SXSW Film: Skateboard to the Screen

Waiting for Lightning premiere pays tribute

"No surprise. He's not done." 'Waiting for Lightning' director Jacob Rosenberg on pro-skateboarding legend Danny Way
Photo by Richard Whittaker

Saturday's packed SXSW schedule at the Paramount meant that Waiting for Lightning director Jacob Rosenberg barely had time to hustle his crew onstage after the screening. But he managed to fit in one last person: Skateboard legend Danny Way.

Rosenberg's documentary charts Ways' flight into the history books when he attempted to jump across the Great Wall of China in 2005. That's only one of dozens of astonishing records he's set and insane goals he has reached. And he's not done: After its SXSW run, the film will have its West Coast premiere in April, but don't expect the same cut. Way said, "This movie's not over. There's a big segment that's coming."

"No surprise," said Rosenberg. "He's not done."

Rosenberg said the film "has been 20 years in the making for me, to be able to express my love for a sport that has defined who I am." As much as it records Way's daredevil ways, the movie also served as a tribute to Mike Ternasky: The man who founded Plan B Skateboards, pushed Way to the next level on the pro circuit, and started Rosenberg off shooting skating videos. The film charts Ternasky's pivotal role in Way's life, but Rosenberg made it clear how much of a mentor he was to both of them. He said, "It took Danny coming back into my life and asking me to tell his life story, which is a tribute to what Mike inspired and put inside of me."

Rosenberg wasn't about to forget the crew around him that helped make this film. He said, "Danny has his ramp builders, and they execute his vision. This team here executed my vision for this film in ways to which I am indebted to them for life, and I couldn't be more proud."

Waiting for Lightning screens again Sunday 11, 9:45pm, Alamo Village; Tuesday 13, 7:45pm, Canon Screening Room; Sat. 17, 2:45pm, Stateside Theatre

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