Ungu Almost Didn’t Happen

Joe G with his 30 ladies. Photo: Reposar

Joe G with his 30 ladies. Photo: Reposar

The crazy story about how Globe’s Imaginarium winning video Ungu almost never happened.



As told to Chris Cote by Ungu director Joe G.

When we first heard we were going to be part of TransWorld SURF’s Imaginarium, our collective brain’s all started working overtime, and for some reason we all kept coming back to naked women. When we got the color magenta to work with, our decision was easy; we’d get a bunch of naked women, and paint them magenta! How easy would that be? Well, as easy as it sounded, it turned out to be much more difficult that we had ever imagined. The first thing I did was fly to Sydney to meet with Dion Agius, get the beach permits we needed to shoot there, and hire the twelve models we’d be painting and setting up on the beach. The first major disaster was the Sydney weather. They had been having the worst winter ever, and the forecast was looking bleak. There was no point in doing a surf shoot on a crappy, cold, flat day, especially when there are naked women involved.

We had to pull the plug on Sydney at the last minute. So Dion and I decided to fly to Bali to meet with the rest of the team who was there filming for the new Globe flick. We figured that we could get to Bali and think of something there. In the back of my head I had pretty much given up and decided I would call TransWorld when we landed, and tell them that we couldn’t pull off the Imaginarium shoot.  It made me sick to my stomach, but at that point it seemed like it wouldn’t be possible to do anything close to what we wanted.

Then things got worse. Mid-flight from Sydney to Bali, Dion’s eardrum ruptured.  I could tell he was in intense pain, but all he could do was tough it out until we landed. Upon arrival, we were told that Dion couldn’t make the connection and fly the rest of the way to Bali because of his ear drum, so we did what most defeated grown men do, we went to the bar. I almost picked up my phone to call and tell TransWorld the bad news, but I put it off. I think I needed a few drinks to soften the blow, and get the liquid courage I needed to tell them we couldn’t do it.

So Dion and I walk in to a bar. That sounds like a joke, “Two guys walk in to a bar and meet a model.” But that’s exactly what happened. After about an hour at the bar, we met this beautiful girl who was obviously a model. We struck up a conversation with her and told her our whole story. Then she dropped the bomb on us: “My agent is here and there are a bunch of models in Bali right now who just finished a shoot. We could arrange some girls if you like.”

And just like that, we set up a casting. Three days later, we were in Bali, at a beautiful villa, with 30-plus supermodels doing a casting. The rest of the guys showed up mid-casting and walked right into every guys dream: 30 girls in bikinis lined up outside their door.

Anyways, thank God I never made the call to TransWorld, it would have been pretty embarrassing to call back and hour later and say, “Actually, a funny thing happened when we walked into a bar … ”

FOR ALL THINGS IMAGINARIUM CHECK OUT surf.transworld.net/2010-imaginarium.