Billionaire Rupert Murdoch (Fox) shows billionaire Dirk Ziff (WSL) how to make a captivating surf promo!
It takes serious effort, a flair, to create a surf promo that doesn’t smack of sentimentality or self-conscious vanity. Today, if you’re watching Fox Sports, you’ll be socked in the face with the best surf short this year (which ain’t hard, it’s only after all). But it’s good! As good as a sex adventure! As good as the eccentric uniforms on WSL commentators!
The short was made by the twenty-something surfer Luke Farquhar (and Jack Shanahan, Dan Marlin and Campbell Brown), the same creative who made Fox’s world title promo for Gabriel Medina. (Click here!)
“The initial idea was to make a bit of a WSL and use people like Noa Deane to create an irony,” says Luke. “But as we kept shooting, the angle changed, and we went with a general surf theme that included everyone from ragbags to grommets to Kelly Slater.”
Shoots took place at the Australian Open in Manly (Noa and Kolohe) and on the Gold Coast with Gabriel Medina, Matt Wilkinson and so on. Luke hired a tattoo parlour in Coolangatta and planned on shooting Gabriel receiving a (pretend) tattoo. Gabriel didn’t turn up so Luke found Gabs at a Quiksilver promo, set up a barber’s chair, threw on some white gloves and attempted to cheat the tattoo shot.
“I spilt ink all over his arm and it seeped into his elbow. Gabriel was flustered and ran to the tap to wash it off,” says Luke. “It was an awkward moment with the champ.”
Tyler Wright was required to snap a board but refused saying it was “too violent.”
Matt Wilkinson was shot in his white cowboy hat but the shot was pulled after Rip Curl objected.
“The best surfer was Noa Deane,” says Luke. “I thought he’d be the hardest. But he arrived, asked what we wanted and did it.”
The short took a month to make and inhaled an almost thousand-dollar-a-minute budget.