Reel On, Great Highway - Surfer's Path

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Reel On, Great Highway

Directed by Mark Gunson

If you liked this issue’s piece on
Ocean Beach and want to know more, keep an eye out for this
captivating documentary, due in the autumn of 2006, about
the little-known history of the San Francisco surf scene. Great
Highway traces the roots of surfi ng in the Bay Area back to Ocean
Beach and Pedro Point in Pacifica and features interviews with
pioneers like Jack O’Neill, Fred Van Dyke, and Dick Keating,
woven together with some classic archival footage.

“The film will tell the history of the beach side of San
Francisco, going all the way back to when the city was founded
in 1847,” says Mark Gunson, the film’s director and coproducer.
“So it’s pretty comprehensive; we interviewed over
60 people for the project.”

Gunson and his co-producers Mark Ruegg and Krista
Howell, have formed a non-profit called Bay Area Surf
Productions to produce the film. Proceeds benefit local
Surfrider Foundation chapters and the O’Neill Sea Odyssey
educational program.

For Ruegg, a third-generation San Franciscan, the project
is personal. “My grandfather was an ocean swimmer, and he
grew up right on 32nd Avenue near China Beach,” he says. “My
father, Bud, was an old Kelly’s Cove surfer, so the coolest thing
for me was getting part of his story into this movie.”

– Dean LaTourrette

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