Bud Browne Film Archives

Official home and website of the Bud Browne Historical Surfing Library.


It is the mission of the Bud Browne Film Archives to preserve, protect, and perpetuate the historical body of work created by Bud Browne for the present generation and those to follow.
-Anna Trent Moore

Bud Browne, 1912-2008

Bud Browne is recognized and revered in surf history as the father of the surf film and creator of the genre. Born in Newtonville, Massachsettes on July 12, 1912, he graduated from the University of Southern California where he was recognized as an outstanding swimmer and captain of the USC swim team, which was ranked second in the nation at this time. Bud also swam competitively on the L.A. Athletic Club where he first met the legendary Duke Kahanamoku. In 1938 he traveled to Hawaii on the Matsonian ship’s maiden voyage where he met with Duke Kahanomuku once again, filming him in Waikiki surf and became a member of Hawaii’s Waikiki Surf Club. During WWII Bud enlisted in the Navy and was assigned as a Navy specialist in athletics. It was this time in the Navy that Bud traveled throughout the Polynesian islands discovering a love for Tahiti and the Hawaiian islands, both places which he would return to film and photograph throughout his lifetime.

After the war he began teaching Physical Education and English in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It was during this time that he began to film with in 8mm. Later, bought a 16mm Bell and Howell movie camera and began to film surfing in 16mm. With a discovered passion for filming, Bud returned to USC to study film editing, pursuing his Master’s degree. The first film he created in 1953 was called Hawaiian Surfing Movie. Promoted in true grassroots form, he created his own handbills and posters, nailed them to telephone poles for advertising, personally collected the sixty-five cent admission at the door, then ran the projector himself while he narrated it live. Bud went on to create 14 more films, which spanned a period from the birth of big wave surfing in the fifties through the short board evolution in the seventies. Although he retired from producing his own films in 1977, he continued to film extensively for other films with McGillivray-Freeman. He also worked for Warner Brothers on their iconic film, Big Wednesday and provided historical film for Riding Giants. In 1996 Bud made his last film Surfing the Fifties, which was released on VHS format. Composed of his favorite sequences that he had taken from the early fifties through 1960, he called upon old friends Peter Cole and John Kelly to performed the narration. Upon Bud’s death in 2008, he bequeathed his life’s work to Anna Trent Moore who is now the curator and owner of what is now recognized as the Bud Browne Film Archives. The archives continue to license film to many projects today, most recently, Hawaiian: The Eddie Aikau Story.

Bud has received numerous accolades and awards throughout his lifetime. In 1987 Bud’s Locked In was voted by Surfer Magazine as one of the best surf films ever made. He was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame (1991), and the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame (1996). Bud was featured in Outdoor Life Network TV Series Fifty Years of Surfing on Film in 1997 and in 2001 Bud received the Waterman Achievement Award from the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.

Bud Browne’s films and images span a period of over fifty years where his contribution as the first surf filmmaker is unrivaled. The surf films he produced during the fifties and sixties define a generation of its time and he is revered in the industry as a Surfing National Treasure. His work continues to shed light not only on a unique time, but also on its key players. The body of work that Bud Browne leaves behind continues to inspire and move others by the daring and adventure of its time, as well as instill in us an appreciation for the craft of surf film making.

Anna Trent Moore

Anna Trent Moore is a teacher, writer, surfer, and curator of the Bud Browne Film Archives. However, first and foremost, she considers herself a Makaha girl born and raised on the west side on the island of Oahu. She is the daughter of one of surf history’s most iconic figures in Big Wave Riding, Buzzy Trent, who pioneered thirty-foot waves at Makaha Point, much of which has been documented and filmed by the late Bud Browne, who traveled often to Hawaii where he documented the birth of Big Wave Surfing in the early 1950’s. A close friend of the Trent family, Bud was like a second father to Anna, and upon his death at ninety-six years old, bequeathed his life work to her. His body of work encompasses the most in depth chronological collection of historical documentation of the sport of surfing from the 1950’s through the late 1970’s and is known as the Bud Browne Film Archives. Today, many surf films needing a historical base have licensed work from the Bud Browne Film Archival collection. Anna has shown Bud’s films throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia, and has licensed archival film to many film projects. Anna has written numerous articles on surf history, and is the author of four books: Increments of Fear: The Buzzy Trent Story, One Ocean, Laughing at Water and Going Surfin' Surfing Profiles of Bud Browne's People 1950-1970's. She produced two surf films called Wake unto Blue, and Bud Browne's Surfers. Anna divides her time between California and Hawaii where she lives next to the Pacific writing about surfing and many things ocean.

Bud Browne Films:

Hawaiian Surfing Movie - 1953
Hawaiian Holiday - 1954
Hawaiian Surfing Movie - 1955
Trek to Makaha - 1956
The Big Surf - 1957
Surf Down Under - 1958
Cat on a Hot Foam Board - 1959
Surf Happy - 1960
Spinning Boards - 1961
Cavalcade of Surf - 1962
Gun Ho! - 1963
Locked In - 1964
You’ll Dance in Tahiti - 1967
Going Surfin’ - 1973
The New Going Surfin’ - 1977
Surfing in the Fifties - 1994

Anna Trent Moore Films:
Wake unto Blue - 2010