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On Your Radar: Bones Brigade: An Autobirography
by Karen Pecota

Former professional skateboarder now filmmaker, Stacy Peralta reunites his 1980s infamous award winning skateboarding team that took the world by storm in Bones Brigade: An Autobiography. Peralta's documentary is made at the second request of the Bones Brigade brothers Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain and Tommy Guerrero. Peralta when approached some years ago to direct their story just didn't feel like he was the right person for the job though he knew the Bones Brigade fascination needed to be film documented. Their story is a part of American history. A story that is iconic in nature!

In 2010 a desire to revisit the journey taken by the Bones Brigade surfaced. The consensus from the six was that in order to present the depth of their story, Peralta had to tell it! He knew the story the best! The story was of unprecedented measure. And a crazy one!  Peralta's involvement was crucial to their existence. It was Peralta’s idea to gather the team in spite of being only five years the boys' senior.  He liked the idea of being the coach but not necessarily ready to be mentor and quasi-dad. Balance is what the Bones Brigade members needed for success and that is exactly what Peralta provided. Peralta had a sixth sense in timing to exalt the sport but he needed the talent. Peralta searched high and low for the very best skateboarders in the country and built his team with members from California to Florida.

The best were just kids at the time; some had not yet reached puberty.  The boys' initial skateboarding careers began during the awkward early teenage years and the ride continued well into their 20s.  The six team members together changed skateboarding forever but Peralta's dream and vision was the spin that opened the door for extraordinary talent to be revealed. The Bones Brigade members were a group of six good straight-laced all-American kids ready to live their dream in the world of skateboarding. They did it too! In reality Peralta says that at that point, they had no dreams because all they wanted to do was to skateboard all day long. Peralta understood that child-like drive and a love to master the drive. He was allowed to take that enthusiasm and mold it for greatness as a team. Yes, each one of the six had specialty moves like no one else but they always worked and played as a team...that was their calling card.

"What they accomplished is mind boggling and today these moves are a part of their signature legacy in the sport of skateboarding" recalls Peralta  and continues, "They are responsible for the invention of the flatland Ollie, the Caballerial, the McTwist, the 720, the 900 and many of today's street moves. And, a contest record that is simply unmatched by any generation of skateboarder careers which have outlasted every generations thus far."

Bones Brigade: An Autobiography is a powerful portrayal with amazing raw footage of when these men were really just boys. I think Rodney Mullen was a mere twelve years old when he joined Peralta's skateboarding team much to his parents chagrin.

Today, the Peralta-Bones Brigade phenomenon is documented on film with screenings scheduled in September and October and a November 6, 2012 film release. The team decided to take control of their story with their own distribution plan eventually collaborating with TOPSPIN Media. The first money raised for the distribution came via an online auction of amazing personal archived materials from each Bones Brigade member and Peralta himself. They had enough items to keep the sales going for about six weeks or so, but much to their surprise everything sold out in twenty-four hours. Amazing success once again!

Sundance Film Festival 2012 was good to the Bones Brigade giving them five standing ovation audiences after their screenings leading into good Q & A sessions.  All the Bones Brigade members were present giving the audiences one more memorable experience.

A Bones Encounter:
It is not uncommon for me to be so caught up in my job of due diligence as I represent my media outlet abroad that I often forget to just relax and have fun! Enjoy the environment! Forget the schedule!

I was bemoaning the fact that I had passed up a great chance to interview the Bones Brigade team and filmmaker Stacy Peralta after an Australian colleague shared that she enjoyed her interview with them immensely. I was thinking about this while rushing from a very long press conference on Main Street trying to make it to another press screening several blocks away. I was in a hurry! I was on foot and and gingerly walking on the slippery walkways.  I accidentally looked up from my concentration and saw a skateboarder riding on the street...Yikes! In the snow...yes, a skateboarder and then he jumped off to carry his skateboard. Wow! I didn't even know one could ride a board on snowy sidewalks.  I recognized that it was one of the Bones Brigade members, Rodney Mullen.  Oh cool! I was just going to walk on by but then I stopped him, introduced myself and congratulated him on the film. I told him why I liked it and we exchanged a few pleasantries before going our separate ways. Later, I felt so ridiculous!  I am well over the age of a teenager but my enthusiasm to talk to the famous skateboarder appeared similar to a giddy, school girl with a motor mouth! ugh! How embarrassing? But, what's a famous Bones Brigade member to do but respect his elders and graciously get away from the crazy fan as fast as possible, right? Ha Ha Ha...I chuckled as I re-enacted the encounter in my head while on the way to my next screening. I sure stopped to smell the roses and landed flat on my face; but, I was genuinely thankful for Mr. Mullen’s sincere kindness. It's no wonder he is famous! He takes his fame in stride to savor the moment for a compliment well received.