Bones Brigade changed the landscape of skateboarding

Stacy Peralta, front, with his Bones Brigade skateboarding team in the 1980s.

Videos were the rage in the 1980s.

In pop music, artists became megastars by promoting their songs with funny, titillating or provocative videos.

The same held true in the world of skateboarding. The incredible tricks performed by the skateboarders in the Bones Brigade videos of Stacy Peralta revolutionized the sport and helped launch  Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen and others into stardom.

The Bones Brigade were a super talented group of teenagers with bad haircuts, wearing high shorts and doing amazing things on skateboards. Little did they know they would be become pioneers. They took the pastime to new heights, creating hundreds of tricks that are widely used in skateboarding today.

Peralta, a former professional skateboarder turned entrepreneur and filmmaker, tells the story of his team in his latest documentary Bones Brigade: An Autobiography

The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week, will be shown at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Arlington Theater.

Peralta, whose Powell-Peralta Skateboard Company is based in Santa Barbara, said in an interview at Sundance that Bones Brigade is an extension of his film Dogtown and Z-Boys, which documented the wild and crazy skateboarding antics of the legendary Z-Boys team from Santa Monica and Venice Beach in the 1970s. Peralta was part of that team.

Peralta said Hawk and others from the Bones Brigade approached him about doing a film on them.

“When I made Dogtown, they came to me and said, ‘We feel we have a legacy that is as good as Dogtown and maybe better,’” Peralta related in the Sundance interview. “Tony and the guys asked me to make the film. At the time, about eight years ago, I was not comfortable doing it. It would require me as a filmmaker to play a dual role; I’m part of the story, just like in Dogtown.”

The Brigade kept on him.

“About a year ago they came to me and said, ‘We’re now older than you were when you made Dogtown…’”

Once he started the project, it took off.

“The film just unfolded,” he said. “It was the easiest production I ever worked on in my life”

Hawk and Mullen get most of the face time in the movie. The film also features team members Steve Caballero, Tommy Guerrero, Mike McGill and Lance Mountain. Tony Alva of the Z-Boys also appears.

On Hawk, Peralta said he was just 13 when he joined the team and “was like the ugly duckling. People didn’t think he had potential.”

But Hawk was supremely gifted and methodical in his skating. His contest showdowns with the flamboyant Christian Hoisoi are considered legendary.

Today, Hawk is arguably the most recognizable action sports athlete on the planet. In 1999, he became the first skateboarder to complete a 900 — 2 1/2 revolutions on the vert ramp.

“Tony Hawk probably has invented 50 to 100 manuevers,” Peralta said. “Rodney Mullen invented what is called modern freestyle. These guys played such a significant role in inventing modern skateboarding. They would go on to become international icons.”

Just like music videos take people back in time, the Bones Brigade will do the same for skateboarders.

Said Peralta of the Bones Brigade members: “They became the most influential of their time and their generation, and the most successful of their time.”