Award-winning Director Taylor Steele’s brand new film, Missing, puts ASP World Champion, Mick Fanning (AUS), in some of the most radical places on the planet alongside his good friends John John Florence (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and the legendary Tom Curren (USA) all disappear with MF on the search for something different.
“I was going on a trip to somewhere but I didn’t know where, kind of like being kidnapped,” said Mick Fanning.
Go behind-the-scenes with Director Taylor Steele:
Under the direction of the world renowned film-maker, the project takes Mick Fanning out of the competition world of the ASP, gives him a boarding pass with a blank destination and for 21 days he is relocated all over the world with only a passport, suitcase and surfboard at his disposal. As a result, the surfing is special, raw and some of the best that you’ll see on screen this year. From Africa and Ireland to Central America and Spain, the experience literally is life changing for Mick Fanning.
“I wanted to work with Taylor and was trying to come up with a concept, but it all got too hard. I didn’t need another thing to concentrate on as my life can be so regimented at times that I just said to him, you know what? You surprise me. I’ll give you 21 days in July between events and whatever you want to do, I’m up for it,” Fanning said.
From there, the concept went undercover as Steele, Rip Curl and Garage Entertainment assembled the cast, the crew and the locations – all without MF knowing a thing. Basically, he would turn up on day one, be given a boarding pass and told to get on a plane. From there it was keep moving, keep being blown away, day- after-day layered with surprise.
In Africa for stop one, instead of hitting the surf fresh off the plane like he usually would, he found himself trekking through jungles alongside armed guides.
“I thought, ‘What’s going on here? We’re not going surfing.’ Right off the bat I ended up on top of a mountain hanging with Gorillas, face to face with these primates in their world, not mine, and a long way from home.”
However, the surfing would come, too, in waves not usually seen, and the style of it relaxed, open and free. Away from pressure of the 2013 world title hunt that Mick Fanning is very much at the forefront of.
In the wilds of Africa, Steele linked him with local Jordy Smith and his long time Rip Curl teammate, Matt Wilkinson. In Ireland, he walked into a pub where his best mate Taylor Knox and wife Karissa were waiting with a pint of Guinness. In an undisclosed location, a chopper arrived and flew him and John John Florence to a secluded right hand reef for the day. In another jungle, waiting under a palm tree, off a big right peak, was the enigmatic Tom Curren. As a result the surfing is special and some of the best you’ll see on screen this year.
“They did a good job,” said Mick, “kept me guessing, kept me searching. Taylor and our small crew of photographers were awesome. There’s nothing we did not do for each other to make the project work. At one stage Taylor was in hospital and so sick, that we had to sneak in and steal him to get to the next location. But he did it, he was there driving it all along the next day.”
The experience, literally, changed Fanning’s life.
“I have done laps of the world forever, but here, I was really traveling in places people did not know me, where they did not want anything from me… where there was no schedule or timeline, only life. I felt like I was in the real world for the very first time and it made me so happy to see the world that clearly.”
Taylor Steele says Mick Fanning was one of the best subjects he’s ever worked with:
“Knowing Mick, there’s a lot of layers to him that are not usually portrayed in the media and this is a great opportunity to show people what a great guy he is and what a great traveller he is too. I’m proud of the piece.”
The North Shore premiere of “Missing” takes place Tuesday, December 3rd at Turtle Bay Resort‘s Surfer, The Bar. Stop by if you are on the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu for this special event at the destination resort of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.