In the early 1970s, Alby Falzon was a young surfer, photographer and magazine publisher who decided that he wanted to make a really beautiful film about surfing. Scraping together just enough money for petrol and a few rolls of 16mm film, Alby began periodically driving up the north coast of New South Wales with a couple of surfing buddies and ended up creating one the classic surf movies of all time – Morning of the Earth.
A new documentary by FiL Baker, The Life and Films of Alby Falzon, explores the story behind the making of Morning of the Earth and the dozens of other films Alby made all over the world. This 44 minute autobiographical documentary is driven by an eclectic mix of contemporary and often ethereal music, playing over four decades of priceless archival footage and photographs.
Alby is an intimate, engaging and often hilarious storyteller, who provides an insight into his life and films in a way that has never been seen before. The story begins with the young, Falzon grommet taking Box Brownie photographs of his friends, when a chance meeting results in an apprenticeship with Australian surf filmmaker and publisher Bob Evans. Alby worked for Bob for a number of years, the highlight being his first overseas trip to Hawaii, where he captured footage of the massive Winter swell of 1969. In this part of the film, Alby debunks a long held surfing myth by revealing three photographs of Greg Noll, dropping down the face of the so-called, biggest wave ever ridden.
Not long after returning from Hawaii, Alby tells the story of how he joined forces with David Elfick and John Witzig to start Tracks Australias first surfing newspaper, which still exists today (though in magazine form). It is in this period of the early 1970s, in between issues of the newspaper, that Alby would go up the coast to film friends and surfers at little known breaks. As the film reveals, David Elfick eventually becomes involved in the film as producer. Alby recalls the trip to Bali where he discovered Uluwatu, how the original soundtrack came together, and his complete shock at the films theatrical success.
The Life and Films of Alby Falzon continues with the story behind Alby and David Elficks next venture, Crystal Voyager, a film about the eccentric surfer, boat builder and inventor George Greenough. The making of this film has a most remarkable tale about David Elfick and what was one of the biggest bands in the world at the time – Pink Floyd.