of two surfers, Mike Hynson and Robert August, as they traveled around the world searching for new surfing locations and the "perfect wave."
Mecl, Brown's longtime business partner at Bruce Brown Films stated, "Bruce was the world's first Oscar-nominated lifestyle documentary filmmaker, having produced such movies as 'The Endless Summer' and 'On Any Sunday.' Bruce Brown, may you rest in peace."
For his film "The Endless Summer", Brown not only shot all the footage used in the film, he also wrote and provided the narration. The film cost approximately $50,000 to produce. When the film was released June 15, 1966, it eventually grossed nearly $20 million. Due to the success of the film, the surfing culture and industry changed significantly.
Brown used the money made from the film to continue producing films on surfing and other sports that he was passionate about, including motorcycle racing with the film "On Any Sunday." For that film, he received the backing of Steve McQueen, also a motorcycle enthusiast. The movie was also nominated for an Academy Award as Best Documentary Feature in 1972. Roger
Ebert said of the 1971 release, "The film does for motorcycle racing what 'Endless Summer' did for surfing."
Brown got his filmmaking start while stationed in Hawaii during a stint when he was employed with the Navy. While there, he filmed other surfers with an 8mm camera. After his discharge in 1957, he was asked to create a film about the Velzy Surf Team.
He created Bruce Brown films in 1958 and went on making more films including one about skateboarding, "America's Newest Sport." Others
were "On Any Sunday II" in 1981, "Baja 1000 Classic" in 1991 and in 1992, he came out of retirement to travel on another surfing adventure, "Endless Summer II" which he created along with his son Dana.
Recently, Brown had released a new book, The Endless Summer 50th Anniversary Book and Box Set that documents his travels (along with memorabilia) while filming the movie "The Endless Summer." The book was launched at a special party on April 29, 2017 in Huntington Beach where surf legends came from all over to celebrate, including Mike Hynson and Robert August, the original stars of the film.
Brown was inducted into the Surfer's Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the first Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. The film "The Endless Summer" was inducted into the Smithsonian Museum of American History in 2015.
His three children - Dana, Wade and Nancie, survive Brown, along with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His wife of 55 years, Patricia, passed away several years ago.
To find out about Bruce Brown Films visit their website at http://www.brucebrownfilms.com.
Memorial services are pending; an announcement will be made once plans are solidified. The family has asked for privacy during this time.