Snooki (yes, Snooki) gave birth twice that weekend. Once in Livingston, N.J. at 3 a.m. on Sunday–to her much anticipated, little bundle of deeply tanned euphoria. Once a few hours earlier–to a lethal, golden Guido–amidst ample laughter at the world premiere of Bernie & Ges. On the real Jersey Shore.
“It wasn’t about how many tickets we sold. Sitting in the crowd, amongst people, and listening to them and how well it was received–I think we did a good job,” Alex DePhillipo said after the screening of his latest project. As he stepped away and dispossessed a champagne bottle of its cork, Mike Anthony (the voice of Bernie) said he was amazed that Alex and Ges called him to work on the film.
“It was really, really fun. I guess it showed, how much work we really put into it. He’s working 24 hours a day,” he said, gesturing to Alex, who moved quickly around the soundproofed room and distributed red Solo cups of bubbly as T.S.O.L. performed a wall away. “The turnout wasn’t as great as we wanted it to be, but the way that everybody responded really meant a lot.”
Earlier, Ges said the premiere may have suffered from unfortunate calendar placement: school’s nearly back in session and lots of the local surfers are (or were very recently) down in Virginia for the East Coast Surfing Championships. The massive Music Hall at Atlantic City’s House of Blues admittedly looked a little deserted at 8:30 on Saturday night, a half hour to show time. Ticket holders had stealthily trickled in and congregated in the balcony, and yeah, okay, if the audience had done a wave, it would have been sectiony. But when the lights went out, the place was alive with that energy… you know, that energy that emanates from dedicated watermen stuffed into theaters. Repeat viewers and loyal supporters and… family. Continue reading
Last Wednesday, I brought my board when I met Jackie at the beach–mostly because I could; not necessarily because I expected the surf to be any good. The Park has decided to let us surf anywhere that is not a designated swimming area. Finally. This means that if you happen to have a day free of work or other obligations, you don’t have to rise with the sun to get in a decent session before the lifeguards kick your ass down to the ever-migrating surf beach. Since the regulation relaxation, I’ve noticed a lot more surfers in the water. Lured out by facility, I guess. Getting up super early/dropping by post-work does require some additional effort, which I can see being a deterrent–especially when the afternoon swell is often killed by the wind and the tides only occasionally ally themselves with your free time.
The idea behind Philip Boston’s film Billabong Odyssey is really cool: assemble the world’s most notable big wave riders, dispatch them to exotic locations in search of enormous swells, and hopefully, that elusive 100-foot monster. The documentary is a little bit choppy, but there are lots of compelling moments, like the end: Mike Parsons suffers an insane wipeout at Jaws. A few minutes later, he catches the colossus that ends up as the film’s opening sequence.
The footage from Teahupo’o was actually one of my favorite parts; those wipeouts and over-the-falls clips are agonizing.
In related news, Billabong held its 10th Annual XXL Awards at the end of April. The Biggest Wave Award went to Sebastian Steudtner for his ride at Jaws on December 7th, 2009. Check it out:
Even more related news: Read Zach Weisberg’s blog post on big wave surfing and the industry.