Rob Dydrek is best known for being the smaller, skateboarding half of MTV’s reality TV duo “Rob and Big,” but now Dyrdek is making his debut as a moviemaker with a project that’s close to his heart and sure make waves in the skateboarding community. Street Dreams tells the story of an underdog skater who strives to keep his passion alive while everyone around him undermines it, all while shedding light on the very real hostility between skateboarders and cops.
Dyrdek, who served as co-writer, producer and actor, talks to MM about life as a moviemaker and why it was so important to take the message of the movie beyond the screen.
Goldy Moldavsky (MM): Your film won the audience award at the Newport Beach Film Festival and holds the record for being the only film there to sell out. What do you think it is about your movie that’s generating so much buzz?
Rob Dyrdek (RD): It’s the type of film that skateboarding has been waiting for. We have been hyping the film up for a while, including doing an episode of [my MTV show] the “Fantasy Factory” around it. People really wanted to see it.
MM: The movie is about a kid from the Midwest who is suddenly thrust into the skating spotlight. How much of it is autobiographical?
RD: I wouldn’t say it is autobiographical, but there are so many scenes in the film that happened word-for-word in my life. I just used my experiences more for the inspiration.
MM: Did your foray into moviemaking stem from a creative desire to make a skating movie or was your intent always to get a message out about the growing animosity between cops and skaters?
RD: It was definitely about making the first real skateboarding movie. There is no growing animosity between cops and skaters; it has been like that as long as I have been skateboarding. I used to run from cops 20 years ago, skating a little curb at a strip mall in Kettering, Ohio. I am simply portraying how it is for skaters in this film.
MM: Did you feel any pressure from skaters to make this movie as true-to-life as possible?
RD: Skaters can be very critical about movies made about their sport. It was very important for me to make it as real as possible. That’s why I went so hard by writing it, putting it all together and financing it myself. I want to make sure that skaters will love it. I know they will.
MM: As a first-time moviemaker, what were some of the problems you encountered while making this movie? Do you have plans to make another movie?
RD: Wow, I couldn’t even begin to list the amount of problems. It was a very brutal learning curve to say the least; from shooting it, to being over budget by a million dollars, to getting jammed up in post for eight months. It was crazy. It was like birthing a 100-pound baby. I definitely plan on making more. I just love the process of creating something so grand that will last forever.
MM: What do you hope people take away from the movie?
RD: The message is simple: If you have a dream, don’t ever let anyone or anything get in the way of you making it a reality. We all can relate to that.
Street Dreams will be released on June 12th. Visit www.streetdreamsmovie.com for more information and showtimes.