After 15 screenings, including four sellouts and more than 2000 tickets sold, the JG Boards Holding On Premiere Tour has now come to an end.

To say the film was a massive success would be an understatement, but don’t take our word for it, read what co-director Simon Bruncke had to say about the national tour and some of the stories that went down.

Interview by Michael Saunders

Was it a successful tour? 
100% it was successful! On a personal level, I not only met, but got to hang out with, a heap of my childhood heroes who were good enough to come out and support the film whether they were in it or not. On the business side of things, we got amazing numbers to the majority of the screenings and generated an immeasurable amount of publicity for the film.

Where was your favourite stop?
Definitely Cronulla. We sold out all 600 tickets a few hours before the screening and you could you feel the buzz around the venue leading up to and after the event. There were so many legends of the sport past and present there and loving the movie, which for Trent (Beattie) and I has been the highlight of the whole process so far.

“The highlight for me was when the credits started rolling, there was a standing ovation from most of the people in the crowd. I was pretty overwhelmed by that and I just remember feeling very proud and relieved that everyone loved the movie as much as I did.”

How were you feeling on the opening Cronulla premiere? 
I’ve never been more nervous in my life. Trent, myself and the Skid Kids were happy with the way the film had turned out, but you never know how it’ll be received by such a big and illustrious crowd with high expectations. As soon as it kicked off though there were hoots and hollers and it seemed like everyone was engaged throughout, which helped me relax a little. The highlight for me was when the credits started rolling, there was a standing ovation from most of the people in the crowd. I was pretty overwhelmed by that and I just remember feeling very proud and relieved that everyone loved the movie as much as I did.

Were there any particular parts of the film that got the best crowd reactions at each stop?
Yeah the Ripping the Pit story and Teams Challenge stories definitely got the most laughs and the 2001 Island comp section got the most hoots.

What was the general response from the audience after each premiere?
One of the best things about the tour was that Trent, myself and the Skid Kids were able to hear the feedback on the film from all the different types of people that came along. I can honestly say that the feedback we got from everyone from young kids just starting out in bodyboarding to the older guys that have been doing it forever and all the wives, girlfriends sisters and mothers, was overwhelmingly positive. We were also totally humbled by people taking the time to tell us the stories of their own experiences with the Skid Kids and how much they inspired them in their bodyboarding.

Nugget, Ballard, Wingnut, Eppo, Barney, Tully Beevor, Adam Mac and Ben Holland were all going nuts at the Cooly hotel until we all got booted out at the 3am close. Then afterwards not content with going home and sleeping it off, a few of the aforementioned nutters went for a surf in the pitch black darkness.”

What was it like getting Nugget, Ballard and the skid kids crew out on the town? Any stories?
It was awesome to see the Skid Kids getting mobbed by fans at the world premiere in Cronulla signing boards and posters, but unfortunately I was too exhausted to kick on with them and hit the town afterwards. From what I’ve heard though, they went pretty crazy that night. There were some big after party’s at Avoca, Port Mac and Sorrento, but the biggest night for me was definitely Coolangatta. Nugget, Ballard, Wingnut, Eppo, Barney, Tully Beevor, Adam Mac, Ben Holland and more all going nuts at the Cooly hotel until we all got booted out at the 3am close. Then afterwards not content with going home and sleeping it off, a few of the aforementioned nutters went for a surf in the pitch black darkness. I’d love to be able to tell you more, but unfortunately what happens on tour stays on tour.

What will be you best memory during the tour?
There are so many amazing memories, from the people I met, the places I went and the waves I surfed, but for me the thing that I always think about now that it’s over, is the friendship that I’ve formed with Wingnut. We travelled to 12 of the 15 screenings together and the times we shared I’ll remember forever.

What is next for the Holding On film?
We’ve just finished promoting the DVD and are gearing up to launch the digital version of the film worldwide in early April. The platforms that you’ll be able to find it on include Vimeo On Demand, iTunes, Sony, Google Play and Garage Entertainment, with Xbox and Netflix to be comfirmed.

What is next for M1 productions? Anything in the pipeline?
There have been a few ideas that the M1 team have been tossing around as potential future projects, but unfortunately nothing we’re ready to talk about publicly just yet, sorry.

Lastly, any shout outs?
Yeah thanks for this opportunity, there’s actually a few people both Trent and I would like to acknowledge.
Thanks to the Skid Kids and other cast who got to as many of the screenings as they could and contributed to the Q and A sessions. Thanks to Trent’s wife Tanya and my wife Teegan and kids Lillian and Beau for being so understanding of the whole process. Thanks to all the bodyboard shops who helped sell tickets and promote the events in their regions. Thanks to the sponsors who helped put the tour together, Bridges Beer, Coastalwatch, The Perfect Wave Surf Co, Riptide who’ve been supporting us from the start and most notably JG Boards, who were awesome enough to provide a board to be given away at each location. Saving the biggest thanks for last to all the people from all walks of life who bought tickets and spent an hour and a half of their time coming along to a screening.

The Holding On documentary is available for sale on DVD at all good bodyboarding stores or online at http://www.holdingon-movie.com.

See the gallery below for some snaps of the madness during the massive national tour

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