The untitled project will draw from archival material ranging from Thomas Edison's first Hawaiian surfing footage in 1906 to excerpts from iconic imagery from Point Break, Blue Crush, Hawaii 5-0 and HBO's John From Cincinnati.
MacGillivray, a two-time Oscar nominee for short documentaries, is lining up interviews with renowned surfers and stunt doubles such as Greg Noll and Mickey Munoz, as well as fans like Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino.
'It's really about how Hollywood's superficial view of surfing culture has influenced popular culture and the story of what happened when real surfers tried to change that,' MacGillivray said.
Milius' travails on Big Wednesday will form the central theme of the picture as MacGillivray recounts the amoebic dysentery outbreak, financial turmoil, unreliable waves, studio abandonment and cool critical reception that plagued the picture.
The documentary is fully financed by independent equity and began principal production last November. Lincoln Forrest-Phipps, Chris Kobin, MacGillivray-Freeman Films and William S Price are producing. ICM represents Milius and is handling worldwide sales.