The Movie

Albert began to concentrate on the surfers themselves, travelling to their farms along the coastline, capturing aspects of their daily life, the harmony with nature that extends from those moments when they are riding the waves to the way they order their life on land. He filmed Nat Young feeding his chooks on his farm and then riding the waves at Crescent Head. He filmed David Treloar in his old weatherboard house and then in the surf at Angourie. He filmed Chris Brock in his tree house and then surfing at Broken Head.

On some of these trips he took Stephen Cooney, a fifteen year-old surfer whose love of surfing was something of a projection of Albert's own vision. When David Elfick, now associated as Producer of the film, arranged a trip to Bali to see what surf spots could be found there, Albert decided to take Stephen along, his first trip out of Australia, and introduce him to some of the many beauties that life on this planet affords.

Rusty Miller went along on that trip too; Rusty, a former American champion and an experienced big wave Hawaiian surfer: the old man of the sea to Stephen's youthful innocent. Together they surfed the big waves on the north coast of Bali, Rusty taking to the virgin waves as if he were back home in Kauai, Stephen locked into the crystal green water as if he were born to it. Bali meant more than surfing to Stephen for it was his first experience of an ancient Asian culture, and an Eastern approach to life that was radically different to anything he had known in Australia. Albert captured this in the filming of the fishermen who lived entirely out of what they could get from the sea, and in the alien violence of the gambling over cock fights.

– Albie Thoms