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Jay's World
Brandon Hooper and producer Jim Meenaghan - who together wrote the story - went directly to Frosty Hesson and Jay's widow, Kim Moriarity, for permission to bring Jay and Frosty's journey to the big screen. Other filmmakers had previously approached them, but Hooper and Meenaghan's enthusiasm and ideas made Kim and Frosty comfortable with the idea of a film inspired by Jay's life. Hooper notes, "Kim and Frosty have been supportive throughout the entire project, and we were grateful they entrusted us to tell the story. We wanted to do justice to them and, especially, to Jay."

When director Curtis Hanson came on board the project, he joined Hooper and Meenaghan in Santa Cruz for scouting expeditions and research. "I met Frosty and Kim, and had long talks with them," Hanson says. "We told them our film would resonate because everyone will identify with the struggles of these characters, and knowing that they're based on real people will strengthen that identification and the emotional connections."

Gerard Butler and Jonny Weston, like the producers and directors, immersed themselves in the world of Jay and Frosty. Weston shares, "I came to Santa Cruz and basically got adopted by Frosty and Kim and by some of Jay's closest friends. They took me in and they told me everything they know about Jay."

CHASING MAVERICKS was filmed on locations where much of Jay's life unfolded, including Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay and Mavericks itself, as well as residential streets where the real-life characters' actual homes had been situated. "It's beautiful that we were able to film where everything really happened," says Butler. "It's great for the story because it gives it an additional layer of verisimilitude."

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