What's left after creating the MegaRamp, jumping over the Great Wall of China and bomb dropping off the Hard Rock Hotel's famous guitar? Danny Way's next major feat is actually an independent movie, a documentary of his life and career so far.
The feature-length documentary biopic of Way's 20-year skate career is a work in progress with the title "Waiting for Lightning." Director Jacob Rosenberg has bumped the release date back and now targets the film to be done in time for the 2012 film festival season.
A film about "Danny tells us how far Danny has come and how far skateboarding has come," said Rosenberg. He aims for a film with meaning, context and a story-telling tone to explain Way's life and to show "how solid a foundation skateboarding can be for people."
Rosenberg dropped out of high school to learn filmmaking from Plan B co-founder, the late Mike Ternasky, on landmark 1990s skate films such as "Questionable," "Virtual Reality" and "Second Hand Smoke," which featured a young Way. "His story allows us to tell a larger story about skateboarding," said Rosenberg.
The new documentary will have plenty of early teenage photos, video and audio of Way along with more recent footage and interviews from him and other legends like Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Travis Pastrana, Mat Hoffman, Ken Block and Rob Dyrdek.
"You gotta think that you don't even know what bailing is," said a teenage Way on a clip in the film preview. As an adult, in a more recent interview shown in the preview, he describes skateboarding as "more than just living. Skateboarding is more than just a check."
Way underwent an ankle surgery at the end of April, following an earlier ankle surgery two months ago. Sources close to Way said he's focused on getting healthy to skate and film this summer. He's also making music while recovering and plans for a chunk of his music to be part of the film. His earlier band, Escalera, featured Way as a guitarist and Bob Burnquist on the drums.
For Rosenberg, the film is a return to skateboard films after years of work on other Hollywood and commercial projects. Ternasky, who was a mentor to Way as well, is part of the reason Way picked Rosenberg to make the film and why Rosenberg accepted.
"I feel like I'm doing right by my mentor to be involved in this project," Rosenberg said. He said Ternasky, who died in a car accident in 1994, acknowledged and empowered young people like him and Way. "Mike set an incredible example of believing in people and inspiring them to live up to their potential."
Rosenberg says the firm where he is partner, director and chief technology officer, Bandito Brothers Studios, works on feature films as well as commercial film projects. It has a keen interest in action-adventure projects and human potential. It's also currently working on a feature film that stars active-duty Navy Seals. The Danny Way project, he says, fits in the same vein.
"Danny's life has been an absolute life of extremes,"Rosenberg said. "He's had extreme highs and extreme lows. Through everything, skateboarding and his achievement in skateboarding has always been constant."