2022 National Emmy
Airing Nationally on PBS | Check Public TV Page
"The Life Story of Doc Ball" is a 54 minute documentary
based on the life of the first dedicated surf photographer.
Doc Ball had a huge influence on promoting surfing
world-wide during the 1930's and 1940's because of his
over 900 photographs and thousands of feet of 16mm
film that he shot in and out of the water.
Doc retells the history of surfing in California as captured through his lens including personal remembrances of Tom Blake, Duke Kahanamoku, Pete Peterson, Whitey Harrison,
The Palos Verdes Surfing Club and other top surfers and
innovators of that pioneering time.
Legendary surfer, shaper and filmmaker Greg Noll
explains Doc's influence on surfing and his friendship
with Doc Ball. Jack "Woody" Ekstrom describes
Doc's skills as a photographer and the process of
shooting from the water using Doc's water box.
The Life Story of Doc Ball is produced and directed by
Carl Ackerman who is best known for The Shaping 101
Trilogy he made with top surfboard manufacturer JC
Hawaii that sold world-wide since 1996. The film is
written and co-produced by Malcolm Gault - Williams
who has been writing books and articles independently
and for surf magazines for over 25 years.
Doc's personal photo collection -- including 16mm
moving film - is showcased throughout, with music
by Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta Jr. and Taimane.
It is our hope that through our efforts, Doc's story
will be viewed, appreciated and enjoyed by viewers
interested in how surfing began in the United States;
what surfing was like before and after World War II;
and the story of a man who played such a large role
in popularizing the sport worldwide.