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Kid Mac Zooms In On Mateship

By Duncan Horscroft on October 28, 2011 in News

Photo: Grant Brooks

This is Ours. But for one incredible winter’s night a few months ago it was theirs.


It belonged to Bra Boys Richie Vas and his best mate Mark Matthews, who were putting some final touches on the movie Fighting Fear, which is due to be released in cinemas on November 10.

The night also belonged to another good mate, award-winning filmmaker Macario De Souza, whose first feature-length film, Bra Boys, became the highest grossing documentary to ever hit Australia screens.

Kid Mac, as he is also known, has been following Richie and Mark around for more than three years, and putting those final touches on the ‘celluloid’ was certainly a feat within itself.

“I had the idea about the movie three years ago and went to the producer and then spoke to the boys,” Macario said.

“Richie and Mark initially didn’t think it was a good story, but after a while they agreed to go ahead.

“It’s a story of two mates who overcame many of life’s hurdles to reach a pinnacle through the sports they were good at.

“Mark overcame a serious neck injury to return to the surf and become one of the best big wave riders around, while Richie shrugged of some low moments early in his life to not only become a top surfer, but also a force to reckon with in mixed martial arts.

“It’s all about two guys who relied on their friendship to get them through the troubled times.”

Charging down the face of the monsters that frequent Botany Bay is hard enough in daylight, but taking on the giants at night with spotlights to guide you really adds another dimension to fighting your fears.

So what about filming one of the country’s gnarliest surf breaks in the middle of the night?

“Yeah, that was an interesting exercise in itself,” Macario said. “Mark always had the idea that the swell would be better at night.

“So after about a year and a half and finally getting permission from the relevant authorities, we decided the time was right and we set up a bank of lights above the break.

“It was always going to be tricky making sure the lighting was in the right spot when the boys were towed into the waves. But it worked.

“I had eight cameras working for me. There were three on land and the rest on boats and wave skis.

“I was running around like a madman and screaming into walkie talkies.”

“”There were many times the boys would watch the sun come up with a beer in their hand after a big night out, but actually surfing the break while the sun rose was a completely different dimension.

“It reflected a change in lifestyle and was a celebration of the natural high of surfing.”

The film is not just a surfing story, it’s about how friendship can give you the courage to overcome some of life’s demons.

“There’s even a bit of romance in there,” Macario said. “It’s the sort of film a dad can take his son along to.”

Macario, 27, not only wrote, directed, edited, shot and co-produced the movie, but as Kid Mac he wrote and performed five songs on the soundtrack.

A lot of water has crossed the ocean since the former school captain at South Sydney High borrowed a Hi-8 camera from his sister when he was 14.