About the Skateboard Saga
In June 1986 Hey Hey It’s Saturday launched a home movie competition it cheekily named The Canned Film Festival. Daryl Somers and producer Jim Burnett were inundated with entries totaling around 600. They estimated that approximately 60 percent of these films had been made before the competition was announced. The Skateboard Saga was in the other 40 percent.
We decided that our film needed to be a highly visual, almost slapstick comedy with a mixture of as many different production techniques as we could muster – live action, animation, claymation, models, puppets and stunts etcetera.
Ideas for a ‘chase’ film were thrown about and The Skateboard Saga was born. Shot on super 8mm film, it was made for a total cash outlay of approximately $300AU. The first cut ran approximately 6 minutes but the competition called for a 3-minute film – so The Skateboard Saga was judiciously edited for TV, while a copy of the original full length ‘director’s’ cut was retained.
In December 1986 The Skateboard Saga was awarded first prize.
The opening title of the film is shown being hand written in chalk, but does not get beyond ‘The…’ before the chalk breaks. Essentially the film’s first joke, the film’s title was simply The…! But the producers of Hey Hey insisted that it have a more formal title and minutes before it was to go to air they informed us that they were going to call it The Runaway Skateboard. Feeling that The Runaway Skateboard was a little bland, we came back with the suggestion it be called The Skateboard Saga.