The Donn of Tiki


Not long after Phoebe Beach agreed to send me her Donn Beach archive, Max Well and Alex Lamb of Surf Monkey Films contacted her about doing a documentary on Donn. She sent the request to me and said it was my decision about using the archive since I was its caretaker now. Just as it was very hard for Phoebe to decide to trust me (it took years), I had to make the hard decision to trust these filemakers. I wanted to be sure they would make a good product of course and so I watched a lot of their documentaries. But far more importantly, I would be handing them all of my work. Ten years of researching, writing, and collecting photos, gaining the trust of his associates, collecting video, ephemera, and everything else. That’s my baby. I worked very hard to get where I am on this book project and telling them everything I have learned and pointing them to everyone I had found and giving them everything I had was a monumental decision.


Sure there are contracts and all that mumbo-jumbo, but no one goes into an agreement wanting to ever have to get lawyers involved. If I had a hint of hesitation I couldn’t do it.

I did it. I signed on as associate producer on this documentary and besides being an interview subject I am giving them all my resources. I contacted my old friend Holden Westland, owner of Tiki Farm, and told him what we were doing and asked for his help to make a mug for the kickstarted campaign. He said he knew just the person for the job and looped Josh Agle, Shag, on the call and told him I was making a Donn Beach documentary and would he design the mug. He said yes. What started as a $50k goal ended up at nearly $200k thanks to Shag’s mug and all the eager support.

I handed over the 1200+ photos from Phoebe and the thousands of images I have collected over the decades of everything Tiki. Together we have unearthed amazing rare footage of Donn as well as unknown recordings. I am doing all I can to make this as full and vibrant and wonderful (and accurate) as possible.

I thank all of you who have already given to the cause by way of the Kickstarter campaign and I especially want to thank Shag for designing the mug and Holden Westland of Tiki Farm for making it happen.

Head over to their website and find out more and continue to support the cause!

Upcoming Screenings

Saturday April 13

The Enzian Theater – Florida Film Festival

Buy Tickets

Thursday April 18

Regal 20 – Florida Film Festival

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More coming soon…