The Making of Nervous Laughter

Albee Layer and Dan Norkunas go behind the scenes with their latest big-wave doc

“Jaws is like one of the wonders of the world that anyone can look at and be wowed by it,” says Albee Layer. “I think nervous laughter is trying to make light out of a serious situation. That’s exactly what happens here before a swell.” Layer and director Dan Norkunas can laugh now, as their big-wave documentary ‘Nervous Laughter,’ covering the ’15-’16 El Niño Jaws season, is officially packaged and wrapped for iTunes (You can purchase the film here). But the minds behind Take Shelter Productions knew there’d be a lot of anxious hand-wringing if they missed out on the historic stretch of swell at Pe’ahi. “It was obvious in October [of ’15] that it was going to be a big El Niño. You talked to a lot of people here – the biggest years of Jaws were always El Niño years. I thought about it: if we get to April or May, at the end of the season, and all this crazy stuff happened, and we didn’t document it to the fullest, I was going to be kicking myself.” Hear from Norkunas and Layer in an exclusive interview as they discuss the inspiration for the film, their commitment to telling the story of the Jaws paddle revolution, the tight Maui crew who led the charge, the improvisations that follow a big movie project [Albee: “What about all the good B-roll we got and we found out the mic was broken?”], and more.