2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the release of one of the greatest skateboard tour videos ever made, Anti Hero Skateboards’ "Tent City." And as an early holiday gift, Anti Hero is re-releasing a deluxe version on iTunes this week after being out of print for six years.
The classic skate film is a perfect storm of skate elements: insane terrain (a month in Australia hitting street spots, parks and fullpipes,), an ensemble cast of legends (John Cardiel, Tony Trujillo, Peter Hewitt, Frank Gerwer, Julien Stranger, Steve Bailey, Max Schaaf, Frank Gerwer, Matt Rodriguez and Tony Miorana), production by two of the best filmmakers in skateboarding (Buddy Nichols and Rick Charnoski of Six Stair Productions.)
In addition to the original, unedited film, the anniversary iTunes edition is chock full of extras and bonus material such as everyone’s skate footage edited into individual sections, including John Cardiel’s last skate part before his injury, a slideshow of photos (selects can be seen in our gallery) and a hilarious director’s commentary by everyone in the video in a room at the same time.
XGames.com rang up Rick and Buddy, the power couple behind the making of the timeless tale, to ask them about the legacy of their film and to relive their fondest memories.
How it all started was that we were friends with Peter Hewitt for a while and he introduced us to Julien [Stranger] and all the guys came out to New York City when Rick and I were still living there. Julien had seen our other two films, "Fruit of the Vine" and "Northwest" and he said he wanted to collaborate together on a project. A few months later he told us we were going to go to Australia and just drive around and stay wherever. To Rick and I that wasn’t a concept -- that was reality. Basically it was just a road trip movie for us because Rick and I had never had sponsors pay for anything. We’d sleep on the side of the road or in the car or do whatever to extend the trip another couple days. But at the time when "Tent City" was made, it was the beginning of those big rock star, big money, big crossover money tours. I’d like to say the legacy of Tent City, if there is one, is the ideal of showing the way that 99.5% of skaters travel, the real way. It’s funny we’ll have 20-year-old interns come to our office and see the "Tent City" posters and be like, “Oh, wow! Tent City? I grew up on that!” If you’re 23 now, that movie would’ve came out right when you started skating. It’s sort of like a Bones Brigade-type video for some kids."
"The highlight of the trip for me would be the big pipe at the end. We had the thickest crew ever with Trujillo, Hewitt, Cardiel, Max Schaaf, Bailey, Julien and everyone. If you were going to skate a 34-foot tall fullpipe that nobody had skated much, those were the guys you’d want to be with. We had to drive six hours out on these dirt roads, it was super sketchy. More than half the time, stuff like that is a bust or has water in it so for it all to come off, spending the night in there and skating all day and not being kicked out until we were walking out was pretty insane. We slipped in and slipped out. I haven’t seen much footage from there since; I think it’s kind of a bust. It’s nice to have been able to document that for all time."
"I haven’t really watched "Tent City" too much over the years so the first time I really sat down and watched it through was when everyone came down here to watch it for the director’s commentary and, god, I wish I could make some changes. It’s good but I wish we used some more raw, from the hip video footage. At the time Buddy and I were really trying to compose this story that connected and followed our path. Now, ten years later, I think maybe we could have loosened up a little bit in certain sections. I was cringing at some of the edits, because that was ten years ago. Honestly, watching it now, all I could think was that this video captures a classic memory in my life."
"I got so many great memories of that trip. I know it sounds corny but the highlight for me was even getting the opportunity to get on that trip. The lowlight was getting there and spending the first week trying to get the wheels going. We had to go to this cheesy contest up in the north in Brisbane and we stayed in some crappy hotel, and it was at that time that we decided to go buy tents. And when we went to the camping store, that’s when "Tent City" started. I remember we got ripped off the first night with the tents and that’s when we got the spray paint out and messed all our stuff up to make it look like a junk town. The miracle of the trip was that we spent a month camping and we skated from early morning well into the dark of night every day."
"And maybe by coincidence, a lot of skate trip footage in tents came out after our movie. But it makes sense, with all these parks all over the place, on the tops of mountains, next to lakes, on islands -- camping is the best way to travel and skate. You get to a park, throw up your tent, wake up and skate. So I hope, if nothing else, the video inspired people to get in their car and go shred and camp out and skate and see the world by any means."