|ESPN.com: Skateboarding||[Print without images]|
|Scooter built by Lance Mountain, featuring his "Future Primitive" artwork.|
On Monday director Stacy Peralta began accepting pre-orders for downloads, DVDs and collector's packages for his latest documentary, "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography," which will begin shipping on November 6. To help with his core audience's appetite for the film, Peralta also opened an online sale of limited-edition and one-of-a-kind Bones Brigade collectibles.
"When we said our web site was going to be the best place to experience the film, we meant it," Peralta wrote, in a note to fans on Monday. "Hope you find something you like and we look forward to hearing your feedback once you see the film."
The assortment of rare items for sale at BonesBrigade.com includes some of Tony Hawk's earliest contest trophies, vintage decks signed by members of the Bones Brigade, Mike McGill's original Bones Brigade team jacket and a pair of handmade apple-crate scooters -- evoking the scooter race scene from the Bones Brigade film "Ban This" -- built and decorated by Lance Mountain. ESPN.com caught up with Mountain for more on the rare collectibles, the film itself, and the unconventional manner in which it is being released.
ESPN.com: I'm loving the scooters you made that are for sale right now at BonesBrigade.com. What's the story behind those?
Mountain: I built all those crate scooters for the part in "Ban This," back in 1989, probably eight or nine of them, and when we were out racing them all around for the video most of them totally fell apart. They were basically just trashed, but I saved all the roller skate parts for some reason and then a while I ago I started putting them together again, painting them, making them all a little bit different. I did two of them for the release of Stacy's film. One has the "Future Primitive" art and one has my Doughboy art, and then inside the box on each of them there's a special Bones Brigade thing wheat-pasted in there. They're just fun little art pieces to help build interest in the film.
What's this year been like for you with the slow rollout of the film and all the various screenings you've attended since the premiere at Sundance? Is it strange to be spending so much time looking back on that time in your life now?
It's been a busy year, that's for sure! But I really feel blessed that we were given that opportunity back then, and to have all these opportunities to get everybody together now. All of us coming together in the first place is what gave each of us our big head start in skateboarding. Out of all the guys before us and all the guys alongside us, not too many people really made it through the whole time being able to skateboard, be in the magazines, be in videos and have a paycheck from skateboarding. But Rodney, Tony, Stevie, myself and a few of the others were the only guys to be able to have careers that lasted all the way through. I mean, we've had full-on careers in skateboarding! I feel blessed, there's no other way to put it.
What do you think was special about the Bones Brigade that made that possible for you guys?
It had all the right pieces and they all came together at the right time. Stacy got a great group of skaters together, for one thing, and had the vision to do some things a little bit different with the team he'd put together. Videos had just come out, so we were able to be shown to the world, where before that it was all word of mouth and magazines, not too much real information. And we were all at the right age, a bunch of kids who could put everything into skateboarding without too much to lose. All the guys before us were at that age where they had to basically go get jobs because skateboarding had never figured out a way to support guys on into their lives, getting married and having cars and kids and all that. It was just a kid's sport, a kid's toy, and before the Bones Brigade no one really made enough to make a living off of it. Stacy put together a group of guys that wanted it, and when you put a group together like that they'll rise to the occasion: one guy does something, the other guy has to do something... being in a group that way rather than on our own gave each of us strength, just like Stacy knew it would.
It has to have been more than just "right time, right place" though.
We had the skaters, we had the backing from George Powell to do everything right, we had product that was new and fresh at that time, we had the art to make everything look really cool and distinctive and we had the connections with all the magazines. So we basically rigged the scene to show people "this is going on and you should get on board with it," even if it wasn't really going on! We just kind of made the whole thing up until it became real, and it showed me that if you pioneer a new way of doing things then you'll basically have a spot in the world for the rest of your life. You just have to go and make that spot for yourself.
How involved have you been in the roll-out of the film and all the promotion behind it, other than building those scooters?
I've tried to stay focused on what I do best, and that's to be a skateboarder who goes around and tries to make people everywhere fall so in love with skateboarding that they will want to do it for the rest of their lives. I don't focus on anything but that -- that's my goal. Stacy's goal is making films and getting people to see them, and he knows that marketplace. He knows what it is to sell a film the old-fashioned way and give ownership of what you've built to somebody and end up barely even getting your money back. I understand that's kind of the issue with documentaries: people work on them for years and put so much money into making them and then they finally sell them and can't even make that back, much less get ahead. Stacy's trying to go a different route this time, after feeling like he got burned on his previous films. I think this story was just too close to his heart for him to take that chance again, so he's opted to try out a new distribution model and we've all supported him in it any way we can.
One of the top headlines on ESPN.com/Action is "Barros and Mountain win Vans Bowl-A-Rama." You and Steve Caballero went one and two in the Masters division over the weekend at Chelsea Piers Skatepark in NYC. What do you like about those Masters contests and show you've still got it?
I'm not sure it's the answer you're looking for, but the answer is I've never liked to compete -- then or now. Skateboarding competition to me was a way, in the beginning, to show people some skateboarding and to and showcase who the companies had on their teams: here's who we have, here's who we're backing, here's who we're promoting, and they all have their own take, their own way, their own look, their own approach, their own feeling, their own message to give. Beyond that I never really saw the point. But I really believe that when you boil skateboarding down to competition you're robbing it of all the other special things. And when things get big, when things start to get processed and understood by the outsiders, then those people start to look at those competitions as if they matter. And they don't matter to me at all. They never did.
|The Bones Brigade in present times.|
It's one avenue to showcase what people do, but I think there's much more to skateboarding, and with the Bones Brigade we were always doing something to push, promote, be involved, and try to get into kids' hearts the idea, "skateboarding is fun, you should go do it for the rest of your life." The competition part… is saying something altogether different: "hey, go beat your buddy and you'll get something from life." I think that robs the whole spirit of skateboarding.
Why do you still compete then?
Well, all that being said... it's fun! I don't know if that's a bad answer. It's just a real, honest answer. And winning those contests gives me an avenue to say everything I just said. If you don't win and then say that, people will think "well, that's from someone who can't win, that's from someone who's no good." That's why I've gone and won whenever I could, to be able to say, "I don't believe what you think. This doesn't mean to me what you think it should."
What do you hope people who see the movie take away from it, and from your story in particular?
When you look at this group of people who came to be known as the Bones Brigade, we're all so different and we all just do what we do, and we've all managed to make it all work out somehow. So I hope in some way that the story Stacy put together is really encouraging and inspiring to people. I hope the take-away is: Do your thing. Have some fun. Go skateboarding.