STORY TELLERS: Wendy Harper and Ric Friar in Noosa to present their film Phenomenality and (inset) Noosa Beach in the 1950s.
STORY TELLERS: Wendy Harper and Ric Friar in Noosa to present their film Phenomenality and (inset) Noosa Beach in the 1950s. Amber Macpherson

Making 'Phenomenality' a reality through surfing and film

RIC Friar went on the hunt for 'phenomenal experiences' as a young adult, which saw him play a role in beginning the surfing culture in Noosa and pioneer big wave surfing in the UK.

Now at an age of reflection, Ric and his partner Wendy Harper made an award-winning film of his life called Phenomenality that screened as part of the Noosa Surf Film Festival on the weekend.

During his childhood, Ric suffered from learning difficulties which eventually pushed him out of school.

"As a dyslexic kid they didn't have ways to teach them, or diagnose him,” Wendy said.

"So he left school, went surfing and watched films.”

Wendy said Ric's inability to disassociate reality from what he saw on the big screens is what drove him to seek adventure constantly.

"As a little boy he drank that in, as if that was the way they live their life,” Wendy said.

"It was a romantic period and adventurous risk-taking where things turned up at the right time and heroes survived.

"He was surfing through life, doing extreme things, enjoying living life as if it was a movie.

"He pioneered big wave surfing in the UK, which he didn't even realise until years later, and surfed Noosa in the late 1950s.”

The film Phenomenality is a small snapshot of Ric's life, which, among other things, tells the story of a near-death experience of almost being crushed between a giant wave and a cliff near an English surfing town in Cornwall, and his love affair with super model Twiggy.

With no budget and a handful of industry contacts, Ric and Wendy wanted to follow the serendipity of survival Ric had experienced his whole life to make the short film, while promoting an underlying message of environmental sustainability.

"(We thought) we're going to demonstrate how this 'phenomenality' works, we're going to make an award-winning film, we're doing this for global sustainability,” Wendy said.

Phenomenality was finished to the highest quality, and has since won accolades at film festivals in the US and Indonesia.

"This project demonstrates the spirit of making the impossible happen,” Wendy said.

"We can all have a phenomenal time being engaged in things that make a difference. This was our first film festival attendance (at the NSFF) and the beginning of our next phenomenal experiences.”

Wendy and Ric would like to thank everyone involved in making Phenomenality a reality.