Santa Cruz: Locals getting a taste of Hollywood action as Jay Moriarity movie begins filming


Photo: A crew shoots a scene in the water next to The Hook at the end of 41st… (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)

Locals getting a taste of Hollywood action as Jay Moriarity movie begins filming

Locals getting a taste of Hollywood action as Jay Moriarity movie begins filming

Posted: 10/12/2011 05:20:49 PM PDT

SANTA CRUZ – Filming of the new movie about surfer Jay Moriarity began this week, bringing a little taste of Hollywood to the region.

The cast and crew of “Of Men and Mavericks” will be in the Santa Cruz area for about two weeks. Filming kicked off in Santa Cruz on Monday before moving Tuesday to the Pleasure Point area, where Moriarity grew up and later lived with his wife, Kim.

A number of residents clustered around the set Wednesday morning, looking for glimpses of the film’s stars and watching the cast and crew at work. Wednesday scenes were being filmed at the end of 41st Street, and many residents took their morning walks and bicycle rides as usual, zipping past a lot full of trailers and camera equipment.

Jennifer Young, who lives right by the beach in Pleasure Point, came over with her cousin, Kevin Dean, to watch the action.

“It’s been really calm, very professional, very organized,” said Young. “They’ve been very welcoming.”

The crew was careful not to disturb the area’s residents much, refraining from blocking off too much of the area and allowing people to pass by except during short periods. A small group of set assistants politely asked the onlookers to keep quiet when the cameras were rolling.

“They’ve really got it together,” said Dean. “It’s interesting to watch – everyone’s been very cooperative.”

Young, who used to run a weekly newspaper in the area, said she’d met the real Jay Moriarity a few years before his 2001 death and she still keeps in contact with his widow, Kim Moriarity, who is being portrayed in the film by actress Levin Ramblin.

“It’s been really kind of fun for us to watch,” said Young.

The movie, directed by Curtis Hanson and produced by Walden Media, stars Gerard Butler, a Scottish-actor best known for his role in “300” as Moriarity’s mentor Frosty Hesson. Moriarity will be played by 22-year-old actor Jonny Weston, an accomplished surfer. The real Moriarity died just before his 23rd birthday in an apparent diving accident in the Indian Ocean.

At Coffeetopia in Pleasure Point, it’s been business as usual, according to owner Dave Larkin, despite the catering trucks, security guards and crew members filling the parking lot outside his cafe.

Photo: The crew prepares cameras to film a scene of the Jay Moriarity movie at the end of 41st Avenue while cast members at far left and far right take their places on Wednesday. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)

“It’s really had no effect – no increase or decrease in sales – except for a more crowded parking lot,” he said.

The shopping plaza on Portola Road at 38th, where Coffeetopia is located, has been something of a homebase for the film’s catering crew, among other staff.

“Still,” said Larkin, “It’s kind of exciting for the town.”

Hundreds of local residents are also getting their chance to be in front of the cameras as extras in the film. Joel Domhoff, contracted by Walden Media as coordinator of extras, said he’s received requests from more than 2,400 would-be extras…

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