said we would never get the guys together to agree to this film because that was why the whole thing blew up in the first place. because we couldn't agree.‘ says Peralta. ‘So I said: “But Craig. we have to do this." and he said: “OK. but good luck".'
He continues: ‘It was a real trick getting every body to agree to come on board. but now that they've done it. they're all really. really thrilled. When the cameras turned on and I started firing questions. each guy just lit up and was ready to go. And they were all accessible. although we had to hire a detective to find a couple of them.‘
This is where the poignancy and the real drama of Dogtown comes into play. It is not merely a fascinating exploration of skateboarding's aerial development. but a very human story examining the self-destructive trajectory travelled by the youngest and most naturally gifted Z-Boy. Jay Adams. L'nlike Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva. who exploited their skating prowess to great financial gain. Adams surfed the concrete waves all the way to booze and drug hell. When the detective in question did track him down. it was to a correctional facility in Hawaii.
Peralta‘s drive to do justice to Dogtown and the Z-Boys was not only to give lasting durability to a defining cultural moment. but also to assuage his guilt over his own success. ‘People have always asked me: “Well. how come' you went this way and they went that way?" and you know. maybe it was because I realised the ephemeral quality of it. that this is not going to be here for very much longer. So I thought I better
A celebration of the accidental
revolutionaries and concrete
poets of Dogtown
take advantage of it while I could. But yes. I did feel guilty.‘
The guilt is now gone. effectively quelled by the approval of the Z-Boys on the Dogtown project. ‘A number of them came up and told tne that I was the only guy who could have made this project happen. So I was happy to hear that and they were very supportive. It was important to me that all of them felt that they got their due in the film.’
And so what could have become a cheesy Hollywood actioner based on 'real events” has instead reached fruition as an authentic documentary that truly does justice to the pioneering spirit of a group of accidental revolutionaries. gifted street kids who society would otherwise have written off.
‘I just feel fortunate that we were able to do this because I know how difficult it is to launch a film.‘ says Peralta. once more bowing down to the shoe company that made it all possible. 'lt’s so hard to get someone to finance your dream and that we got someone to finance this dream. stand behind it and let us tell it the way we felt it should he told. And yes. I‘m honoured to be one of the first people to do something historical in this culture. I feel really lucky to have been able to do that.~
Dogtown and Z-Boys goes on selected release from Fri 5 Jul. See ticket offer in Rough Cuts on page 26.
‘I don’t care how rich a person is, if you give them something for free, they’re a friend for life’
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