Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone. Lies! Just because it rhymes, doesn't make it true. Case in point: John John Florence and his filmer, Blake Kueny, have been tight-lipped about a movie project they've been working on for the last 11 months. It's called Done and it's a 23-minute gold mine of full rotators, deep barrels and casual style, shot on the RED Scarlet (that JJ paid for, as he did the rest of the project). I was lucky enough to view it on this rainy Friday afternoon and I can say that, despite its cloak of secrecy, it was so, so fun. (Or maybe it was because of its cloak of secrecy that it was so good; I hadn't built my expectations too high.)
Blake was kind enough to drive up to the SURFING offices and give the crew a private showing. He brought a projector and a screen. We ate pizza. Drank beer. Ooooed. Ahhhhhed. Every action sequence of JJ, whether it was cut to classical, indie or gangster rap music, was even more impressive than what you'd expect from a year's worth of saved clips from the kid. The airs higher, more technical than ever. His turns maturing before your eyes on feathering J-Bay walls. And Hawaii — sigh — Hawaii. Does anyone do it better?
My favorite part about the movie, or at least what it showed about John John, was the cast. He chooses his family and friends to be his costars. Which shouldn’t be that special but at the moment he is the most coveted surfer on the planet, a kid who can surf and film with whomever he wants. Dane. Kelly. Craig. Jordy. Julian. Anyone. But he takes along the people he has always hung out with. His brothers, Ivan and Nathan. Friends Matt Meola and Albee Layer. Instead of climbing into the VIP lounge of Club Cool, he's throwing his own party. And it's raging.
"That's the only reason I'm here," Blake tells me after we watch the movie. "He could have anyone in the world film him, make a movie about him. But he gave me, a 20 year old from Vista, CA, a shot."
And it was a fine choice, John John. If you're in Hawaii, you can watch Done at the skate park on the North Shore on Sunday night. If you're not, you can watch the trailer here on surfingmagazine.com all next week. When the real deal is dropping on iTunes…well, that's a secret. But it's sometime before Christmas. You will not want to miss it.