Outtakes Online: ‘Point Break’ films on Maui

Jan. 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Photo by Bryan Berkowitz

Helicopter pilot Don Shearer flies a cameraman into a scene of the new “Point Break,” which shot this week on Maui. (Courtesy Bryan Berkowitz)

BY MIKE GORDON / mgordon@staradvertiser.com

On Oahu this week, where everyone was waiting for Eddie to go, on Maui, Bodhi went.

The 50-foot swell that smashed Oahu’s North Shore was unruly, but conditions at Jaws were perfect for director Ericson Core, who is filming a new version of the 1991 cult classic, “Point Break.” A team of stunt surfers caught five-story-tall waves as a helicopter with a camera dropped in close enough to get salt spray on its lens.

David Valdes, a producer on the film, said a team of expert forecasters had been tracking winter swells for the film since October in Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain and Hawaii. They wanted a location that could double for Cortes Bank, 100 miles west of San Diego, where waves break in the middle of the ocean.

They were primed to fly to Maui after hearing reports of the swell that was expected to arrive Wednesday, Jan. 22. But the filmmakers almost didn’t come, Valdes said.

On Sunday morning, Jan. 20, the team felt the forecast wasn’t reliable enough and called the whole thing off. On Monday, Jan. 21, the trip was back on. They had to scramble.

“We were lucky,” Valdes said. “The world knows that Jaws is home to classic, epic, big wave surfing even though it really hasn’t been that predictable or reliable over the last four to five years.”

Helicopter pilot Don Shearer flew five feet off the water so a cameraman for the new version of "Point Break" could get close to the waves at Jaws. Photo by Bryan Berkowitz

Helicopter pilot Don Shearer flew five feet off the water so a cameraman for the new version of “Point Break” could get close to the waves at Jaws. (Courtesy Bryan Berkowitz)

This was the first filming for “Point Break,” which won’t get underway with its cast until June in Europe, Valdes said.

Not much is known about the “Point Break” plot or how closely it will mirror the original verion that stared Keanu Reeves as undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah and Patrick Swayze as surfing bank robber Bodhi.

Valdes called the new version a reboot of the original — not a sequel or prequel.

“The backdrop is extreme sports and surfing was integral to the first one and will be integral to this one,” he said.

The cast hasn’t been signed and the only star rumored to be involved is Gerard Butler.

Pick up a copy of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Sunday, Jan. 26, for more about the production’s time on Maui.
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Mike Gordon covers film and television in Hawaii for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Email him at mgordon@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter. Read his weekly “Outtakes” column Sundays in the Star-Advertiser.

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