In-Flight Inspiration

24 Mar

Last year when I was in South Africa I came across a magazine article about the black surfers of Durban, the Umzumbe Boys. They’re part of a wave of surfers springing up after the end of apartheid, so poor they have to share surfboards, but also so good that they’re getting national attention. In Durban, I also saw middle-aged white surfers sharing the waves with young blacks – something that would have been impossible ten years ago.

I thought it would be a great subject for a documentary and Michael countered, “Why not make it a feature?”

The idea kind of sat there on idle for a while, until this last trip to L.A, when Michael was so angry about Thierry that he said, “Fuck it. We’re going to write Umzumbe Boys. And you and I are going to direct it!”

Why not? It will be difficult to raise the money on two first time directors, but we can wade in and throw our weight around and see if we can bluff someone into giving us a few million dollars. Worst comes to worst, we’ll sell it to a studio for someone else to direct, with us attached as associate producers.

(2004)

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