Runman is to surfing as Sonic Youth is to music. Eccentric, playful, raunchy, raw and real; cacophonous to many, but uniquely emblematic of a time and a spirit.
Conceived in the early-’80s as surf accessory company, the name was a natural amalgam of the creator's last names, Morgan Runyon and Ray Kleinman. Though they made board bags, t-shirts and films (among other things), the enterprising duo followed the response, and became better known for their movies, banned by many of the surf shops who bought them.
Runman One, Runman Two, and Runman 69 all followed the same general convention: Super 8 footage of Runyon and Kleinman's friends (and themselves) surfing and causing mayhem in the beach zones between Sunset Boulevard and Pt. Mugu Naval Airbase. Their aesthetic harkens to the punk spirit of the times. DIY low-fi. Expression by whatever means possible.
Today, Runyon runs his family restaurant in the hills above Malibu and does occasional commercial film production and art direction. Kleinman's occupation and location is more, well, enigmatic.
Here, in this first of a two-part Tyler Manson directed short, Runyon takes us on a tour of the history of "Runman".
POV Shorts II is a 10-part video series, from surf filmmakers Chris Malloy, Tyler Manson, Joe G, Andrew Kidman and Cyrus Sutton. Each filmmaker has taken on one subject within a general framework, but subject to their interpretation. The shorts will be released over the course of the summer, 2011. Have a look around our video channel for the others, or check back soon as more are released.