There was just one thing that worried me going into THURSDAY JULY 12th, 2018 at the ASHWORTH on Hampton Beach. One thing. And ironically it was the surf. Huh? Oh yeah, last Saturday July 7th, 2018 I caught a glimpse of the weather as we were walking out the door to go to Rick Evan's party. A tropical disturbance forming off the Carolinas and heading out to sea. Having seen enough of these in my lifetime, I was more than familiar with the track it was going to take. And that track?
Straight out in front of us on Thursday July 12th, 2018. "Oh no..."
I was immediately thrown into panic mode. Cory tried to talk me off the ledge. But I know surfers. And honestly? "Surfers Suck." I can say this because I am one of them. Surfers will do anything to get to the surf. They blow off all kinds of things. And again, I'm speaking from experience. I've done it myself. Besides, this was the "FIRST" Hurricane of the season and we were currently in a semi Flat spell. The newly formed Hurricane Chris with winds up to 110mph that's a CAT 2 storm. I was in a funk. But I also was understanding of the dilemma. I may not have agreed with it, but I understood it.
Hell, I was in RI the day before the premiere chasing down the waves from
CHRIS. And get this, I shot some footage of a woman I've been trying to get for the last two years. Ana Barend has surfed here in NH and Maine as long as any of the girls in the movie. I shot about 8 of her waves on Wednesday night. We got back to NH at 1:00 AM on Thursday morning. At 5:00AM I woke up knowing that I was going to add Ana's waves in the movie.
Long story short. By 2:00PM on Thursday (four hours before the doors opened) the FINAL Edit was complete. All I needed now, was an audience.
This is what it looked like at 6:00PM. 300 empty chairs. My heart sank.
I might have seemed cool on the outside, but inside my paranoia was running a muck. I could see and hear the waves out front of the Ashworth. And knowing surfers the way I do, I knew they were all out surfing. At one point I started to laugh at myself. Hey, they're surfers, they need to surf. I'll just deal with it.
But then something happened. The crowd seemed to materialize like ghosts.
The room started to fill up like I had dreamed it would. And, I went into my "Stephen Spielberg" persona. I had printed up 75 posters to be given out to the first 50 women through the door. One of my friends Kevin or Lenny suggested I sign the posters. And just like that, they were gone.
My super talented nephew QWILL was playing live from 6:30 to 7:30 and he kept the growing crowd entertained. He has three songs in the movie, and his music is the perfect current to drive my visual edits. As are the the others pictured above. Music is as important as the video itself. And I was more than fortunate to have these super talented artists help drive this film.
And speaking of talented artists. My dear old friend Stan Chew presented me with this incredible painting before the movie started.
I've always loved his art, and now, I had an original "CHEW." Wow.
Now about the movie itself. This same artist above wrote a review that best sums it all up. So with his permission, I'll post it here.
"Last night I saw the premiere of Granite Girls and The River Women, a new movie by Ralph Fatello. The movie focuses on the northern New England women's surf scene. As a contrast, surf movies today have been co-opted by the surfing industry's major players (Quiksilver) to promote surf wear. Or, the medium has been reduced to 3 minute edits of professional surfers looking to maintain their relevance on the internet...and while that is all fine, the thing that matters most in surfing has gotten lost, being the importance of culture in a community. There would be no Beach Boy scene in Waikiki or Ski Bums in the Alps without the culture within. The Pump House Gang never would have been written by Tom Wolfe.
So this is where GG&TRW shines. The film, on all levels, is first rate...the surf action, interviews, music, videography, stories, humor and editing are technically well crafted. But beyond that, what makes this film important to viewers from New Hampshire to Stoney Point Minnesota to Peoria Illinois is Ralph's unique ability to capture the fabric of a community and its impact on its culture. My feeling is the audience (a packed house) went to see GG&TRW for the surf and came away thinking of how special the film is on a totally different level. My take is that this film is worthy of Sundance, Cannes and other art house festivals, it has that undefinable THING that is compelling and artistically important.
I am writing mainly to my non New Hampshire friends - keep an eye out for this film and do what you can to get a copy." Stan Chew.
Suffice to say, I was blown away by his review. Stan saw what I had hoped I would convey in that 45 minutes of what turned out to be my longest and biggest surf movie undertaking. I have been making surf movies since 1971. But this project took a lot of time and soul searching to find the right clips. The right stills and the right music. To have it all come together that night almost erased all those days and nights I worked on it. Almost. Because I was emotionally drained after that night. I hadn't slept well in months.
I finally got a good night's sleep on Friday night. I slept until 9AM.
