In the making of any feature-length surf movie, filmers can spend years gathering A-grade footage, conducting interviews, gathering B-roll, and following swell after swell after swell. But with a limited amount of screen time to fill, there’s bound to be good content left on the cutting room floor. Take this deleted scene from Nervous Laughter, the new film from Take Shelter Productions that follows Albee Layer and the Maui Collective pushing each other from gromhood to the air- and-big-wave innovators they are today. Layer and filmer Dan Norkunas planned a group trip to Fiji in hopes that the footage would be used as the closing scene to the movie before they decided to go a different direction with the finale.
“We took this trip at the end of the El Niño season last summer,” explains Layer. “The original idea was to have a feel-good ending segment, where most of the main people in the movie were all together and surfing and having fun. Our original idea was to start the movie talking about how our group grew up surfing together and end it with showing how lucky we are that we get to do the same shit we did as kids. But it ended up not fitting in our movie, along with a lot of other segments. There were a lot of segments that got pulled because we just didn’t have space.”
Regardless of the trip not making the cut, the edit above, titled “Warm & Loveable”, is worthy of its own limelight. Layer, Kai Barger, Billy Kemper, and Dege O’Connell took to Fiji and scored rifling Cloudbreak. “We stayed there for about two weeks, which was cool, because we felt more like part of the staff than guests,” Layer says. “It was one of the most fun times of my entire life. This was the first chance I’ve gotten to go on a trip with everyone from our childhood crew — all we were missing was Matt [Meola]. I think he was hurt or something.”
And of course, the innate competitive nature among the group didn’t slack any just because they left their home island.
“We were betting pushups and squats on who got the best wave of the day,” says Layer. “Then we’d play ping pong and cards every night until 11:00pm. And we’d bet on that, too.”