Longtime friend Albee Layer put in two tours of duty for VFABM, one in West Oz and one in Africa. “I got one of the best waves of my life in Africa," said Albee. “But West Oz didn’t come as easy. Lots of chipping away."   Photos: Bielmann

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In the midst of the first full season of filming on the North Shore, photographer Cole Barash embedded himself and captured some of the less expected moments of the movie-making process. From top: It’s one- take only for JJF. 2) The tree house that Pipeline built. Blake and John. 3) Many surfboards were harmed in the making of this film. 4) A (rare) moment of reflection. Photos: Barash

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(From top) W.A. Training for his next big landing. Sugarloaf Rock; John waits for his lift to the heaviest wave in West Oz; “The Right"; Albee Layer keeps John on his toes.  Photos: Gurney

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(top) He ain‘t heavy... Nathan Florence (here) John was vocal in how different it was surfing in front of the heli.“It was some of the most pressure I’ve felt. Maybe even more than heats. It’s loud, wind’s blowing everywhere and you know you only have a couple shots at it. Definitely took a while to get used to it." Photos: Specker