Dana Brown is an American surfer and filmmaker, and is the oldest son of filmmaker Bruce Brown. His films include The Endless Summer Revisited which is made up of unused footage from The Endless Summer and The Endless Summer II, as well as some original interviews with the stars of those films. His first all-original film was Step Into Liquid followed by a documentary on the Baja 1000 titled Dust to Glory. In 2009, he debuted a new film called Highwater during the 100th anniversary of the Santa Monica Pier; the film follows life on the North Shore and the surfers who compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
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Hi guys. We are Dana Brown and Robbie Maddison. We collaborated on the new film ON ANY SUNDAY: THE NEXT CHAPTER, which is being released this Friday, 11/7. You can read more about the film here: http://www.onanysundayfilm.com/
We're here at reddit NYC to take your questions. AUA!
Edit Well thanks everyone who was interested enough to ask us some questions. We're big fans of all of you and we hope you love the film. I want to thank Dana for this opportunity, and Red Bull Media House and Skullcandy for giving me the chance to jump down a ski jump on a bike which will be seen for the first time in this film. And if you're wondering where you check it, go to onanysundayfilm.com where there's a list of all the theaters it is showing at in the US (Robbie)
Really appreciate everyone's interest, and I make these films for the audience, and being able to make ON ANY SUNDAY: THE NEXT CHAPTER is a dream come true, and i hope you all get to see it and you enjoy it and thank you! (Dana)
What is your least favorite sport and why?
Probably ping-pong, cuz I get beat all the time! It's in the Olympics, so it's a sport. They call it table tennis.
How's the viagra addiction treating you?
I'm really trying to wean myself off, but...it's hard to stop.
Now you're pissing off the guys with those swords things - now you're going to see tomorrow "Robbie Maddison pisses off fencers, found dead on NYC sidewalk."
What about Point Break?
BIG WEDNESDAY is the best fiction surf film ever made.
And Denny Aaberg who co-wrote BIG WEDNESDAY is a good friend. So I love that film. Own it! Have it! DVD! Watch it.
My least favorite sport would be fencing.
Who or what is your inspiration?
I'd say my family. My father and my late mom and my kids.
How do you like your coffee in the morning?
I like my coffee ANYWAY I CAN GET IT, as long as there's a bunch of it. Intravenously would be nice.
What scares you the most?
Boredom. And that's about it. And maybe not being around friends and people I love, that would scare me.
Hi Dana! I just have to say I personally LOVE Step into Liquid.
For my questions, what was it like filming on the locations for step into liquid?
and which was your favorite?
Oh! It was great filming in the locations, because of all my movies, I really enjoyed doing that one. My favorite location, that's a tough question... Maybe shooting at Cortez Banks, just because that was the first time that wave had been ridden, and to be able to witness surfing history happen, I felt really lucky.
Favorite spot to paddle out?
What was the most complicated part about filming Step Into Liquid?
Hollister Ranch. It's by where I live, and it's a great wave, and it's not crowded, and you get to surf with friends, and that's all the elements you like when you paddle out.
Pfft. Just fitting all the stories into 90 minutes, which I find to be the complicated part with ALL my movies, because every little section is a movie in itself, so being able to distill the essence of a story and be able to tell all those tales in 90 minutes.
Some of my ideas scare the crap out of me. Like, things I'm going to do on my motorcycle, but then it hooks me and I need to figure it out. My next idear is really scaring me, but I'm going to go through with it.
And I'm not going to tell you what it is, so...
I see what you did there, baiting the hook...
Dana: What's the best thing about filmmaking?
Robbie: Can you describe the thrills you get out of being a daredevil?
Best thing about filmmaking for me is doing something that I've always wanted to do, to have a job that doesn't seem like a job, and be able to tell a story - get to do something that makes other peopel happy, and that seems like a real blessing, to be able to do that as your job.
What is your favorite McDonald's dipping sauce? And why is it buffalo sauce?
Oh. I mean... you know, all these buffalos have put so much time into the sauce, it doesn't seem right to ignore the Bison's hard work!
Dana was the hardest director to ever work with... and when I say "hard," I mean Viagra-hard.
Oh god, no...
> BIG WEDNESDAY
That's one of my litmus tests for people.
Yeah. And BIG WEDNESDAY is the best fiction surf film ever made.
Hollister Ranch is way fun. I'm currently in San Diego and surf Blacks and Ocean Beach a lot.
