Jack McCoy triumphantly celebrated the world premiere of his new surfing film at the Arlington theater in Santa Barbara, February 1st. “A Deeper Shade of Blue”, debuted as part of the 26th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, complete with a red carpet reception. A mix of some of the surfing world’s most enduring celebrities, and fresh new faces appeared on the runway. South African surfing legend and now local resident Shaun Tomson was there, along with his longtime compatriot, actor and surfer Gregory Harrison. The real Gidget, credited with popularizing surfing for girls for the first time in the sixties, was there. Members of Santa Barbaras’ most famous surfing filmmaker family, Dana and Bruce Brown were also there. And the list went on as the long line of celebrities weaved down the red carpet.
The million dollar movie, which took five years and over 80 cinematographers and photographers, to complete, retells the history of surfing in Hawaii, and it’s subsequent legacy around the world. Although this story has been told many times before, McCoys’, newest spin ads insightful new details and a fascinating montage of images old and new to create a compelling story. One of the film’s highlights includes McCoy’s latest new technique of utilizing an underwater surf scooter to follow surfers underwater, shooting them through crystal clear waters of the South Pacific. Another dramatic sequence had the crowd hooting and gasping as tow in surfers appeared riding gigantic waves at an infamous break int the frigid waters off Tasmania. The ferocious waves spit giant tubes as they folded onto themselves creating thunderous explosions. Fearless surfers pulled into seemingly suicide situations time and again. The filmmaker appeared at the end of the screening for a brief Q and A with a boisterous and appreciative audience. Despite having started the after party a bit early, McCoy was able recount the five year battle to make the film, although slurring his speech a bit towards the end. Many of the celebrities in the crowd had a chance to catch up with the overstimulated filmmaker when they arrived at the after party, utilizing a well stocked bar. The after party appropriately took place in the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, featuring a few short speeches, live music and a surfboard raffle. Shaun Tomson, who has designed a new short board, for Channel islands surfboards, with older surfers in mind, raffled off the board.