‘Chasing Mavericks’ visual-effects chief

Jesse Hamlin
October 21, 2012

Chasing Mavericks - Mavericks Santa Cruz - Surfing - Big Wave Surfing - 60 foot waves - 50 Waves

Scott Anderson was standing on the cliff at Mavericks on the San Mateo County coast last spring, where he’d spent weeks filming the soulful surfing movie “Chasing Mavericks,” watching what looked like a flea gliding across the face of a wave the height of a five-story building.

“Then you realize it’s somebody on a jet ski. And you realize, that wave is huge!” says Anderson, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor who surfs when he’s not making movies. He’s not in the rarefied league of the big-wave surfers who risk their lives to ride the 60- to 80-foot winter waves that rise up at Mavericks, but he’s a regular at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Twenty years ago, Anderson moved out to the Great Highway – where he owns the last of the charming Carville-by-the-Sea houses made of old cable cars – to be close to the cold churning waters he loves to surf.

Beloved young surfer

Naturally, he was keen to work with director Curtis Hanson (“L.A. Confidential,” “The River Wild,” “8 Mile“) on “Chasing Mavericks,” which hits screens Friday. It’s the story of the beloved young Santa Cruz surfer Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston), who first rode Mavericks at 16, and his relationship with his reluctant mentor, Frosty (Gerard Butler), who trained him physically and mentally to navigate those giant waves and survive their onslaught.

It’s also the story of the close Santa Cruz surfing community, whose members painted the phrase “Live like Jay” around town after Moriarity drowned in a free-diving accident in the Maldives the day before his 22nd birthday.

Jim Caldwell
Redondo Beach

About jw60sea

Jim Caldwell has over 26 years of experience in the public safety sector in occupations ranging from professional ski patrol, and ocean lifeguard to firefighter. Jim has worked for the Redondo Beach Fire Department for the last 22 years holding successively higher positions of responsibility. For the last six years, Jim has held the rank of Engineer with responsibility for driving and operating the Department’s Engines and Tillered Aerial Ladder Truck. Throughout his career, he has shown a dedication not only to public safety but also community service.
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