Of Wind and Waves
Press Information and Bio

Contact: David L. Brown (415) 468-7469

November 8, 2007

Of Wind and Waves: The Life of Woody Brown
to Air on PBS Hawaii on December 11, 2007

Of Wind and Waves:  The Life of Woody Brown, an award-winning hour-long documentary on a 95-year-old legend in the worlds of surfing, sailing and soaring, will receive its Hawaii broadcast premiere on PBS Hawaii on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 8 p.m. Woody Brown has not only lived a life full of remarkable adventure and accomplishment – including inventing the modern catamaran, setting world gliding records, and surfing Hawai’i’s 25-foot surf in the early 1940s – but he has also done so with a kind of selflessness and generosity that have made him a role model for three generations of Hawaiians and virtually everyone who has met him.  Two-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, David L. Brown (Surfing for Life), produced, directed and photographed the film. 

  Photo: David L. Brown, Anona Napoleon and Woody Brown at the Hawaii International Film Festival awards ceremony, where "Surfing for Life" received the "Golden Maile Award" for Best Documentary.

Filmmaker David Brown states, “Woody is like a modern Thoreau on a surfboard, living in harmony with the world around him, alive to the possibilities of each new day, and following his own singular vision of how to be in the world.” The documentary captures his unique blend of enthusiasm, wisdom, humor and spirituality that have made him a truly inspirational figure. Born to great wealth in New York City, Woody ran away from the life of privilege to become a protégé of Lindbergh at age 16.  The film portrays his journey to become a world record glider pilot, surfing pioneer and inventor.  It also depicts the tragic death of Woody’s first wife in childbirth which led to the painful decision to let relatives adopt his two children. 

Of Wind and Waves provides a valuable cross-cultural portrait of the land, people and culture of Hawai’i over the six and a half decade span of Woody’s life there. While the explosive economic growth of the islands has unquestionably undermined and obscured many Hawaiian traditions, Woody Brown’s story shows that the spirit of aloha remains very much alive. Of Wind and Waves won the “Inspiration Award” at Mountainfilm in Telluride in May of 2006 and “Best Surfing Film” at the Byron Bay Film Festival in Australia.  The 35-minute version won the “Audience Award for Best Short” at the 2004 Maui Film Festival.

Press Quotes

G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle:  “Powerfully moving.”

Leslie Katz, San Francisco Examiner:  “Sometimes thrilling, often inspirational…the highly satisfying tale of a man whose dedication to nature, simplicity, freedom and fun provide inspiration for all.” 

Michael Fox, San Francisco Weekly:  “This endearing one-hour profile of big-wave legend and nonagenarian free spirit, Woody Brown, succeeds in transcending the sports-doc genre by tapping into its subject’s knack for aging joyfully… His generosity of spirit is impossible to resist.”

The Onion:  “A captivating story abut a man whose outlook on life is infectious and inspiring…the best kick-in-the-pants since Lester Burnham quit his job in American Beauty.”

Santa Barbara IndependentOf Wind and Waves presents the truly inspirational tale of the 94-years-young surfing, gliding and sailing legend, Woody Brown.  Full of timeless advice and captivating stories, this bio-documentary from San Francisco’s David L. Brown tells the story of one of surfing’s most overlooked legends.  There are true gems of wisdom hidden in this movie that are rewarding for all.

Stuart Coleman,  Honolulu Weekly. “It would be hard to imagine a more epic, thrilling life, and it’s a good thing that award-winning filmmaker David Brown was there to put the pieces together in a new one-hour documentary.”

Burt Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Bulletin:  “A lot of fun – joie du vivre – colors Woody Brown’s life, and this is reflected in the film by David Brown….A rich and resonant story for surfers and non-surfers alike.  Woody’s is a life that transcends categories.  A memorable and often heartbreaking documentary.”

Michael Tsai, Honolulu Advertiser:  “ A satisfying one hour film that somehow manages to document the long litany of Woody’s accomplishments while constructing an emotionally powerful story of loss and redemption.”

Krista Walton, The Maui News: “ Woody Brown’s story is indeed remarkable – and remarkably fit for cinema.  Filmmaker David Brown tapped into an impressive archive of film and photography to complement Woody’s story.  Most laudable is that Brown extends the film’s perspective beyond the typical life-of-a-legend narrative.  Woody Brown’s story is most of all an honest telling of an extraordinary life – wipeouts included.”

Click to see Press Photos.

Filmmaker Bio

Producer/ Director/ Writer David L. Brown is two-time Emmy Award-winning San Francisco documentary filmmaker who -- over a 35-year career -- has produced, written and directed over 80 productions and ten broadcast documentaries on social, nuclear, health, environmental, aging, peace and technology issues.

His current projects include a feature length documentary portrait of drummer Barbara Borden (www.kobmovie.com).

His documentaries have received over 80 international awards and have been broadcast on PBS and in sixteen countries. They include:

  • Amazing: The Rebuilding of the Macarthur Maze, a half  hour documentary on the fiery collapse and speedy rebuilding of Oakland’s MacArthur Maze. It will receive a national PBS broadcast in March, 2008.
  • The Bridge So Far- A Suspense Story, an hour documentary on the wild and troubled history on the new east span of the New East Span of the S.F. Oakland Bridge. It received two Northern California Emmy Awards, including Best Documentary. It will receive a national PBS broadcast in March, 2008.
  • Surfing for Life, a 56- and 68-minute documentary (featuring Woody Brown) on older surfers as models of healthy aging, that won Best Documentary and the Audience Award at the 1999 Hawaii International Film Festival, among 20 other awards, and has been broadcast on 150 PBS stations;
  • Digital Democracy Comes of Age, a 30-minute documentary on progressive blogging produced and aired by LinkTV.
  • Computer Classes, the 56-minute PBS documentary on teens and technology, the first episode in the 2-part Digital Divide series (funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting);
  • Seniors for Peace, a 27-minute portrait of a remarkable group of senior peace activists that will air on national PBS in 2004;
  • Bound by the Wind, an 58- and 88-minute documentary on the nuclear legacy which has won 18 international awards and has been broadcast on PBS, in Canada, England, France, Spain and several other countries;
  • A Question of Power, a 58-minute documentary on the nuclear power controversy which received 16 awards and was broadcast twice on public television; and
  • Free Zone: Democracy Meets the Nuclear Threat, a 58-minute documentary on the international nuclear free zone movement which received 13 awards and was broadcast on public television and in several countries.

Brown has produced three film festivals on nuclear and environmental issues and works in the film industry as a producer, director, editor, cameraman, assistant director and production manager. He has produced several films on the elderly and his recent credits include work as producer/ director or cameraman for Greenpeace USA, the BBC, NBC and CBS News and for several non-profit organizations. He teaches documentary filmmaking at U.C. Berkeley Extension and City College of San Francisco and History of Documentary at Film Arts Foundation. His web site is www.DLBfilms.com

Of Wind and Waves Credits:
Produced, written and directed by David L. Brown; Videography by Steven Baigel, David L. Brown, Vicente Franco and Judy Irving; Edited by David L. Brown, Steven Baigel, and Gina Librecht; Sound recording by Jaime Kibben, Randy Mills; Narration by Steve Pezman; Music by Tom Disher, Sons of Hawai'i, Gabby Pahinui, Genoa Keawe, Ray Kane, Keola Beamer.

Click here for Hawaii Press Coverage, August, 2006

Information: David L. Brown (415) 468-7469


Copyright 2017, David L. Brown Productions