Jay Moriarty, the subject of the surf movie Of Men and Mavericks surf movie, was a well-liked local teen surfer in Santa Cruz, California. His father had been a green beret who taught his son to surf at a young age. Jay’s adventurous spirit moved him to conquer the then-relatively-unknown Mavericks. A photographer caught Jay majorly wiping out and the photo landed on the cover of Surfer magazine. Days after Jay’s wipeout, a highly regarded surfer died at Mavericks and both Mavericks and Moriarty moved from obscurity to fame.
Jay’s celebrity garnered him a trip to India to participate in an O’Neill photo shoot. While there, the ocean took his life…but not while surfing.
Of Men and Mavericks producers selected Moriarty’s hometown to shoot the movie and invited local surfers to be extras in the scene that reenacted the memorial paddle-out that originally happened the day before Moriarty’s 23rd birthday.
“It was an unusual crowd of extras for a movie shoot, given the strong emotional connection of many in the crowd to the events they were to re-enact. The extras were not being paid, as often the case in Hollywood movies. They instead had their own reasons for turning out.
ONE OF A KIND
Nan de Malleville, for instance, was carrying a surfboard once owned by Moriarity. Gayle Brubaker was carrying the same board she used in the original paddle-out. Fred Nelli personally knew Moriarity as a kid – he was “one in a billion,” he said – and came out in his wetsuit to stand around for hours because he felt he owed the young man something.”
See the paddle out scene, an interview with Gerard Butler and other videos of the movie shoot.
Of Men and Mavericks surf movie stars Gerard Butler and is scheduled for release in October 2012.