Hear the name Stacy Peralta and you instantly think either: A) I love Stacy Peralta! or B) Who the heck is she?
He is the highest-ranked skateboarder of his time, turned multi-million dollar businessman, turned filmmaker. He is also the creator of, and father-figure to, the Bones Brigade, a skate team that featured the era’s top competitors, including Tony Hawk.
While heading up the Bones Brigade, Stacy went on to produce almost a dozen videos, which became some of the most influential skateboarding flicks of their time and set him on a path to film-making. His film Riding Giants, which traces the origins of surfing, specifically focusing on the art of big wave riding, became the first documentary film to open the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and established him as a powerful filmmaker and storyteller.
His latest documentary, Bones Brigade: An Autobiography is not only a look-back at his life, but more importantly, an insider’s view on the evolution of skateboarding and how its pioneers and legends (like Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, and Mike McGill) were driven by sheer passion to create an art form. They were true innovators.
This was hands-down my favorite film from Sundance 2012 and in this intimate interview at the Sundance Cinema Cafe, Stacy shares his secret to success:
The secret is I had to learn how to fail. That’s the secret to success…is that you’ve got to learn how to fail. Because you fail more than you succeed. You’ve got to get up off the ground and that’s the thing about success. You have to learn how to take those punches. When we skateboarded, we banged ourselves up all the time. But if you didn’t learn how to fall, if you didn’t learn how to bang yourself up, you couldn’t continue.
The film, expected to get a distribution deal for a theatrical release, is not a movie about skateboarding, but an emotional journey about passion, self-expression and the drive to create something meaningful and beyond the realm of possible.