I really like El Capitan near where you are and Jalama is a favorite as well.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Can't go wrong with any of those spots.
How have advances in film technology changed your ability to show audiences what it's 'really like' to experience daredevil or high skill activities like surfing? I saw on the On Any Sunday site you're using an HD camera and was just wondering how those have changed how you make documentaries? I grew up on an Atlantic coastline watching Endless Summer and after years of being used to that style of filming, seeing something like The Art of Flight (just saw it for the first time recently) blew my mind.
I saw Step into Liquid back in 2004 or 2005 just after I moved away from the ocean for the first time in my life. I was maybe 14 and I remember checking it out of the library to watch whenever I got homesick.
Well, the advancements in camera make it a much more visceral experience. This latest movie, ON ANY SUNDAY: THE NEXT CHAPTER, we shot in 4K, which is double the picture quality of what HD is, but at its essence with these movies, I think the point is to try to tell a really good story. So you combine the story element with the advancements in cameras and again, in this movie we used a Dolby: ATMOS mix, I think it makes it, you know, kind of a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.
About 3 minutes. It was just spontaneous.
3 years to make a movie, and it's all derailed by a caffeinated conversation.
What are your thoughts on mixed martial arts?
I think they are very talented athletes and I would never say anything bad about them because they could kick my ass.
favorite sports movies?
Well, my favorite sports movies would be THE ENDLESS SUMMER, SEPTEMBER SESSIONS, ON ANY SUNDAY, my films, and I thought BIG WEDNESDAY was great, and FIELD OF DREAMS, and HOOP DREAMS I really enjoyed too. And almost anything that NFL films does.
is it just surfing in the movie?
No, the new movie ON ANY SUNDAY: THE NEXT CHAPTER is about the world of motorcycling - competition, using motorcycles for good works, and the passion that two wheels creates. It's opening November 7 in theaters across the US.
What is your take on the state of athletic filmmaking today?
I think with the advancement in equipment, getting cheaper and better, I think there's a lot of guys out there trying to do things that are new and fresh. I think it's a really good time. And with companies like Red Bull Media House backing it. helping fund these projects, it's definitely on the upswing.
Awesome insight, thank you! Can't wait for Friday!
I mean, Gary Busey is in both films, but BIG WEDNESDAY is just such a better film. Remember, it was by John Milius who was also responsible for either writing or directing (or sometimes both) some other pretty good movies, such as:
This is all true. I met Gary Busey, he's a very nice guy. Gave me his phone number on a post-it. He gave me 2 post-its. One was for Laird Hamilton, and one was for me, but it was the same number on 2 yellow post-its. But yeah, John Milius is a legend, no question. And a former Malibu surfer!
That's fair. What about the most challenging sport to film? I read once that when the original Roller Ball was filmed the only crew able to get decent footage were the guys that filmed NASCAR.
I think that the MOTO GP, just the speeds they are going, to capture that properly is not easy, and it makes sense as far as Roller Ball goes, because you have to have really talented and experienced camera crew. A lot of stuff I get credit for is not my doing, it's the people I work with. I do film, but you need guys that specialize in that type of thing.
Will there be any references to the original On Any Sunday in this new film? What's your favorite make of dirtbike to ride?
There is some homage to the original - Mert Lawwill who was in the first one also is briefly in this one, but more importantly, the spirit of this one reflects the spirit of the original.
When are you going to take your filmmaking abilities into the world of super intense action cinema? We need another CRANK film.
Oh! I'd love to do a fiction film. If the opportunity arises, then I'd take it. CRANK was good, Jason Statham.
Yes, Mert Lawwill is in THE NEXT CHAPTER. We revisit Mert on what he's currently up to, making prosthetic limbs for people so they can continue riding their motorcycles. I don't believe Malcolm's in it, he's still alive and kicking though.
Yes, Mert does, not Malcolm. And my dad makes an appearance in the film too!
That's awesome. I loved the original, and think it is still one of the most visually beautiful films ever made - In addition to perfectly capturing the spirit of riding.
I very much look forward to the Next Chapter.
Oh good! I agree with your assessment of the original, and I hope we don't disappoint you with this new one.
Will the soundtrack have trippy music still?
I mean, it's a real varied soundtrack and I like it a lot. If trippy is good, then yes! From Arlo Guthrie to Queens of the Stone Age.