The Skateboard Saga
In June 1986 the popular Australian television show 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.
Jeremy Kewley was working on another film project with Don Percy – who was fresh out of film school – when they heard about the competition. Kewley and Percy put everything else aside and focused on creating a film that they thought would be well suited to the Hey Hey It’s Saturday audience.
They decided that their film needed to be a highly visual, almost slapstick comedy with a mixture of as many different production techniques as they could muster – live action, animation, claymation, models, puppets, stunts and more!
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 $300AUS. The first cut ran approximately 6 minutes but the competition called for a 3-minute film – so THE SKATEBOARD SAGA was judicially edited for TV, while a copy of the original full length ‘director’s’ cut was retained.
In December 1986 – on live television – THE SKATEBOARD SAGA was named the Winner of the Canned Film Festival!
It was the catalyst for Kewley and Percy to form a production company and step into the roles of Producer and Director (respectively) of television commercials. It was a very exciting time and they were very grateful to Hey Hey it’s Saturday for the opportunity.
Addendum: 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.
PEARLY WHITE PRODUCTIONS present ‘THE SKATEBOARD SAGA” featuring (in order of appearance) GUY MACDONALD • MARK JAMES • KERRYN MORRIS • MICHELLE MORGAN • WILLIAM HOUTEN • CAMERON DE MOOY • DAMON SHINNICK • ANDY SEALE • JEREMY KEWLEY • DARREN MORRIS • RICHARD MORRIS • KEVIN BURKE • ANNETTE PERCY • WILHELM MORGAN • DONALD PERCY • PAUL SPANO • ROSE SPANO • DAVID SPANO • MARK SPANO • TONY ROMANO • CAROLINE WILSON • JUNE PERCY • TAMMY BEZANT • ROBERT MORRIS • GARY MORRIS • JONATHON WILCZEK • LAUREL PERCY • MARK HENNESY • NICHOLAS WILCZEK • CHRISTINE ANDREW • BOYS FROM BRIGHTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Music Composed by PAUL FAGAN and ROBYN PAYNE.
Written, Edited, Animated, Produced and Directed by JEREMY KEWLEY and DONALD PERCY.
© 1986 Jeremy Kewley and Donald Percy.
(c) 2018 Jeremy Kewley. All rights reserved.