I Knew Jack O’Neill // Screen writing

“Kudos to O’Neill for this masterpiece!” BEACHGRIT

Jack O’Neill –  trail blazer, inventor of the wetsuit, is one of those cultural figures who manages to transgress boundaries, beyond the notion of brand to the heady realm of surfing pioneer. When Jack O’Neill passed away in June, surfing lost one of its most iconic figures.

Screen writers Demi Taylor and Chris Nelson were honoured to be asked to tell the story of Jack O’Neill, working with award winning filmmaker Peter Hamblin to produce a tribute to a man that not only changed  surfing forever but impacted the wider world.

// IN CREATING A BARRIER TO THE COLD HE OPENED UP NEW POSSIBILITIES AND NEW PLACES, TAKING US WITH HIM. THINKING WHAT IF? WHY NOT? LET’S GO! //

“When filmmaker Peter Hamblin approached us with this project, we had one week to produce a script that honoured a man who was both a surfing icon to the world and a friend and father to those who knew him best,” says Chris. “In telling the story of Jack O’Neill, we knew we wanted to share both the big moments of his innovations and the intimate details of a man’s life. We were lucky enough to talk story with some of those who knew Jack well in order to share that closeness and familiarity, writing an emotive piece that captured Jack’s spirit, his ethos, and his passions.

The Voice

The Narrator’s journey aims to capture Jack’s spirit, his ethos, and his philosophy, sharing not only Jack’s leaps of innovation and imagination, but those elements of his life that helped shape the man.

The piece is also interwoven with touchstone phrases from interviews and iconic adverts well known in the surfing world, bringing his voice into the piece.

Published

Across world-wide surf media including: Surfer Magazine, Stab, Tracks, Carve, What Youth, Grind TV

Writers: Chris Nelson and Demi Taylor

Director: Peter Hamblin

Editor: Sam Dewar

Animator: Richard Tilley

Producer: Frankie Fogg / Hamblin Imagery Ltd

Jack O'Neill was a maverick with a zen garden and a Jaguar sportscar Jack O'Neill created the wetsuit and changed surfing forever Jack O'Neill viewed the world through a telescope - does that change your perspective?

// I KNEW A MAN THAT CHANGED THE WORLD. WELL THE WORLD THAT I KNOW.  THAT WORLD? IT’S THAT PLANE THAT WE, AS SURFERS, OCCUPY. THAT LINE BETWEEN SEA AND SKY. AND WE’RE HELD THERE BY THESE INVISIBLE FORCES, FLUID MECHANICS, SURFACE TENSION, AND THAT NEED FOR JUST ONE MORE. IT BINDS US, WITH A FLAT-LOCK STITCH. AND IT’S THAT ZONE, THAT FLUID SEAM BETWEEN THE OCEAN AND THE MOUNTAINS. IT’S IN THOSE WILD MARGINS, BETWEEN HIGH AND LOW – THAT WE EXIST. //

 

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