Skateboarder and filmmaker (often focusing his films on skateboarding) Stacy Peralta
is releasing his latest skateboarding documentary, Bones Brigade: An Autobiography
, about the Bones Brigade skateboarding crew -- Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill and Tommy Guerrero -- which Peralta helped put together in the first place. Rather than go the traditional route with releasing the movie (as he's done many times, including with the acclaimed skateboarding documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys
), Peralta has decided to go direct to fans. The movie was shown at Sundance earlier this year, where it got some attention and had a bunch of opportunities
to go with traditional distribution partners, but instead Peralta figured it was time to take control, noting that the DIY ethic of direct-to-fan is similar to the way skateboarding evolved
in the early days:
As skateboarders, as people that have always lived on the outside, have always had to sneak over fences or through the back door, have always had to create our own terrain, we’ve decided to put that ethic towards how we release “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography.” We turned down all of the conventional offers for distribution when we came out of the festival in favor of doing it ourselves.
One part of this DIY approach is that to promote this new movie, Peralta teamed up with BitTorrent and TopSpin to help with direct-to-fan digital distribution and promotion. Via BitTorrent, people can download a "Bones Brigade Bundle,"
including a bunch of extras, and then using a TopSpin feature (either on the web, or directly in the uTorrent client), if you submit your email address, you can download an entirely free copy of the classic skate film, The Search for Animal Chin
, which was released 25 years ago, and featured the members of the Bones Brigade. So the combined effort, from Animal Chin to the Bones Brigade documentary is sort of a "full circle" situation.
It's great to see more filmmakers really embracing both direct-to-fan, but also realizing that things like BitTorrent aren't automatically bad, but have a place in a marketing campaign as well. In this case, it's interesting to see Peralta using a combination of a few different tools to create an integrated and comprehensive campaign not only to market the new film, but also to distribute the old film (the first time it's officially available in digital format). Oh, and if you'd like to download The Search for Animal Chin
, there's an embedded widget right below this sentence...