R.I.P. Sonny Miller, 1960-2014

Cherished filmmaker passes away

Sonny Miller, one of surfing's finest lensmen.
Sonny Miller, one of surfing’s finest lensmen.

Reports are that Sonny Miller, the man responsible for some of the very best surf films of the 90s, including 1997’s SURFER Poll winner, Searching for Tom Curren, passed away on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack. Sadly, Miller’s mother died just last week.

Miller’s career in surfing started in the ’80s as a photographer for SURFER and Breakout magazines. In the ’90s, Miller moved on to the work for which he's best known—the Rip Curl Search series. Beginning in 1992, Miller made a number of movies for Rip Curl, all beautifully composed and lavishly shot on 16-mm film. The Search, Feral Kingdom, Tripping the Planet, and Searching for Tom Curren remain among the finest surf films ever made.

By the 2000s, Miller had moved on to do camera work for Hollywood film and TV productions while occasionally lending his cinematography chops for surf projects. He'd most recently worked on Ride, a Hollywood surf movie currently in post-production.

We’ll have more about Miller’s life and work later in the week.

R.I.P. Sonny, you were one of the greats.