‘Angry Sky’ ’30 for 30′ Screening
‘Angry Sky’ ’30 for 30′ Kicks off X Games Weekend
Like everything that comes along with X Games, the kick off bash on Wednesday night in Austin was nothing less than adventurous. The night featured a red carpet screening of the 30 for 30 documentary Angry Sky benefitting the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund at The V Foundation and the Central Texas Red Cross after the recent historic flooding that happened throughout the state.
I’ve long been a fan of the popular docu-series, but usually watch from the comforts of my couch in yoga pants and on my very girly and non-HD 42″-inch TV, cold beer in hand. Being able to see the film in the comfort of the Alamo Drafthouse literally amongst the brilliant minds behind the film was a unique experience, one I could get used to–seeing their faces, hearing the theatre fill with laughter (especially during the scenes which featured aeronautical engineers Lucy and Karl Stefan, because she is THE funniest woman I’ve ever seen on TV), and catching glimpses of the row of X Games veterans supporting their friends and competitors.
Angry Sky executive producer Mat Hoffman says the inspiration behind the film was pretty simple. “This seemed like it was a story that nobody ever heard of–nobody ever told this story–so when I discovered [it], I was like this story has to be told. It’s so inspiring and nobody even knows about it. Nick just had a passion and a will–he just wanted to do the impossible and did it…I don’t know, I’m kind of rambling but that’s what inspired me,” he says.
Jeff Tremaine, the director of the film, pretty much mirrored Hoffman’s thoughts. “Nick was clearly cut from the same cloth as guys like Evel Knievel, Mat and Travis–people that I look up to. I love to tell these kind of stories and to discover one that hasn’t been told. It was a rare treat to find this footage and it’s just a remarkable crazy story and set in a crazy time,” he explains.
Ryan Nyquist, four-time X Games BMX gold medalist and V Foundation spokesperson was in attendance and noted the homegrown feel of having X Games in Austin for the second straight year rather than Los Angeles. “I think most athletes have a different outside activity or something that inspires them besides just bikes, skateboards or whatever and seeing that Mat [Hoffman] was passionate enough to produce a film like this is awesome. For me, it’s like if it piqued his interest and made it happen, I want to see it,” he says about supporting his friend.
Travis Pastrana, 11-time X Games Moto X and Rally gold medalist, was also on the red carpet showing support, decked out in a short-sleeve button down and Red Bull hat, in attendance with his family.
“Mat Hoffman is really cool because he’s my all-time hero. Just all-time for me,” he says with a smile before heading into the screening. “He’s really a pioneer and the person that first does something that everyone else doesn’t understand. Usually it’s so far out there–honestly that’s what Mat was for BMX and that’s what Tony Hawk was for skateboarding–lunatics doing stupid stuff,” he says which just so happens to be one of his favorite part of X Games. “It’s the one place that everyone comes out with their new tricks, so everyone is kind of secretive for like two months before. After X Games everyone kind of opens up, like “Hey buddy sorry I wasn’t returning your calls,’” he jokes, looking forward to the action packed weekend ahead to see who might debut the newest and craziest stunt.
As for the 30 for 30 series itself, Tremaine can’t say enough good things. “I’m super proud and thrilled to be involved with this–ESPN has been such a great partner–such a creatively supportive partner. They just say go make your movie–they don’t get over involved and have been such a good partner. I love the series–I haven’t seen one that wasn’t worth watching the whole thing,” he says.
About the film: In the 1960s, a truck-driver Nick Piantanida discovered skydiving, and set out to break the world record for the highest parachute jump by taking a helium balloon to the edge of space. Over the course of a year, his dream to launch the first civilian space program drove him to obsession. Directed by Jeff Tremaine and Executive Produced by John Dahl, Mat Hoffman and Connor Schell.
Angry Sky will make its television debut on ESPN on July 30th.
*The main picture above was taken by my new buddy Kurt Bradley – an awesome photog who works for a few of the same publications I do. Check out his X Games 2015 photos here.