Article

R.I.P. Sonny Miller, 1960-2014

Cherished filmmaker passes away

| posted on July 09, 2014
Sonny Miller, one of surfing's finest lensmen.

Sonny Miller, one of surfing’s finest lensmen.

Reports are that Sonny Miller, the man responsible for some of the very best surf films of the 90s, including 1997′s SURFER Poll winner, Searching for Tom Curren, passed away on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack. Sadly, Miller’s mother died just last week.

Miller’s career in surfing started in the ’80s as a photographer for SURFER and Breakout magazines. In the ’90s, Miller moved on to the work for which he’s best known—the Rip Curl Search series. Beginning in 1992, Miller made a number of movies for Rip Curl, all beautifully composed and lavishly shot on 16-mm film. The Search, Feral Kingdom, Tripping the Planet, and Searching for Tom Curren remain among the finest surf films ever made.

By the 2000s, Miller had moved on to do camera work for Hollywood film and TV productions while occasionally lending his cinematography chops for surf projects. He’d most recently worked on Ride, a Hollywood surf movie currently in post-production.

We’ll have more about Miller’s life and work later in the week.

R.I.P. Sonny, you were one of the greats.

  • StayxsieJohnson

    bummer.

  • matt obrien

    So young! Freaking tragic. Legend. RIP!

  • MaineSurfer

    Beware of the effects of Fukushima radiation. Young people having heart attacks is number one effect says scientists. Many others, like lymph nodes problems, etc.

    Please watch this youtube video by a well respected Lawrence Livermore scientist

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PST3HysmSPk

    • cleanSooke

      She is not a scientist. She knows some people, that’s it. Lady is a quack. But hey, spread that news as gospel and maybe the lineup will be less crowded.

  • scott daley

    RIP Sonny, I will miss your smile!

  • God

    No more sunny chicken, now he is on the ultimate ride. Thanks for the eulogy/post script.

  • Jason M

    I’ll never forget him on the Surfer Magazine TV shows of the late 80′s. Tragic.

  • lilbidness

    Wow, no way. Dude was a true legend and mentor. RIP Sonny!

  • Lloyd Bryan Molander

    His footage and eye represented the best of the best. Blow away rip champ

  • cleanSooke

    Sad day indeed. He gave so much visual pleasure to so many during those long flat spells. RIP

  • DreamsChaser

    So young and so wrong R.I.P Sonny much love for your work,awesome Dude!! You are missed, and Lot’s of Prayers going out to family and the surf world.

  • Scott

    A true classic, honored just to have known him.

  • Pastor Bruce De Soto

    Sonny, my big brother’s best friend, was such a wonderful human being. I have such fond memories surfing everyday with “little Sonny” and brother Thomas after school. We had such a wonderful childhood together, surfing a crowdless, barreling “Pipes” in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and skateboarding all over San Diego country. Like his dear mother, Suzanne, he shall be greatly missed, but his photographic talent to capture the ocean’s beauty and its greatest surfers shall never be forgotten. Never! God bless his soul and his truely remarkable legacy in the honorable craft of documenting surfing.

  • Pastor Bruce De Soto

    Sonny, my big brother’s best friend, was such a
    wonderful human being. I have such fond memories surfing everyday after
    school with “little Sonny” and brother Thomas. We had such a wonderful
    childhood together, surfing a crowdless, barreling
    “Pipes” in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and skateboarding all over San Diego
    county. Like his dear mother, Suzanne, he shall be greatly missed, but
    his photographic talent to capture the ocean’s beauty and its greatest
    surfers shall never be forgotten. Never! God bless his soul and his
    truly remarkable legacy in the honorable craft of documenting surfing.

  • Philip Chapman

    Sonny we’re going to miss you! I first met Sonny at the Del Mar Skate Ranch skating with Jeff Tatum and Chris Strople.(Caster Team Rider) Also Steve Sherman was there as well!
    I know I am forgetting a ton of other skater/surfers who we all rode with. God bless and see you on the other side. NOID.