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
Once back in Australia the editing of over 25,000 feet of film (equal to 20 hours of film) was set about, pruning the footage down to that which best expressed Albert's personal vision, and in accordance with the usual length of a feature film.There was no time to spare as the film had been booked into theatres throughout Australia for the end of summer. So during the hot days of December and January while everyone else was lazing on the beach and cooling off in the surf, Albert worked in his Whale Beach editing room shaping his footage into the film he had waited too long to realise.By now he had a title, inspired by the Dawn of Creation imagery suggested in the infra-red photography that was chosen to open the film:
"One Ocean once covered the world … it was The Morning of the Earth"
In order to create the altered perception necessary for his concept of the film, Albert requested the laboratory to make over 200 optical effects for the film. In most cases his imagination was beyond the capacity of the laboratory, with their archaic equipment, to realise. But the resultant effects give some of the picture: rides filmed at slow motion three-times normal speed have been slowed down another three times in the printing, allowing the persistence of vision on the retina to reveal every nuance of the surfer as he orders his body to negotiate subtle variations of the wave's motion. In other sequences lap-dissolves convey the simultaneous awareness that is a necessary part of a surfer's survival, and parallel cutting reveals the significance of specific aspects of surfboard shaping to the eventual performance in the water.
The Morning of the Earth is an exceptional surf film, and by any standards an amazing achievement for a first film. Its personal vision relates it to the new cinema movement that has rejected the tired preconceptions of the commercial cinema and strives to make film a human information tool, and a means of creating art. It is not by accident that Albert Falzon in referring to his film quoted Jonas Mekas, one of the leading artists of New Cinema in the world today:
"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"
– Albie Thoms