Rodney Mullen is a living legend and has every right to be. With 30 years of innovation one might expect Rodney to achieve a few “firsts”. As the inventor of the ollie, kickflip, heelflip, treflip, and many other tricks Rodney will always be on a pedestal.
It’s been 12 years since Rodney Mullen released a significant amount of footage. Yet, here today, it is. Steven Sebring invited Rodney into the world of his high fashion studio to capture the true essence of a creative human.
Long live the King.
Additional words by Rodney Mullen about the project:
In mid-2012, Ben Harper and I were driving to a premiere of the Bones Brigade Documentary, when Dhani Harrison called. Ben put him on speaker to introduce us, because Dhani had been on him about this idea of having me skate in a special camera system created by Steven Sebring. I immediately found myself a little star-struck in listening to him, but Dhani quickly had me laughing and intrigued by ideas and pure love for skating. A couple of weeks later, I found myself in Dhani’s office, completely taken-in by the scope of his vision. It was there that he introduced me to his manager David Zonshine, who has an x-ray-vision kind of insight in his ability to capture essences and connect them. Together, they are a formidable pair.
Having used Steven’s Dome to photograph his father’s guitar collection, Dhani said he’d like to get me in there before moving on to other legendary guitar collections from musicians that made my head spin. I apologetically explained that I had not filmed in years, still in the throes of trying to break apart the adhesions that had fused my right femur to my hip—fueled by hope, yet without promise. Dhani never even winced; he merely stated that it’d be ready for me whenever I was, then went into detail about Sebring’s revolutionary invention. He’d periodical pause to hop onto his board and snap a quick heelflip—as if to complete his thought—then warned that there was nothing that could prepare me to skate in Steven’s Dome.
A few months later, I met Steven in the Bowery Hotel lobby, a day or two before we tested the rig for the first time. Steven Sebring is one of the most respected photographers in the world, having shot many of the most iconic figures in music, fashion, and more; beyond that, he’s a visionary. Steven is a tall, long-haired, black-clad figure with a penetrating gaze, yet the moment I met him, his smiling candor overcame his natural gravitas. As soon as we shared ideas, an almost childlike excitement overcame him. It was then that I realized we tapped into the core of his love for leveraging technology to capture movement in unparalleled ways, utilizing what he stressed was Pure Photography. This was my first glimpse into his genius.
This collaboration of Dhani Harrison, Steven Sebring and myself was driven simply by a love of what we do. There were no sponsors, nor will there be any product launch. While there was indeed talk of app’s at first, it was all scrapped because we didn’t want constraints or deadlines to bind us. Together, along with Steven’s band of digital wizards, we single-mindedly committed ourselves to creating something pure and beautiful, by doing what we do. Together, we leveraged and redlined everything we’ve done for most of our lives, all that makes us who we are. We hope that you enjoy this.