Update: 4/14/2012: In a little more than 24 hours, more than $1100 was contributed to Fire & Water via Kickstarter and the project is on. I can’t way to see it now! Additional funds are still allowed via Kickstarter to the project if you still want to get involved in the film and be a part of what will be an amazing story. My thanks to all the SBC readers that contributed.
Here’s the cliff’s notes:
And the rest of the story:
Last summer I told you about Shadows of the Same Sun, an amazing surf documentary made by Thomas Brookins about the roots of Long Island surfing in the Rockaways and Long Beach. Brookins and the team behind that film are back and working on a new surf film about a local surf legend so many of us have never heard of. It’s the story of surfing’s roots in New York and the hard-working blue collar firefighters who were, and still are, at the forefront of it.
Fire & Water is the tale of “Don “Gums” Eichin, from Long Island NY, who was one of a handful of pioneering surfers in the late 1950’s and 60’s that set out to make a life in Hawaii,” and then brought what he learned back to New York while becoming an NYC firefighter.
Brookins calls this film “an important lost surfing tale that is still being written today as Don’s sons, Eric & Randy follow in their father’s footsteps alongside good friends Brian Walsh & Casey Skudin.”
I had the chance to talk to Casey Skudin who’s known the Eichins since he was four and said Gums “was like a second father.” Skudin grew up surfing with Gums, his sons Eric and Randy, and friend Brian Walsh, and then became a New York City firefighter.
That’s Skudin to Slater (in blue)’s right
I asked him what surfing with Kelly Slater and Travis Logie was like during the Quiksilver Pro‘s Bravest Vs. Finest surf competition. He called it “the highlight” of his surfing career.
Skudin said that being a firefighter was “unpredictable,” much like surfing because the “waves and conditions are always changing” and noted more importantly that surfing was an outlet to “decompress and clear your mind after a long 24-hour shift.” Skudin called Fire & Water “important” because it “will put a spotlight on surfing in NY, along with the people who surf it.”
Back over at the Kickstarter page, Brookins said he was “very proud of the people and Firefighters in this film” and had “no doubt… that people will fall in love with the characters in this film.”
So for those of you that don’t know, KickStarter is a website where anyone can contribute to projects in development – from gadgets to movies – to help amazing ideas become real. Head over to the film’s KickStarter page here and consider pitching in.
Check out the film’s teaser below which is already looking amazing. Help Brookins make Don “Gums” Eichin’s story a reality. Right now the project is sitting at $8,892, $1,108 short of their goal. Every dollar counts and there are only three days remaining so follow this link and toss in what you can.
You can read more about the film and an interview with the writer director here.
And you can follow the movie here on Facebook
In other surf film news, Long Beach Surfers Association and SMASH are hosting a Surf Movie Night at the Long Beach Cinema tomorrow night, where another movie focused on LI surfing will premiere. “Stacked” focuses on the rise of Long Beach’s own Balaram Stack and the Quiksilver Pro.
And Stacked on Facebook