Local 600 Cinematographer Sonny Miller’s Legacy Washes Over the Industry in Waves of Talent and Respect.

Local 600 Cinematographer Sonny Miller’s Legacy Washes Over the Industry in Waves of Talent and Respect.

Local 600 Cinematographer Sonny Miller’s Legacy Washes Over the Industry in Waves of Talent and Respect. By David William McDonald. All photos Courtesy of David William McDonald.Anyone who loves action cinematography – in the water, on concrete, or waist deep in snowy powder – already knows the legend that was Sonny Miller. Those who do not: I sincerely hope you will take the time to check out the provided Web links. They will help sustain the legacy of a union brother and true pioneer – a cinematic pirate of the seven seas who lived a life many only dream about.We have a saying in the camera department that is often repeated when things get very stressful: “Hey, we’re still livin’ the dream!” I can say, as an admirer, student, and close friend of Sonny’s, he was one Guild cinematographer who lived that dream 24/7. Sonny radiated love, aloha, respect, and a desire to capture beautiful and thought-provoking images that would (and will) last a lifetime. I’ll start at the beginning: Born Harold Miller in San Jose, California, on July 18, 1960, Sonny was given his nickname by his father, Bud, who remembers him as “the happiest baby” he’d ever seen. “Even as an infant,” Bud says, “Sonny was always calm, happy, smiling, cheerful. Some people are just born that way.” In 1975, deep inside the “Brady Bunch” era, Sonny’s family relocated to North County, San Diego, where he grew up steps from the beach. He joined a crew of local skateboarders known as the “Down South Boys,” essentially the San Diego version of Stacy Peralta’s Dogtown crew, who were raising hell...
Helen Hunt’s  ‘Ride’ will be dedicated to Filmmaker Sonny Miller

Helen Hunt’s ‘Ride’ will be dedicated to Filmmaker Sonny Miller

Screen Media Films has closed a deal for North American distribution rights to Ride, the film Helen Hunt wrote, directed and produced, and stars in alongside Brenton Thwaites, Luke Wilson, and David Zayas. Pic is Hunt’s follow-up to her helming debut Then She Found Me. In this comedy, she plays an editor from The New Yorker who follows her son (Thwaites) to LA after he drops out of college to surf and find himself, but she ends up being the one thrust into a sea change of self-discovery. She befriends a limo driver (Zayas) and soon rediscovers her sexuality with a younger surf instructor (Wilson) and begins to heal her fractured relationship with her son and herself. Sandbar Pictures, Abandon Features, Big Block Ventures and @TheMovies Entertainment financed and UltraMedia is handling foreign sales. “I made this movie for mothers, sons, fathers, daughters, surfers and people who fall apart and come back together,” Hunt said. “Screen Media is the perfect place to get Ride to its audience.” Screen Media prexy Suzanne Blech said the film will be released is second-quarter 2015. “Professionally, the opportunity to work with Helen and her producing team was something we absolutely wanted to make happen after we first started tracking the film,” she said. “Personally, I intimately identified with the mother’s journey in Ride and hope audiences will associate with Helen’s vision as much as I did.” Hunt produced with Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder, Greg Little, and Moon Blauner, with Louise Runge, Samantha Housman, Matthew Carnahan, Robert Beaumont, Kevin Iwashina, Roxanne Fie Anderson, Elizabeth Stillwell, Bruce Bendell, Michael Paesano and Eric Alini exec producing....
Roxy In Memory: Sonny Miller with Lisa Andersen

Roxy In Memory: Sonny Miller with Lisa Andersen

In July 2014, ROXY lost a very dear friend: Sonny Miller. Traveling with the ROXY team for the past two decades, Sonny immortalized the key moments of our brand’s history on film. Beyond his groundbreaking camerawork from the water and from the air, Sonny acted an older brother for our surfers- motivating, protecting and cheering on the girls from the line-up.   The surf industry recently hosted a paddle out in memory of Sonny in Cardiff, California. We spoke to Lisa Andersen about her memories with Sonny, and caught a few waves in his honor. While we miss his ever-present smile, his unwavering optimism, his infectious laugh and of course his crazy costumes, we never forget to live just a little bit more ‘relaxo’ …just like Sonny always did.     Mahalo to Roxy for writing this beautiful article and putting the video together.  ...

Sonny Miller Eulogy & Tribute Video by Ira Opper

SONNY MILLER MEMORIAL – 7.18.14 Sonny’s passing has left a huge hole in the surfing universe… and in my heart. My name is Ira Opper. I’m a sports television Producer. I first met Sonny in 1986 while surfing out at Pillbox…. he lived a few houses down from me in Solana Beach. At the time, I was producing the Surfer Magazine TV series for ESPN. I’d seen Sonny’s photos published in Surfer Magazine and was impressed with his innovative use of flash fill lighting in water photography. Here was this quirky 26-year old kid oozing with talent and personality living down the street and I knew an interview with him would make an entertaining segment for the show. I asked – he agreed and we shot the interview him on the beach at Pillbox. I was immediately drawn to his wacky style, big voice, exuberant personality, and passion for photography. We became fast friends. We surfed, hung out, and of course laughed. ESPN had just gone global and they wanted another season of Surfer TV for their “Hot Summer Nights” prime time programming block. When I started casting for a host, my funny talented friend Sonny was on the short list. He had the quintessential California surfer look, the attitude, and that rock star voice. Everyone at Surfer Magazine loved the guy and thought he was the perfect choice. Not certain he wanted to be a “talking head ” Sonny reluctantly took the job as host. I was stoked and knew he would rise to the occasion. With Sonny on board we now had a great photographer and a...