Discussing First Wave with Don Burgess, ASC
June 20th, 2022

RED: Hey Don. Thanks for sharing Skateboarding’s First Wave with the RED community. First of all, who shot the footage, when and why?
Don: The original footage was shot by my father with a wind up 16mm Bell & Howell. He sponsored the team and made all our skateboards. The footage was sitting in a box in my garage for many years when I decided to pull it out and show my kids. Once I watched the footage was inspired to make a film and tell the story of the Palisades Skateboard Team.

RED: What was it like to watch that footage after all these years?
Don: Seeing the footage brought back all the memories of being a kid skateboarding Palisades High School with all these kids . I wondered what happened to them all and so the journey began.

RED: What was it like to be a kid growing up in Southern California in the 60s, being a part of the First Wave of skateboarders? What does that mean to you?
Don: Growing up in Southern California in the 60’s , I was immersed in the beach culture. We surfed and when there were no waves , we sidewalks surfed. We then started to compete with other teams and then actual competitions began all over Southern Cal.

RED: Did it take very long to find the original team members? Tell us about that day you all got to ride again together. Who shot that footage?
Don: First I found the guy who started the Team, Tim Keller, who had become a teacher and lived in New Mexico. His father and brother Terry , still lived in in Pacific Palisades and we started together putting together the names and finding 10 of the original 15 members of the team. I was shooting a film in Vancouver and I set the date 6 months later, after I finished the film to gather who we could for one last ride at Palisades High Schoo . I also interview everyone that day. My son Michael shot the footage with the RED camera with help from Don Steinberg. It was great to see everyone again after 50 years and hear the stories of how skateboarding had affected there lives.

RED: Thanks for “dropping in” Don. It’s been rad.