The flight to LA took me about 48hrs, so I was pretty broken by the time I arrived at the airport for our global premier in Corona Del Mar in Orange county, California. This was the one that Peter and I where most worried about! We are both pretty unknown South Africans – would anybody actually come?
Luckily Stab and our good friend Damien Farenfort organised the event, so we were in excellent hands! We had one or two days to recover from the flying and then went straight into the premier. The theatre and venue at The Port Theatre really are incredible. My nerves started to kick in when I saw the advert for the film in lights on the side of the cinema – that was definitely a first for me! We got there early and where still stressing that no one would come! I called Dooma and and asked “bro, you sure people are coming?” To make matters worse he replied: “bro, you better invite people, I don’t think anyone is coming!’’ He was totally joking but we took the bait and it didn’t make matters better for us….!
It turned out to be a really incredible evening and a very humbling experience for Peter and myself. Being two unknown South Africans and having almost 400 people come to watch our film in LA was incredible and an experience I will never forget.
The after-party is a blur as you can imagine. That’s been the hardest thing of this tour, trying to manage all the partying that goes along with the premieres! You can’t really say no to people when they have come out to see your film and loved it. The next day was a struggle and then it was time to make the two day journey back to South Africa.
The first stop was Johannesburg for a media tour that Red Bull South Africa had put together for us. Hayley Venter was there to pick us up and take Pete, Andrew Mackay and myself to all the relevant interviews and radio shows. Highlight for me was doing a couple of live TV interviews – that was really fun and different. My Dad called me in Johannesburg and woke me up. I was worried “Dad, what’s wrong are you OK? Why are you calling me in America, what’s happened?’’ He was laughing, saying son, you’re in South Africa! I clearly had no idea where I was.
On Thursday evening we flew back to Cape Town for the Friday night premiere of the film at the Labia theatre. Being from Cape Town that was the one I was most excited about. With one of my best friends Seth Phitidies, and the whole team at Red Bull South Africa organising the whole event it was always going be epic. It was really incredible to have all my friends there and especially having my parents and sister there to be able to see what I have been up to the last couple of years. The theatre was completely packed and we ended up using and filling all four cinemas at the Labia. The after party was crazy, needless to say! After that I had just a couple days to recover before heading off to the Europe leg of the tour.
Next stop for us was London and the London surf film festival. I was not sure what to expect in London – there are after all no waves! But, once again, it was very humbling to arrive at the Curzon theatre in Soho to people queuing around the block. It was completely packed and both cinemas at the theatre were full. Once again things went on late into the night! Next morning we flew to Spain for the San Sebastian film festival.
I had never been to Spain before and didn’t really know what to expect. San Sebastien is such an amazing little town. Post card perfect with incredible food and culture! I definitely want to go back there again soon. The San Sebastien film festival is one of the biggest film festivals in Europe and to have our film showing there was a huge honour. Both nights it played it was sold out. It had Spanish subtitles and I think that it was hard for people to understand. It was nevertheless well received and people seemed really stoked. The rest of our time in Spain was spent eating amazing food and a lot of late nights! Some of the bars only open at 12pm in Spain – I honestly don’t know how anyone gets any work done there.
After Spain I flew back to London for one night, i had left my boards in Heathrow so that i didn’t have to carry them around Spain and hassle with them on the London Underground. The next day I picked my boards up and headed for Ireland where I am now busy writing this blog. We have had some incredible waves here over the past month and I will write an update on the trip. We also have a edit coming out in the next couple of weeks from our trip here, so stay tuned…
A big thank you to the team who made this film happen – you know who you are 😉