Three decades ago, Rodney Mullen almost singlehandedly invented many of the tricks on which modern skateboarding is based. He quickly became a skating legend, but stepped away from the spotlight after his last major release of footage, 12 years ago. But he’s back now.
In 2012, Rodney met up with the legendary photographer, filmmaker and multimedia artist Steven Sebring, known for his distinguished celebrity and rock’n’roll portraiture. Steven was in the process of developing what he called “the Rig,” a 10.5-by-15-foot “geodome” designed to capture any angle of the form and movement of any subject standing inside. He used it to launch “Revolution” in May 2013, calling it “a peek into the fourth dimension.”
We practice the original and oldest moving image capture technique developed in 1872 by Eadweard Muybridge, with state of the art equipment and software, to create animations that capture form, light, and movement, over time. With this modernized technique we create what we call four dimensional imagery. This allows one to see a volumetric capture of light moving in time, the primary goal of cubism. Our goal is to bring reality into the virtual reality environment with photographs to revolutionize the way people see and interact with imagery.
– Steven Sebring on his image making process
When Rodney learned about Steven’s “Revolution,” he quickly agreed to skate inside of the dome, even though he had not filmed in years. With a little help of Dhani Harrison, who had previously used Steven’s dome to photograph his father George’s guitar collection, Steven and Rodney’s collaboration eventually resulted in the epic 360 degree video “Liminal,” in which Rodney reassures the world he still deserves his legendary status.
The now 49-year-old icon is being shot by 100 cameras while busting some mind blowing skate tricks. On Steven’s website, Rodney explains a few of them, indicating how he was sometimes afraid to destroy Steven’s dome. Some of the tricks are being captured for the very first time, Rodney adds.
“This trick has never been seen or done, as far as I know. It is rooted in an obscure freestyle trick dating back 30 years. However, it was only done landing on all four wheels. This rail-to-rail version requires another level of power and control. On top of that, to do it on a modern (bigger) board, and landing on axles, is so daunting that I had never done it until now. It was particularly inspired by the camera action, because of how beautiful it would look: a rotary motion in a rotary system.”
– Rodney Mullen on his “front-rail to 360º-shove-it to back-rail”
Some of Rodney’s magic can be clicked and dragged on Steven’s website. The full video can be viewed above.