I just saw the trailer for Chasing Mavericks, it’s a movie about Jay Moriarity, the big wave surfer from Santa Cruz that opens next Friday, on October 26, 2012. I was surprised to see so much of the coast from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay in the many one or two second clips that make up the trailer. I happened upon the film crew last year, on one (big wave) day when they were filming at Steamer’s. The filming itself was news, and I read the local press accounts of Gerard Butler, the film’s big name star getting held under by a wave in the course of filming after which he was helicoptered to Stanford for treatment. The implied story was he was not hurt badly, perhaps the press folks encouraged a little drama or someone over reacted.
The crew, and it was many semi trucks big, was in the area for a few weeks, waiting for waves. That must have been tough to budget, big waves can’t be ordered in advance as the Maverick contest promoters can attest.
The scenes in the trailer include views of the residential areas of Santa Cruz behind Steamers, action in the water close in SC and HMB, the obligatory attractive girl in bikini shots and a few scenic vistas on Highway 1 between SC and HMB, where Mavericks is located. If you know the area you will see a lot of familiar turf.
The trailer has a cool shot of a surfer jumping off the rocks into the ocean near the Surfing Museum, the action was shown from two perspectives and is very dramatic. One clip was shot looking down from directly overhead, either from a crane or a helicopter. It came across like it was taken from the space shuttle or the Red Bull balloon. The other view was from the cliff adjacent to the viewing corral just south of the lighthouse. I’ve taken the identical shot, it’s dramatic. The difference in real life is the surfers wait for a lull in waves, so they don’t get maytagged. In the trailer the jump is into white water.
Above is a mosaic of a set of images I shot last year of one surfer jumping from the cliff. Most guys would walk out to the point and drop in from a few feet, a very few did it with the drama you see here. It may become be a signature “take a picture of me ” location for local surfers. In the trailer it is shown at 1:50.
Below are a few images from the same locations shot in the film, and some “old” Mavericks competition shots from 2008-2010.
Mavericks is now closed to the public for the contest, it has been declared too dangerous and for the crowds that show up, which is sad. The bluffs are steep and crumbly, falls and slides caused injuries, and a few years ago a wave swept over the breakwater and cleared the beach, injuring a few spectators.
But truth be told the action is so far offshore the scale of the waves is hard to appreciate, and you can’t see much unless you have the space telescope bolted to your camera. It was more or less a party supporting the big wave surfers and enjoying a good day on the coast.
I’ll look forward to the movie, if for nothing other than to see how Hollywood’s pros shoot the coast and the waves I so love.
The camera work looks great in the trailer.