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Surfing Passion

11 Jul, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Friends Sam Worthington and ‘Drift’ producer Myles Pollard return to familiar territory for film

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — When actor and producer Myles Pollard approached his friend Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator: Salvation) about a key role in the low-budget surfer film Drift, he didn’t have to beg. He just highlighted where the film was being shot.

“I’m a Western Australia boy, and every Western Australia boy went down to that area to surf,” Worthington said of the southwest coastal region of the continent, where Drift was filmed. “That was your right of passage. That’s where we camped. That’s where we lost our virginity.”

To Worthington — who takes third billing here as a hippy surf photographer who chronicles the 1970s surfing antics of two brothers (Pollard and “Twilight’s” Xavier Samuel) — Drift could have been little more than a quick break from the Hollywood blockbusters. However, he placed an importance on his role, and the movie overall.

“We don’t make many surf films in Australia, and yet we’re a surf culture,” Worthington said. “I think [we] really wanted to make a stamp on that passion, which is surfing.”

Australia helped shape modern, international surf culture, Pollard stressed, pointing to the international success of surfing companies Billabong, Quicksilver and Rip Curl.

“That cultural identity of Australia hasn’t been told in such a defining way,” Pollard said. “That was always the goal: Connect the story with [surfing] audiences, and hope that would connect over with mainstream audiences. It really is just a story about two brothers being all that they can be.”

Similar to its release strategy with the Halle Berry film Dark Tide in early 2012 and the Taylor Lautner film Abduction in mid-2011, Lionsgate is offering Drift on VOD July 2, a full month before its theatrical release Aug. 2.

“It’s a model that’s proving itself, and I think it provides a good marketing platform for independent films,” Pollard said of early VOD. “I think it gets people excited to see it theatrically. The uptake on video-on-demand is that it can cater to a broad audience … and this is a film we want the masses to see.”

Worthington said eventual disc owners could expect tons of deleted scenes — “[which] weren’t very plot-driven,” he added.

“We shot this whole, psychedelic, hallucinogenic sequence in Indonesia, and it never made the final cut. [It] didn’t move the story forward,” laughed Pollard. “But, my God, visually it’s amazing.”

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