The Search for Freedom
New Documentary Examines "Cultural Revolution," Features Top Action Sports Athletes
Theatrical Release Across USA Starting June 10, 2015.
The Search for Freedom describes itself as "a story told through the eyes of a group of people who helped create a cultural phenomenon." The full-length feature, which is being distributed worldwide by Universal, runs about 90 minutes long and will be released in theatres across America June 10, 2015. "When I first conceived the movie, it was to tell a story about a cultural phenomenon," says Director/Producer Jon Long. "The action sports movement came from humble beginnings and has become a way of life for so many. This is a real story of the action sports revolution and some of the people who fueled it with verve, imagination and courage." Long says that he didn't start out intending to pursue the concept of freedom until he had already interviewed dozens of people. After it kept coming up so often he says he wanted to look deeper into what they really meant. "This film is about the freedom that comes when you become completely immersed in the moment, when all of your focus and energy is fully directed to that place and time," he says.
Long and his crew traveled extensively during the production process to sit down with top pioneers across all the major action and outdoor sports like Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater, Gerry Lopez, Nyjah Houston, Danny Way, Jeremy Jones, Shane McConkey, Robbie Maddison, Robby Naish (Windsurf/SUP), and Kai Lenny (SUP). Standouts from the business world include Quiksilver founder Bob McKnight, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, mountain biking pioneer Gary Fisher and surf filmmaking legend Bruce Brown. Edited without a narrator, the documentary pieces together a unique cross-section of insight that generates great perspective and quotes like this one from surf media pioneer Steve Pezman: “The wave is forming in front of you, the wave is over your head, your wake is disappearing, your footprints are washed from the beach. There's no material production from having done it. There's no depletion. There's no creation. It's just an aesthetic instant.”
“The wave is forming in front of you, the wave is over your head, your wake is disappearing, your footprints are washed from the beach. There's no material production from having done it. There's no depletion. There's no creation. It's just an aesthetic instant.” – Steve Pezman
Those with limited attention spans will be happy to know that most of the discussions take place over a backdrop of impressive action footage. "Ultimately, I wanted to create something that is entertaining and that audiences can relate to, even if some of what they witness is almost beyond imagination, to show why people devote their lives to these activities, sometimes literally. What I hope to show is the reason that most people pursue these lifestyles – their passions – isn't any different from anyone else: They just want to feel free…" says Long.
Jon Long has lived in Nelson, British Columbia, for the past 15 years. He started making skiing, surfing, snowboarding, and mountain biking videos in the '90s, then eventually gained more mainstream notoriety with the success of IMAX Extreme. Jon has since worked with Disney, National Geographic, PBS, Universal, and Entertainment One. He recently founded The Earth Network and is currently developing a documentary called The Next Step, about a paradigm shift in education, and a new action sport related documentary called Flow. In his first email to Transworld Business in late 2013, Long said the goal of The Search For Freedom is to entertain and inspire a diverse audience, to tell a positive, meaningful story and celebrate a cultural movement."
[Editor's Note: The producers of The Search For Freedom came to the Transworld Business office back in Apr. 2014 to interview Rob Campbell for the project. He is shown and quoted in the movie.]