Five reasons to go see skateboard legend and filmmaker Stacy Peralta today

Stacy Peralta, a '70s-era skateboarding legend in his own right -- and co-founder of the Powell Peralta Bones Brigade skateboarding team that included Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Mike McGill and dozens of the top pro skaters of the '80s and '90s -- will be the featured guest at 12:30 p.m. today at St. Cajetan's, 1190 Ninth Street on the Auraria campus, as part of the University of Colorado Denver's College of Arts & Media speaker series.

Peralta, an alumni advisory boardmember of the Sundance Film Festival, is as well-known today for his documentary filmmaking as his own skateboarding days, and he'll be showing clips from his films, including Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001), Riding Giants (2004) and Crips and Bloods: Made in America (2008), as well as his brand-new documentary Bones Brigade: An Autobiography. We've got some of his career highlights after the jump...

5. "I'm just a rollin' with you." Stacy Peralta starred in Freewheelin', one of the original skateboard flicks, circa 1977, with a bit of a love story and a soundtrack forever burned in my brain. I'm planning to bring my copy on VHS to see if I can get him to sign it for me.

4. "It was dirty, it was filthy, it was paradise." Peralta's first documentary hit was an inward-looking take on the Zephyr Surf Shop skate team of the 1970s -- aka the "Z-Boys" -- that he was a part of. The film was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival and helped launch his filmmaking career.

3. "Now this is a skateboard." After putting together his own all-star skateboarding team, the Bones Brigade, Peralta directed The Bones Brigade Video Show, one of the first skate team videos, and sent it out to skate shops just as the VCR craze hit. "We released it in the spring of 1984, right as people in America were first starting to buy VCRs," Peralta said in a recent interview. "We made the video with the idea that it would play at skateboard shops and we'd probably sell 100 of them max because not that many people had VCRs. We ended up selling more than 30,000 of them. Today we'd say it went viral: We had skateboard shops calling us from all over the world, literally, saying, 'You just don't realize what these videos are doing. You've got to make one of these every year, because it's rising the tide.' We figured that for every video we sold, 100 kids would see it, because they'd get passed around, they'd get copied, kids would pile up in skateboard shops and living rooms and watch these things. It was unprecedented."

2. "There's something about riding a 60 or 80 foot wave." For Peralta, skateboarding was always his second love: First came surfing. His big-wave surf documentary Riding Giants is even gnarlier than his skate films.

1. "Have you seen him?" The Search for Animal Chin and other Bones Brigade films helped shape both skateboarding and pop culture for a generation. Today Peralta will be screening portions of his new film, Bones Brigade: An Autobiography, which premiered at Sundance in January and won't screen in full in Denver until some time this summer.

Today's program is free; get all the details here.

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Colin Bane
Contact: Colin Bane

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