There is a gallery of the night down in the photo section. It's all after the fact. Can't really take photos during the movie. I do want to thank EVERYONE who had a hand in this project. All the photographers, videographers, musicians, and those of you close to me who encouraged me along the way. From my dear close friends to my wife and life partner Cory. She's been through it all with me, and I couldn't do it without her love and support.
Here are a few more video frame grabs from the movie itself.
This is Becca on a warm and sunny day at the Wall.
Julie from her interview segment again, at the Wall.
Maureen and my FIRST ever Facetime Interview.
Erica and her amazing journey back into the ocean.
Lindsay and the wonderful "Surfing With Smiles" segment.
I had everyone give a loud hoot to Molly before I hit the Play Button.
Nicole out surfing the Wall with Hannah out back laughing. And this
is what surfing is all about. Having Fun! Thanks again
for the amazing night of highlighting the women
surfers of the Northeast.
" Surfing Heals All Wounds."
This photo from five years ago shows a man and a woman walking out to the surf. I'm not sure who they are, but I'm sure they are both beyond stoked to be able to share this magical moment together. Ed was the best when it came to shooting the unknowns. He was as I have often said "The unknown surfer's best friend." I too shoot the unknown, but never to the extent of what Ed did. He gave them all a shot at being on this Blog.
There were several photos that Ed took in my movie, including a shot of him with Tony, Hannah, and myself. his pics were instrumental in making my movie a success. Photo by Ed O'Connell
*Click the photo above to see a larger version of Ed's Pic.
Now for Some Local, National and International News
So after the movie the other night my wife found a child's handbag. There were at least two dozen young girls/kids at the movie. All sitting down on the floor up front. One of them apparently left their handbag. So we held onto it and just as I was about to post on social media this woman contacted me to ask if we had seen it. Long story short I dropped it off at Cinnamon Rainbows for them to pick it up. The woman PM'd me to say that young Juliette left me a gift. My wife went down to get it and this is what she left.
How classic is this? Yeah, I'll be putting this into some Granite Girls scrapbook. They live in Quebec Canada. Too cute.
And speaking of cute, this is a VFG from the movie in the family/spouse segment. This is the FIRST EVER family footage of Britt, Sarah, and baby Tag. I know, I know. priceless .
They told me the other day, that baby number two is on the way! That's great! The surf families keep growing on the seacoast.
That's Erin Prawoko at the SURFING With SMILES event. I had a segment on both the SURFING with SMILES and the WOUNDED WARRIORS HIT THE BEACH. The reason? There's a large portion of the women and girls in the movie that help out each summer for both events. And I can tell you without any reservations, that without their help these events would not be nearly as successful as they are. Surfing, Community, and Love.
Now back to the buffoonery of the world.
Leave it to 45 to step all over himself with his never ending world stage snafus. I guess it makes for good fodder for the comics and the bloggers. Lord knows I take advantage of his missteps.
OK this? I love it. Look at the incredible likeness of baby Trump. This should win some kind of award. And clearly this should be in the Thanksgiving Macy's Parade.
I'm sure it would be an instant favorite among the parade viewers. How could it not? The Butter Ball of All Balloons.
KSM Photoshop of the Week
How could I pass this up? The KSM Baby Balloon. Some might call it genius, while others would call it idiotic. Either way, it's here to either chuckle over or cringe. I'll take both. I do know this. There's NO WAY on earth that this KSM baby Balloon will find it's way in the Thanksgiving Macy's Parade. Zero chance.
So my friends, please take advantage of this weekly photo shop of the mastermind who planned 9-11 and resulted in the deaths
of 3,000 innocent civilians by KSM (Khalid Sheik Mohammed).
*Note to self -must pick up a case of Helium
at Home Depot
HAPPY BIRTHDAY John Rastl July 12th, 2018!
Remembering Molly Rowlee on this day July 12th, 2018.
9 years to the day
she left this earth. She is missed every single
hour of every single day.
FYI Lenny Nichols is looking for someone or someones to take over the ESA-NNE District. Please contact Lenny Nichols
by calling his cell (603) 944-2418
THE 11th ANNUAL HIT THE BEACH is set for the last Friday in August. So mark your calendars. Friday August 31st, 2018.
Support ALL The photographers who contribute to
Ralph's Pic Of The Week every week for the last 13 years.
** BUY a HIGH RES Photo
from any of the weeks on RPOTW.
Johnny A is old friend of mine. He's also one of the most talented and innovative guitarists on the planet. I can't tell you all enough just how good he is. But those of you who know me know that I don't say things like this about anyone unless it's true. Trust me. JOHNNY A is great!
CLICK ON THE IMAGE to BUY Tix. I'll be there.
my friends... Surfing Heals All Wounds.
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.