HAVE YOU SEEN HIM?
Stacy Peralta: We did an ad with the Animal Chin character way before the Animal Chin video. It was a joke. A lot of fly-by-night manufacturers were getting into business, and there weren’t enough great skateboarders for the amount of companies that were around. So a lot of companies starting giving models to skateboarders who didn’t deserve models at all, who had no talent. We ran an ad publicizing a skateboarder who was more unqualified than any of our competitors because this guy not only had never even skateboarded, he’d never even seen concrete—it was a picture of this guy Animal Chin. [Laughs.] We made up this whole fictitious thing about him. The ad was a hit.
We had done two official videos, and we wanted to try to do something different. Caballero jokingly said he wanted to act. We decided, “Let’s do a story.” As we started to talk about the story, somehow Animal Chin turned into this zen-like figure, and they were gonna search for him. It was one of those things where you’re having a few beers and you’re talking around and one thing lead to another, and suddenly you’re going down this road and you’re going, “How did this happen?”
Lance Mountain: I wasn’t in the original meetings with Stacy but I might have heard a little bit sooner than the other guys. I’m never scared of trying something different; having the other guys understand that kind of stuff might have been a little harder. A lot of times I think I played the catalyst, like, “Lance gets it” to help sell the idea to the other guys.
Steve Caballero: I thought we could do something that involved some sort of acting, some sort of storyline.
Tommy Guerrero: They didn’t really tell us about the acting stuff until we started filming. It came to light that, “Wait a second, we’re acting,” [Laughs.] or very poorly attempting to do so. Even then, we knew that there was a storyline, but maybe we were in denial. There was so much that Stacy tried to get me to do, it was just difficult to do.
Mike McGill: I was like, “What? We’re gonna act? I don’t see how skaters are gonna like that.” [Laughs.] We gave Stacy a lot of crap for a long time during that, and he kept assuring us, “No, no. This is gonna be different. Nobody’s ever done this before.”
Peralta: To this day, I don’t know if an actual, physical script was ever written. I think Lance said he saw one. We knew we were gonna go to Hawaii and shoot Wallows, we knew we were gonna go to Las Vegas and shoot Johnny Rad, we knew we were gonna go to the streets of San Francisco and Bakersfield and skate this ramp.
The part with Gerrit Graham wasn’t scripted. I knew a talent manager in Hollywood who knew him. Gerrit had a nephew who skateboarded and he was like, “Whatever you guys want to do I’m fine to do this because my nephew thinks it's cool.” We basically threw him an idea of “This is what we need you guys to do in the interview” and then they would just play with it.