Crystal Voyager

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Crystal Voyager
Crystal voyager.jpg
Original theatrical poster
Directed by David Elfick
Produced by David Elfick
Written by George Greenough
Starring George Greenough, Richie West, Nat Young
Narrated by George Greenough
Music by Mick Liber, Pink Floyd, G. Wayne Thomas
Cinematography George Greenough
Release date
  • 5 December 1973 (1973-12-05)
Running time
78 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Crystal Voyager is a 1973 Australian surf film directed by David Elfick. It was filmed by Albert Falzon, written and narrated by surfer, photographer and filmmaker George Greenough who had previously made the 1970 surfing film The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun.The soundtrack was written and produced and performed by G. Wayne Thomas and the 'Crystal Voyager Band".[1]

The film is structured as a loose biography of Greenough and was shot largely in California. It documents Greenough’s search for uncrowded waves, which led to the construction of his 37-foot ocean-going yacht. It also feature Greenough's surfing friends, Californian Richie West and Australian world champion Nat Young.

Crystal Voyager premiered at the Sydney Opera House on 5 December 1973 and had a successful three-week run there before opening in other states.[2] The theatrical 35mm version of the film is different from the original 16mm release and was re-edited by Elfick and Greenough. It became one of Australia's most successful surf films, grossing more than A$100,000 (1973 figures) on its initial Australian release, before being picked up by British Hemdale Corporation. Crystal Voyager gained substantial press on its release, mostly due to its strong reception at the Cannes Film Festival. It had a record-breaking 6-month run in London's West End, where it played a double bill with René Laloux's animated science-fiction film Fantastic Planet, grossing more than 100,000 pounds.[3]

In the year it was released the soundtrack won an Aria Award for Best Australian Movie Soundtrack. The closing sequence, Greenough's short film Echoes, is generally considered to be the highlight of the film. Filmed with a camera in a waterproof housing strapped to Greenough’s back, the sequence is composed entirely of slow-motion footage shot inside the curl of waves, edited to the 23-minute song "Echoes" by Pink Floyd.[4] The group reportedly allowed Elfick and Greenough to use the music in their film in exchange for the use of Greenough's footage as a visual background when they performed "Echoes" in concert.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Beta, Andy. "Revisiting the Original Classics of Surf Cinema". T Magazine. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Beattie, Keith (Spring 2014). ""Crystal Voyager" by Beattie, Keith - Metro Magazine, Issue 182, Spring 2014 | Online Research Library: Questia". Metro Magazine. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  3. ^ National Film & Sound Archive of Australia
  4. ^ Wu, Su (9 October 2015). "A Meditative Surf-Film Soundtrack for Your Chill Weekend Ahead". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 

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