Plot & Details
For nearly half a century, grassroots filmmakers Spyder Wills and Greg Weaver trekked around the world with their movie cameras, shooting now-legendary footage of one and only one subject: surfing. On multiple continents, with extraordinary cinematographic intimacy, Wills and Weaver captured nothing less than the evolution of this sport as it spread, slowly but definitively, around the world. And in time, helmers of both features and documentaries, such as John Milius (Big Wednesday), Larry Yates (The Forgotten Island of Santosha) and John Severson (Pacific Vibrations) began to turn to the Wills/Weaver image archive as a definitive resource of footage for use in their films. For quite some time, film historians regarded much of the pair's footage that went unused in the theatrically-released projects as permanently lost; recently, much of that rediscovered footage was recovered. It forms the backbone of Greg Schell's documentary Chasing the Lotus. Schell intercuts rare super-8 images shot by Weaver and Wills with recently-shot interviews and archival photographic stills chronicling the filmmakers' groundbreaking, decades-long creative journey that paved the way for much of our contemporary understanding and perception of surfing. Jeff Bridges narrates.