On Wednesday the sun finally came out and the waves all but disappeared on the east coast of Florida after tropical storm Issac turned into Hurricane Issac in the Gulf of Mexico. I kicked around New Smyrna Beach looking for a fitting Endless Summer-like photo and came across these two surfers.
New Smyrna Beach is a little beach town tucked away from the more touristy areas of Daytona Beach to the north, and Cocoa Beach to the south. I’ve been going there since I was two years old, and despite its nickname as “The shark bite capital of the world” I have spent hundreds of hours there in the water and have never once seen a shark there.
In keeping this blog on track about screenwriting, I can’t think of too many working Hollywood screenwriters who are or were screenwriters. But it is worth mentioning the documentary Hollywood Don’t Surf—a movie that was released last year and played at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The doc connects Hollywood’s fascination to surfing over the last fifty years.
By the way, that title—Hollywood Don’t Surf—is a play on the famous line spoken by Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now—”Charlie don’t surf.” That line was written by a surfer/screenwriter—John Milius. On the commentary track of Big Wednesday—which Milius wrote & directed— he talks about going surfing before the day’s shooting started.
Before Milius hit the surf, attended USC film school, or became an Oscar-nominated screenwriter—he was born in St. Louis where his father was a shoe manufacturer. It’s worth noting that Tennessee Williams was a shoe salesman in St. Louis (as was the character Tom in his play The Glass Managerie).
P.S. After spending the day at the beach again on Thursday, I flew back to Iowa just in time to catch the remnants of Hurricane Issac. Just before I took off I also learned I was nominated for another Upper Midwest Emmy for a project I shot earlier this year. Then after I landed I got a call about a shoots in Miami and Dallas with some NFL players. A nice end to a relatively slow month on my end. One thing the ocean teaches you is to be patient between waves and calm days. On stormy days it can also teach you to pray for and appreciate the calm days.
Scott W. Smith