One wouldn't expect a herd of picketing protesters to be raising a ruckus in front of a surf movie premiere; after all, they're not exactly the most controversial films in the world. But on a recent Saturday night, as Globe debuted their new film "Secret Machine" in Laguna Beach, there they were—long hair, funky clothes, hand-written picket signs, your standard, run-of-the-mill hippies doing exactly what hippies are supposed to do. At least that's what Globe would have liked you to think.
After wallowing for almost an hour in the VIP line, and coming damn near close to wrapping one of the signs around some unlucky protesters shaggy head, I finally got in the front door, and for as chaotic and confused as things were out front, an entirely different world was sipping cocktails and munching on eggplant caviar inside the posh Laguna nightclub. Industry folk, Globe team riders like Taj Burrow and C.J. Hobgood (Damien missed the show due to the birth of his first daughter…congratulations!), and all the various Klingons that accompany such a big night on the town rubbed elbows and wandered from one barmaid to the next. And while that's all well and good, it's not exactly newsworthy, and hardly the storyline here.
It all began with an email that Sonny Miller leaked a month or two ago. Already signed onto the Globe project and well into production, he apparently pulled out, citing, among other things, artistic differences as the reason. Like a wildfire in the Angeles National Forest, rumors and stories raged over practically every surf-related chat room and message board on the Internet. Some sided with Sonny, others defended Globe, while some simply ignored it all and just waited to see the film.
Adhering to the "any publicity is good publicity" strategy, we find ourselves back in Laguna and the parking lot where those stinky hippies were out front protesting. As the movie flickered by on multiple screens throughout the nightclub, it became painfully obvious that from the beginning it had all been a ploy to garner as much attention as possible. While the unveiling of this secret did disappoint those that had sided with Sonny, you have to admit, it got people talking, and in this day and age when surf videos are a dime a dozen, that's a very good thing.