We are the measure of all things. And the beauty of our creation,
of our art, is proportional to the beauty of ourselves, of our souls
– Jonas Mekas
Morning of the Earth was filmed in three countries – Australia, Indonesia and The United States.
In Australia principle photography was on the north coast of New South Wales at Angourie, Lennox Head and Broken Head. We also filmed at Kirra in Queensland. There was also a sequence at The Whale Beach Wedge in Sydney.
In Indonesia we filmed mainly in Bali although we travelled through Java and looked for other possible surf locations.
In The United States we were mainly on The North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii and on Maui.
Often I am asked where the opening golden wave was filmed. People seem to think it was in Hawaii somewhere … actually, when I was at Bells filming on a fairly big wild day I saw this set running through Winkiepop and filmed the last wave in the set. We then optically slowed the footage down to give the appearance that the wave went on "forever". Most of the opening imagery of the rocks was filmed near the cave at Uluwatu/Bali on infrared film there are also a few scenes from inside the Halaekalai Crater on Maui.
The "lefts" at the beginning of the film with Nat, Michael Petersen, Kim "The Fly" Bradley and Mark Warren were filmed at the Wedge at Whale Beach.
Most of the country scenes were photographed around Angourie and pretty much on the North Coast of New South Whales mainly from Crescent Head to Byron area.
There were a few surfers around when we were filming but most of the time we were on our own. The tree house scene with Chris Brock was on the back beach at Angourie. He lived there for a while in the bush and just surfed either front or back Angourie. He must have had so many incredible sessions with no-one out. Chris Brock, Garry Keyes, David Treloar, George Greenough and McTavish surfed Angourie before anyone else. It was their backyard.
The sequence of Nat surfing at Broken Head was a pretty amazing few days. We had been surfing and filming at Lennox Head and decided to check out Broken Head. The swell was on the decline and we just jagged the last of it. There were only a few guys out. It was perfect. The day before must have been all-time.
I can't remember too much about the Petersen/Kirra sequence. There were so many North Coast trips. We'd be working on Tracks in Sydney and the surf would start cranking and off we'd head to the North Coast. I think the Kirra sequence fell into one of those North Coast dashes. I just remember standing there and watching these perfect waves after perfect waves. Michael seemed to be on it all the time. Surfing Kirra for Michael was just a part of his day. It was his playground … it was his wave.
In Bali we stayed in the only available losmans at Kuta. Surfed the beach breaks and Kuta reef. No surfers anywhere. The sequence at Uluwatu was a two day affair. The first time I went to Ulu's it was two feet … the smallest I've ever seen it even after visiting Bali countless times. A few days later the beach break came up so we decided to go to Ulu's and see what it was like … when we walked to the edge of the cliff there were lines all the way to the horizon … it was about ten feet. We surfed and filmed there all day much to the amazement and amusement of the locals who had never seen surfing before and spent the night against the cliff on the small beach next to the cave. It was a full moon and with Rusty playing his guitar, a few Balanese fisherman perched on the rocks against the cliff face and an exploding sea not far in front of us it was a pretty memorable experience. The next day was still big. We surfed and filmed there all day and went back to Kuta in the afternoon burnt and surfed out.
In Hawaii we stayed in a small A-frame at Rocky Point. We didn't have to walk too far to check out the waves. Terry surfed there most of the time apart from his sessions at Sunset. One morning I got up early and went to Pipeline to do some early morning filming. The surf had come up overnight. It was cranking. There was no-one on the beach or in the water. I was the only person there. I remember looking through the lens at these amazing barrels breaking really close to the beach over shallow reefs and thinking … "there is no way I'm going to ever surf that!" It was the first time I'd ever seen Pipeline break and looking into the pits of these beasts was something that I'd never seen before and never forget, it was pretty awesome. Soon the crew arrived and so did Lopez.
Boxed 2 DVD Set
Limited Edition Book