Synopsis by Brian Whitener
Shot on location in California and Australia, Crystal Voyager follows American surfer, filmmaker, and inventor George Greenough on his search for the perfect wave. This documentary focuses specifically on Greenough's attempts to build a camera that would capture the majesty of surfing. The film follows Greenough's several abortive attempts to build a camera light enough to sit on a surfboard. The film also discusses Greenough's other innovations, such as the flexible fin which made surfing "in the tube" possible. The film builds to the final, famous 23-minute "Echoes" sequence comprised of footage shot by Greenough from his board. Stunningly majestic, the footage allows the viewer to experience the ocean as never before and occupies the middle ground between early Lumiere films and today's IMAX, all to the music of Pink Floyd. A major critical, popular, and experimental success, Crystal Voyager was lauded at Cannes and by American critics. Greenough went on to work on a number of later surf films including John Milius' Big Wednesday.