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Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Skate films on the big screen

By Keith Hamm

This year's two most highly anticipated skate documentaries are bound for theatrical release this fall.

Riding critical acclaim during industry screenings and prominent film festivals earlier this year, the filmmakers behind MegaRamp pioneer Danny Way's life story, "Waiting for Lightning," and Dogtown groundbreaker Stacy Peralta's "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography," have announced distribution deals that position their movies for mainstream audiences.

While "Waiting for Lightning" explores Way's broken-home upbringing and subsequent ascent into skateboarding, "Bones Brigade" is a group shot of skateboarding's most influential team of culture creators, including Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, and Steve Caballero, among others.

"We came out of Sundance with a number of offers from traditional distributors," Peralta told RedBull USA last month. "For many reasons, I wasn't interested in going the traditional route. One being that I want to remain in control of my film and another being that I want to take advantage of the new distribution opportunities opening up on the web."

Peralta explained that his team will self-release Bones Brigade to theaters -- with a tentative date set for early November -- while putting together a deal with Topspin Media for digital and DVD sales online.

On the "Waiting for Lightning" front, director Jacob Rosenberg and his filmmaking crew at Bandito Brothers have inked a U.S. rights distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films, and are looking at an October release.

"We are stoked to be working on such an incredible film," Peter Goldwyn said. "The legendary Danny Way is a true visionary. Jacob's film is a nail-biting and inspirational story that we can't wait to share with audiences across the country."

"My belief is that 'Waiting for Lightning' isn't about skateboarding at all," the film's writer, Bret Anthony Johnston, told "It's about an extraordinary human being who's endured extraordinary pain and loss, a man who's made a roadmap out of his scars. The film charts where he's gone and where he's going. We've been deeply humbled and inspired by the responses so far -- as has Danny -- and we're thrilled to see how the wider audience embraces the film, where they take it and where it takes them. It'll be an amazing ride."