Storm Surfers attracts North American distribution and sales offers

25 June, 2012 by Sandy George

Storm Surfers producer Marcus Gillezeau has returned to Sydney from the US with two offers from sales agents, he said, and two from North American distributors.

Gillezeau screened the 95-minute 3D documentary twice in Los Angles last week, at Soho House and the Real D Sceening Room in Beverley Hills. A fifth potential partner is this week screening the film in-house to colleagues who were unable to attend.


Ross Clarke-Jones and two-time world surfing champion (1984, 1985) Tom Carroll, two Australian surfers in their 40s who have been mates for years, are the focus of the story. They live to ride the biggest – and most dangerous — waves they can find and Carroll was caught in life-and-death situations twice during the eight surfing missions undertaken for the film. Meteorologist Ben Matson also plays a key part in the drama.

Because of the challenge of filming at sea in rough conditions and the unique footage obtained by using “human” tripods for the 3D cameras, Storm Surfers is regarded as one of the most ambitious documentary projects to have been filmed in 3D.

Gillezeau said he was particularly pleased that his US audiences understood the humour in the film. Also stoking interest from a marketing point of view is the access available to sponsors’ networks and to additional integrated properties including a game, ebook and webisodes.

The directors Chris Nelius and Justin McMillan gathered 1500 hours of footage for the film which was produced by Gillezeau and Ellenor Cox, who won a Digital Emmy for their work on the drama Scorched.

“I think we were healthy sceptics about 3D before we went into this project but we’re coming out the other side and championing it, because you get an experience here that was never seen before in a cinema and that’s rare these days,” said Nelius.

Madman Entertainment is handling the Australian theatrical release, which is from mid-August.