San Juan Capistrano, Calif — Preserving a significant discovery from one of Hollywood’s most iconic names, the production group behind the new film Baja Social Club today announced their acquisition of previously unseen footage from action sports legend Bruce Brown. The director of such groundbreaking films as “Endless Summer” and and “On Any Sunday,” Brown is credited with influencing generations of surfers and motorcycle riders around the world through these unique theatrical masterpieces.
The first-generation film (not filmed copies) was found in original metal canisters within the Bruce Brown Films’ archives. More than 70 reels of 16mm film were recovered, much of it shot by Brown at the 1968 NORRA Mexican 1000 for ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” The collection also included 1970 Mint 400 action footage filmed by Brown for his 1971 motorcycle movie “On Any Sunday.”
Documenting the maverick pioneers that exposed Mexico’s rugged Baja peninsula to the world in the late 1960s via off-road motorsports, the Baja Social Club also follows their return to this spiritual home via today’s General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000 vintage rally. Baja Social Club is presented by General Tire, with additional support by Oakley, American Racing Wheel, Azunia Tequila and the National Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA).
After extensive pre-preparation of the vintage footage that included cleaning and replacing hundreds of deteriorated tape splices, Baja Social Club’s Executive Producer Marty Fiolka and Director James Masters realized they had hours of unseen outtake footage that had withstood decades of storage in near mint condition. The duo also found the rare audio tapes of interviews taken at the Mexican 1000, which was then matched with the original film for the first time in their history. Now previously “lost” interviews with off-road pioneers Bruce Meyers, Rod Hall, Vic Wilson, Bob Bondurant and others can be included within the “Baja Social Club” story.
The idea for approaching Brown about any possible footage came from Fiolka, who had worked with the famed director’s son Dana Brown as an associate producer on the 2005 film “Dust To Glory.”
“I was looking through some vintage 1968 Mexican 1000 photographs when I came upon an old Hot Rod magazine image of Jim McKay (host of Wide World of Sports) interviewing Bruce Meyers,” the author of the Baja motorsports history book “1000 Miles to Glory” explained. “Right then I watched a copy of the 1968 ABC show, and realized that the interview only made it as far as Bruce Brown’s cutting room floor. That’s when it dawned on me that there was a slim chance that outtake footage and more could be saved and used in Baja Social Club. Thankfully, Bruce Brown literally opened the doors to his film vault, and there it was stacked on the floor.”
Masters and his team used a small portion of the footage in the team’s original Baja Social Club trailer, then the Rennsport Group secured the rights to all of the outtake film from both the 1968 NORRA Mexican 1000 and the 1971 Mint 400 races.
Beginning in 2010, NORRA was reborn to promote a new Mexican 1000 featuring a unique four-day rally format and vintage off-road cars, trucks, motorcycles and dune-buggies. Affectionately known as “The Happiest Race on Earth,” this year’s General Tire Mexican 1000 attracted nearly 175 teams from around the globe to compete from Ensenada near the U.S. border to the world-class resort destination of San Jose Del Cabo in Baja Sur, Mexico. The Baja Social Club story includes racing icons Malcolm Smith, Walker Evans, Wilson and Meyers following a new generation of Baja enthusiasts at the rally and down the peninsula.
While the Baja Social Club’s final format and distribution are still being determined, Fiolka and film Director James Masters hope to share the film’s special story in the Fall of 2014.
Baja Social Club presented by General Tire
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Entertainment, historic sports and travel
Length: Film-style documentary
Hosts: Limited documentary-style voiceover
Supporters: General Tire, Oakley, Amsoil, American Racing Wheel, Azunia Tequila
The Production Crew:
— Executive Producer: Marty Fiolka
— Director: James Masters
— Creator/Writer: Marty Fiolka
— Editor: Mark Shonka
— Sound/Score: Bob Stewart Sound
— Story Consultation: Michael Noval, Paul Pfanner
— Producer(s): Erin-Lee Adamson, Mike Pearlman
— Associate Producer(s): Darren Skilton, Chris Petrillo, Susan Kennedy
— Voice-Over: Don Capone
— Graphics: Bill Brindle III, Sharon Diaz