Jamie O’Brien’s "Who is J.O.B." Premieres

| posted on October 08, 2010

Last night at Newport Beach, California’s quaint, retro Lido Theater, in front of a not-quite capacity crowd of T-shirt wearing surf fans and industry middle management, Jamie O’Brien re-established himself as a major force in modern surfing. His new signature film, Who is J.O.B. (no one’s yet sure if that’s a question or a statement), which has been promoted for over a year now, is a 62-minute epic featuring surfing’s blond enigma being catapulted out of huge barrels. I have to admit, as I sat in heavy Thursday afternoon traffic on my way to the premiere, the prospect of watching an hour-long auto-homage seemed tedious at best, but I walked out a convert.

Outside the Lido at October 8th premiere.

Outside the Lido at October 8th premiere.

Several months ago, rumors circulated that the JOB film project had spiraled out of control due to some internal tumult in Jamie’s camp. That was when Charlie “Chas” Smith—a gonzo surf journalist you may remember from the article he wrote about an interaction with Mick Fanning hours after he won his second world title last year for Australia’s Stab Magazine—was named director and given the responsibility of getting the film over the goal line. If those rumors were true, Charlie, along with editor Dayten Likness and music editor Pete Nussbaum, seriously saved the thing.

Though it’s essentially surf porn, it’s surf porn with a twist. The organizing principal of the film is a series of simple “Chas-ian” statements about Jamie, answering the question posed in the title. Chapters include, “Jamie Is A Dick,” “Jamie Was Deaf,” “Jamie Was A Retard,” and “Jamie Surfs Pipeline.” Taken on their own, these statements demean the subject, but when you add in interviews, archival photos and footage of the star as an awkward kid, an incredibly amping soundtrack, and three years of amazing surfing almost exclusively in waves of consequence (from Teahupoo to massive Cloudbreak and, of course, his beloved Pipeline), the result is a rare look at the talent, background, and mindset of one of the best and most misunderstood surfers of the post-Momentum generation.

Jamie O'Brien, etnies Owner and CEO Pierre-Andre Senizergues, and Who is J.O.B. editor Dayten Likness.

Jamie O'Brien, etnies Owner and CEO Pierre-Andre Senizergues, and Who is J.O.B. editor Dayten Likness.

Because Red Bull fronted the cash, their logos and cans are strewn throughout Who is JOB—seemingly, this is the new paradigm for surf film. But if product placement makes possible the film a thousand of us enjoyed last night, then I guess I can accept it, and the heartfelt standing ovation the film got seemed to indicate that others agreed.

In recent years, Jamie O’Brien has become an enigma. He is among the very few to have Pipeline truly wired, but out of the water, he’s struggled with sponsors and management, and the paltry amount of imagery flowing from his camp has made it seem like maybe his window of opportunity to really make a mark on modern surfing had passed. But Who is J.O.B. testifies that he’s been here the whole time. In many ways it was like watching someone who’s been training for a marathon their whole lives finally cross the finish line.

Hundreds celebrate with Jamie at the Who Is JOB afterparty.

Hundreds celebrate with Jamie at the Who Is JOB afterparty.

  • Myles M

    When can you buy the DVD.

  • Joel Patterson

    Not sure, but it’s distributed by VAS/WAX, so try their Web site.

  • unker

    Who is Job iTunes 11/18

  • Ryan

    Jamie O’brien’s a dork.

  • whamo

    JOB rips, and he has my respect.

  • gg

    Pete Nussbaum rips, and he has my respect.

  • zach

    Rip-tides suck.

  • ray

    I was there with an RVCA t-shirt, sandals, and just tons of stoke to see all the bro – skies from the “bro industry” palling around like lemmings.

  • Hootski

    Jamie’s Dad, Micko, is an Aussie raging party animal, and former north shore lifeguard.Did it mention that?

  • Hootski

    Oh, and why not “premiere” in Hawaii? North season all ready pumpin…Just sayin.

  • Jo

    Jamie has been working hard. He is on top with the very best on the planet. He is very inspiring.

  • phocas69

    I sure as hell wouldn’t pay for this, will keep an eye out on torrent sites. There are better surfers and better movies I would rather pay for. Good for a very long flight to cure temp boredom though.

  • dave

    well your sure as hell took the time to post an idiotic comment about the movie

  • sc

    the movie was really good. best surf flick in a while with good music. does anyone know where the after party pictures are?

  • John

    Movie is sick and so is the soundtrack.

    The full list of songs is here:

  • gail padgett

    What a jerk! Big guy can ride a turtle. Isn’t he kool?! Grow up, Jamie. Wildlife isn’t there for your entertainment. Endangered wildlife needs respect, not abuse.