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Thursday, March 15, 2012
Bob Scerbo releases "Skapegoat 6" video

"Skapegoat 6" DVD and zine are now available exclusively through Empire BMX.

Several years ago, North Arlington, N.J. video maker Bob Scerbo created an online video series dubbed "Skapegoat." As the main filmer for Animal and Skavenger, Scerbo found himself constantly filming each day spent riding. Some of it made it into Animal's DVDs, and some of it remained on Bob's computer, without a home. "[Skapegoat] started because I always had a bunch of random footage that did not make it into the videos I was working on," says Scerbo.

Most nights, after he returned home, he would construct loose edits, patiently waiting until he felt each project was complete. "It was just a way to keep busy and have something to edit," Scerbo continues. "Skapegoat 1" debuted sometime in 2008 on YouTube. The ten-minute video featured footage from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Austin and California, and riders included in the video ranged from Edwin De La Rosa to Joe Rich. It was a riding video, but it wasn't a clip competition or marketing tool. It was simply a video that documented Scerbo's friends riding, additionally capturing everything that happened along the way and back while riding.

Since then, the "Skapegoat" series has continued on both YouTube and Vimeo. Last April, after friend and longtime traveling companion Mike Tag was diagnosed with cancer, Scerbo compiled older footage he had saved and released "Skapegoat Negative One" on both Vimeo and in limited edition DVDs, with all proceeds of DVD sales going to help Tag with his mounting medical bills.

Guard rail abubaca from "Skapegoat Negative One," a new compilation of footage from the late '90s and early '00s, featuring riding from Mike Tag and more.

This past winter, Scerbo left his native New Jersey and moved to Austin, Texas. Sitting around Josh Stricker's house one night, Scerbo started going through recent footage he had compiled. "I was bored one night and started going through footage and had forgotten how much funny stuff I had stocked away in folders," he says. His formula of work remained much the same as the other videos. Instead of setting a deadline and spreading the word in advance, he just quietly worked on it in his spare time until the video reached a finish point.

A few weeks ago, a Yousendit file arrived in my inbox from Scerbo. It was the rough of "Skapegoat 6." In the past, being neighbors with Bob in Jersey City, I was lucky enough to check out segments of the "Skapegoat" series as they were coming together in Bob's house. Because we're both in different places, him in Austin and me in L.A., that didn't happen this time, and part of me really missed it. So I eagerly downloaded the video and watched it straight through as soon as it was finished. Later that night, I watched it two more times, and since then, I've continued to watch it almost daily. Yes I'm biased because "Skapegoat 6" features a ton of footage of my friends from New Jersey, but it really grabbed me. Part of me thinks it's because it's funny and not serious, and part of me thinks it's because it's more than just straight up bike riding. It connects the dots between riding clip and rider with everything that happens along the way to arriving at a riding clip.

I had forgotten how much funny stuff I had stocked away in folders.

--Bob Scerbo

"It's just the way it came together, it has a lot of flipcam footage and stuff I filmed with a point and shoot photo camera. I filmed most of this one too as compared to other videos where any footage would make the cut," says Scerbo.

As Bob was putting the final touches on "Skapegoat 6," he decided to release a DVD version, with all proceeds again going to Mike Tag's cancer fund. And to round out the package, he decided to produce a 28-page zine with the video. "It's made up of photos I took with a point and shoot while filming the video. It is sort of based around the people I was coming across during the filming of the video," says Scerbo.

Scerbo burned each copy of the DVD himself, and delivered the DVDs and zines to Empire BMX, which is now selling the "Skapegoat 6" DVD and zine for $14.95, with all proceeds going to Mike Tag. If you're in need of a lighthearted, organic video that won't make you feel like you suck at bike riding and benefits a good cause, I would highly recommend it.

For the time, Scerbo remains in Austin, Texas, staying at Josh Stricker's house. According to Bob, Stricker is away in Spain. "It's just me here now and I'm starting to hear Jersey calling me back," he finishes.