I was lucky enough to score a free ticket to last night’s Philly screening of the Danny Way doc, Waiting for Lightning – it’s an intensely dramatic and well crafted portrait of arguably the gnarliest skateboarder ever.
Using Danny’s historic Great Wall of China jump as a thematic base, the film follows the process of staging the event, finding the funding, constructing the ramps, etc. while continually looking back and revisiting Danny’s life and career, from his grom days through H-Street/Plan B to the creation of the Mega ramp. I can still remember vividly watching the DC video when it first dropped and just being completely blown away by the scale and size of the mega ramp. It was unreal. And it was great to see the older footage again as well (Risk It, Hocus Pokus, Questionable, etc), especially on the big screen, and especially the street footage, which was also way ahead of it’s time. And from the ups and downs of his childhood home life, to the passing of his father and Mike T, the personal side of the film is the real eye opener and just as intense as the skating. Danny doesn’t talk much in the film and you get the feeling that he’d rather just let the skating speak for itself. Badass.
The build up of footage leading to the China jump was very effective and puts you in the moment – you can smell the fear, you can see the danger of the structure and you can really sense what’s at stake – and even though you know how it’s gonna turn out in the end, it still keeps you on the edge of your seat – which to me is just top knotch storytelling.
Overall, I thought the film did the legacy of Danny Way justice while presenting skateboarding with respect, honesty and integrity. Congrats to Jake Rosenberg on this one for sure.Definitely check it out when it hits theaters December 7 – you will be stoked.