Filmmaker Tatsuo Takei returns to surf filmmaking's roots by capturing underground logger Tommy Witt in Central America with his Super 8mm film camera. In the ’50s and ’60s surf filmmakers like Bud Browne, Bruce Brown, Greg Noll and more captured surf stars of the day on affordably priced 8mm motion picture cameras. With profits from their first films—or sponsorships by surfboard builders like Dale Velzy, who bought Bruce Brown’s gear for the filming of Endless Summer—these guys all soon upgraded to the higher quality picture of 16mm Bolex cameras. By the ’80s, nearly all surf filmmakers abandoned film cameras for the substantially lower cost of video capture.
Over the ensuing decades a video arms race of sorts began, which brings us to today’s state of the art RED digital cameras at cost of up to $50,000—plus all the other dough for the computer equipment to store and process it. While Tatsuo could use any of today’s best digital gear, he prefers the emotion that 8mm grain offers, and says that when matched with Tommy’s throwback surf style creates a timeless feel. Tommy recently finished runner-up in Joel Tudor's 2015 Duct Tape Invitational at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. This film was made possible with support by HippyTree.