Sheckler Stars in Highly Anticipated Skate Film

Director Erik Bragg address the critics while providing insight into what to expect from the film.
By Nate Hoppes

Some smart person once said, "The best things in life aren't supposed to come easy," or something like that -- I can't remember, I didn't pay much attention in class. But it's fair to say, the entire Plan B family would echo these words.

Plan B Skateboards recently released a trailer for "True," one of the most-anticipated and highly discussed skate films in recent memory. The film features the likes of Ryan Sheckler, Felipe Gustavo, Torey Pudwill, Pat Duffey, Chris Joslin, and more.

The trailer has been well received, but not without a massive cloud of doubt from those who question if the film will ever be released. And who can blame them? Last year, Plan B dropped a series of trailers promoting the full-length film that never happened... that is, until now.

Instead of listening to the raging debate in the comment fields and message boards, we went straight to the source for answers.

The film's director and main camerman Erik Bragg was kind enough to address the criticism behind the release of the film, plus what we can expect to see. But most importantly, he talks about everyone involved with the project and the dedication they've shown the past three years to get this released.

It's common knowledge there's been a tremendous amount of skepticism and drama surrounding the release of the new Plan B film. What do you have to say to those who doubt the film will ever come out even after the release of the most recent trailer? 

Haha, I can’t blame them! The date has changed more than a diva at an award show. We’re almost done, I promise. Nobody wants this video out faster than we do, trust me. The good news is we've never stopped working hard. The deadline moved, and we just kept stacking tricks.

In your guys' words, why has this project been delayed for so long? What have been some of the obstacles along the way? 

Injuries, business crud, and schedules. Broken bones and twisted limbs. Plan B’s riders are hot, hot, hot, too. Sponsors trying to fill up that calendar lickety split. It’s not easy for these guys to go skate a contest, beat themselves up, go on some week-long demo tour, and then fly straight home and huck what’s left of that carcass down a 14-stair handrail.

Ryan Sheckler & Erik Bragg © David Broach

A lot of companies would have rushed this project to get something out there, but you guys fought the pressure from the industry/fans to just get this film finished and put out a product you guys our proud of. How and why? 

There isn’t one member of the Plan B family that isn’t dedicated to what they’re doing. The owners, pros, ams, filmmakers, graphic artists, and the team manager aren’t comfortable with anything less awesome. If it’s not rad, it’s not done.

A project of this magnitude and length becomes a labor of love, has that been the case for you? 

That’s a loaded question. When I signed on to the project, we were going to give it a year and put it out. It’s been three years for me now. It’s gone from a job to a family project. I love all these kooks and just want to make sure the world knows how awesome they are. I know them all in such a different light now. They’ve all progressed as skateboarders in that time. I’ve progressed as a filmmaker, and I’m just stoked that everyone’s going to know how amazing these guys are, on and off the board, and how hard they’ve been working real soon.

Erik Bragg © Marque Cox

What's the significance of the title of the film "True"? 

We’re just keeping the film true to the spirit of skateboarding. It’s simple and shows the riders and what they do and deal with on a regular basis: the lands and slams, the beauty and the bullshit. It’s all there without any extra filigree. No gimmicks. 

What can we expect to see in the film?

Please read with an old-timey, English accent: "Come, now! Gather ‘round! Witness the world’s most elite skateboarders at the height of their careers risk their lives for your entertainment! Watch as they throw themselves through the air with no safety gear and attempt stunts never attempted before at these heights. Watch as they twist and contort their bodies above the obstacles, crashing into the pavement time and time again, breaking their bones and tearing their ligaments until they achieve the impossible over and over again... JUST FOR YOU!”

Also, one little secret. You’ll see.

What are some of the locations you guys traveled to during this project, and which became your favorite city? 

God, I love traveling. That’s why I put up with these clowns! We’ve hit every continent except for Africa and Antarctica. Some of these guys break off on missions with their other teams, too, and they let us keep the good stuff. So between all the riders, we’ve really covered the globe. I’d say Guangzhou [in China] is the most productive, New York City is the funnest unproductive place to go. Sydney is my favorite, and San Francisco kicks ass. We also did a 5,000-mile road trip in my RV that was a blast. Can’t wait to do another one.

You've filmed these skaters for several years now. Talk about what your relationship is like with these guys...

Contrary to what I said above about loving them all, I actually hate them, but they only paid me enough to lie once about that. 

When you're finally standing up in front of a packed house at the film premiere, what are you going to say to the crowd? 

You’re welcome. Somebody grab me a Goose and Red Bull.

A recent comment underneath the teaser on Transworld said, "What if Plan B continues to release trailers for the rest of our generation and as the last skater that saw Superfuture lays in his deathbed, a PlanB rep comes in and whispers, "We never planned on making the video..." and that's the last thing that the skater hears before he dies…"  What's Erik Bragg's take on what the Plan B rep would say to the skater? 

Ha! The only kid who really understands what "Plan B” meant the whole time!

Head over to Plan B Skateboards to learn more about the team and the film.
 

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