Last Thursday in Los Angeles, Calif., Vice.com and Vans Syndicate hosted a private screening of the "Epicly Later'd" webisode featuring Eric Dressen.
On the same day, the first installment of the five part series launched online, but those fortunate enough to be at the invite-only event were privy to a director's cut of the entire series.
Present at the Fairfax Avenue movie theater to support Dressen were a cast of legendary skateboarders including; Lance Mountain, Christian Hosoi, Jim "Red Dog" Muir, Scott Oster, Steve Olson, Laura Thornhill, Ron Chapman, Sal Barbier, Bennett Harada, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna and the young buck of the group Anthony Van Engelen.
Artists Chris Johanson and Neckface, (who've both contributed artwork to skate brands), were on hand as well, excited to check out the latest installment of Patrick O'Dell's skateboarding documentary series.
Friends and skaters lined up to shake Dressen's hand outside of the theater, while skateboarding's pioneers cajoled him into standing under the marquee bearing his name for a commemorative photo.
O'Dell introduced the film and the theater cheered. Through sighs and big laughs, the audience ran the gamut of emotions as Dressen walked down memory lane. Pioneering skateboarders, who were also featured on screen, could be heard shouting and hollering during the footage of a young Dressen annihilating a bowl as a 10-year-old, and later as he skated curbs as a teenager in Venice, Calif.
When the film ended and the lights in the theater came up, the crowd were on their feet giving Dressen a standing ovation. O'Dell said, "At the end when everyone gave Eric a standing ovation, that was amazing, and touching. It was great to give Eric a little more shine, and he totally deserves it. I feel that skateboarding is at an age when its' history needs to be written, and I don't want people like Eric forgotten to skaters of the future."
"Epicly Later'd" has been chronicling behind-the-scenes stories and skateboarding folklore since the first episode in 2007. O'Dell was interested in telling Dressen's story because he's not only a filmmaker but a fan, explaining, "I met him and thought he was such humble guy. We talked for awhile about all the skaters we like." O'Dell continued, "but then I thought about how much influence he's had, and that he might have been the only skater to be professional in the '70s banana board era and stay current and relevant into the '80s and '90s. He's been an amazing skater during five decades."
The only other example when an Epicly Later'd has been premiered as a full-length was the now famous "Cardiel Episode" -- the Dressen webisode is equally as powerful and compelling.
New segments of will be launched every Thursday on Vice.com through February 14th. Dressen himself, is not online, to keep up with him, head over to the Fairfax Avenue tattoo shop where he works.