Twenty-one years ago, Filthy Habits served as one of the defining films of the decade. It was an exposition of the ’80s best surfing—a simple formula of good surfing set to good music. Billabong is now amid production of the much-anticipated sequel, Still Filthy, an homage to the original—with a modern all-star cast set to an all-star soundtrack. We caught up with Director Jarrod Tallman to get the backstory on the soon-to-be-released flick.
What is it about the original Filthy Habits that compelled a 21-year-later follow-up?
Filthy Habits was my favorite films in middle school. I used to rig my VCR up to my tape recorder and make tapes of the soundtrack for my friends and me. I must have watched that VHS tape a thousand times in eighth grade. It was the first film I can remember that had no talking or skits in it. It was just surfing and music. Really good music. And it got me so amped every time I watched it. If you ask Joel, Taj or Andy, they were all influenced by that film too and I think it’s exciting for them to be involved in “the sequel.” Still Filthy is definitely an homage film. That’s what we are doing with Still Filthy, bringing it back to the basics; A+ surfing cut to kick-ass music. I want people to get that feeling I used to get from Filthy Habits, that feeling that takes over you and makes you have to go surf, even if it’s flat.
Tell us a bit about the filming process.
Still Filthy was shot over the past year and a half, and we basically went wherever there were waves at the time. Of course, there’s your Indo stuff, but a surf film really amps me up when I see the best guys surfing the kind of “less than perfect” waves I get to go surf regularly, you know? So based on that philosophy, we actually worked to find some rippable, less-than-perfect waves. Honestly, the best clips always seem to come from those sessions when conditions aren’t “perfect.” Don’t get me wrong, Still Filthy has plenty of perfection to drool over, too. Part of the fun of surf films is trying to figure out where the footage is from, so all I’m going to say about locations is “we covered the globe.”
Who would you say is the audience for Still Filthy?
I hope Still Filthy gets everyone psyched up. The Billabong team is so diverse. Each guy in this film has his own style and they all surf at such a high level. There’s the power of guys like Occy, Luke and Andy, stylists like Joel and Rasta, then there’s the crew like Wade, Sterling, Torrey, Granger and Laurie that are really pushing surfing into the next realm. Yeah, I hope the diversity of the team makes Still Filthy the type of film that bridges gaps in surf film taste. Maybe we can make everyone happy [laughs].
Filthy Habits was a monumental film in the late-’80s, how will Still Filthy compare?
Just like Filthy Habits gave us an early glimpse of several surfing icons—Occy and Sunny, to name a few—Still Filthy is going to open some eyes to a heap of new crew. The raddest thing for me though is how Occy was absolutely ripping in the original film 21 years ago and now he is going to be killing it in this film. He’s the definition of a legend. So yeah, Still Filthy is an homage to Filthy Habits, the first simple, no-bull-shit surf film I ever saw.
When will the film be released?
The film will be released in mid September of 2009. It will be available on iTunes, which I think is badass. We are planning a big Billabong-style World Premiere shindig at ASR San Diego, so keep checking in at Billabong.com/stillfilthy for updates and epic clips along the way.