It’s 1999 and everybody is skateboarding. Youth culture has become extreme, with just about every teen around dressing in the baggiest of pants and cruising around town on planks with wheels underneath them as Generation X made way for a gnarly new breed. If you happened to be wondering just how the devil managed to convince so many kids to sell their souls for such sick rides, there was clearly one culprit to finger the blame on here: Tony Hawk.
Not the Tony Hawk who may have made Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol that little bit more bearable when he briefly appeared on the screen, but rather a digital version of Tony Hawk. Neversoft’s first foray into the world of grinds and Pop Shove-Its was unlike anything else on the market at the time. A joyous celebration of skateboarding that straddled a line between street-level realism and gravity-defying absurdist tricks.
It was of course a gigantic success inside and outside, as kids everywhere wanted to experience skateboarding for realsies. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater kickstarted a generation of fans, with the series growing over the course of several games over the years at NeverSoft. There may have been some bails along the way (Tony Hawk Ride anyone?), but it’s still a fine franchise.
A franchise whose story deserves to be told. That’s the idea with Pretending I’m Superman, as former THPS producer Ralph D’Amato has put together a crowdfunding campaign to produce a documentary on the franchise. From its first 1080 Benihanas as a game that was expected to be a flop through to its glory days and its twilight, Pretending I’m Superman aims to tell the full story.
D’Amato has managed to line up Hawk himself for the documentary, street legend Rodney Mullen and just about everybody else who was involved with the THPS franchise. $15 gets you a digital download of the film, with rewards increasing from there all the way up to the $7000 100% career mode which includes numerous signed goodies and a skating session with the Hawk.
Pretending I’m Superman has currently managed to raise $8644 out of the $75 000 that it’s looking for. Hopefully it doesn’t bail towards the end goal because this is one inside story that I’m keen to see finished.