Saw a Surf Movie: In Dancing Days of Dawn


In Dancing Days of Dawn is a 73 minute surf movie filmed in Hawaii, Thailand, Bali and Palm Springs. It consists mostly of the filmmaker and his friends surfing, skate boarding, diving, playing, dancing and exploring the California desert.

I found the preview to be lyrically beautiful. The movie contains lots of footage of beautiful young people surfing etc. with preternatural grace. To string the whole thing together the film maker crafted a voiceover “legend” about an artist on a quest through a mythical landscape. I could have done without that. I prefer the real story. I’d have made it half as long too. Still, this is an impressive debut. Filmed on a shoe string, it looks much better than that.


The film maker Chris Miyashiro was at the showing I attended. Here are some quotes:

“I was living out of my van when I made this spending 15 bucks a week on food and using Starbucks Wifi.”

When asked what his plan had been, he said, “There was none.”

“I put the story together after I put the footage together.”

Surf footage in Hawaii was from Maui and Oahu, where he grew up.

The movie wasn’t available on DVD at the time because he likes the “communal” experience of people seeing it in theaters together.

Miyashiro said the cameras were a Go Pro 6, an iPhone and one more. His friends helped. He put the sound track together in his school’s sound studio and made his own sound effects. He seems to have concocted paperwork saying he needed access to the studio for his classwork. Some of the music was made by his friends; some was “licensed.”


A little boy surfing in Thailand was apparently one of the Sea Gypsy tribe I’ve heard about. Desert footage was from Palm Springs. The outdoor art project there was Salvation Mountain, which I’ve seen elsewhere but never presented as beautifully. It seemed like an ocean in the desert.


The film maker said he didn’t currently have funding for a website for the movie. In Dancing Days of Dawn was  shown at film festivals in Hawaii, Florida and Portugal.

Although it was too long for me, this movie shows an amazing group of people living extraordinary lives.


I tried to add this movie to IMDb but that was too labor intensive.  The possibility remains if someone really wants that to happen.  I’ve seen clips of the In Dancing Days of Dawn on You Tube.

The pictures here are screenshots I took from clips.  I hope that’s ok.  For discussion purposes.

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