Cannonball Holocaust

20 years of The Terrible Company – how did that happen? Well, let me tell you: lots of skateboarding, lots of videos and many, many, many local skaters doing many, many tricks. No better place to show that off than 2012’s Cannonball Holocaust.

The Story of Cannonball Holocaust

Cannonball Holocaust came at a bit of a weird time for the blog. I had bounced between ideas about how to continue after Cthulhu – and after a year of experimenting with online video content with Episodes 1 and 2 of “Red Cross”, I was keen to go back to making a more traditional “straight to DVD” skate video. In 2011 I began filming what would become Cannonball Holocaust.

The name was somewhat of a cheap attempt to cash in on the “video nasty” theme I had already used for Batface. It was a pun on the horror film Cannibal Holocaust, and I had a plan to basically take what I had learned from Batface and Cthulhu and refine further. I put a stick in the ground to reboot The Terrible Company by having a selection of full parts from more relevant fresh faces in the scene, as well as bringing in some of the younger guys from previous videos (who were now full blown shredders in their prime).

This rebooted crew came in the shape of Lucas Healey, Alex “Moose” McGhie, Kyle Smith, Joe Atkins, Tony Lui and Tez Aldersley. Tony and Tez had previously filmed parts with me, and Moose had closed a Red Cross episode with a full part, but the rest had never had parts in a Terribleco video before. This was designed to make things feel fresh and new, and the decision to have no parts from me, Chris, Rosko, Ralph, Joxa or any of the other Terribleco mainstays gives Cannonball Holocaust a very different feel compared to any previous video.

Cannonball Holocaust was definitely not the last time The Terrible Company would be “rebooted” (in fact it’s been rebooted twice more since this video was released in 2012). When you run something like this for 20 years, you quite often re-evaluate and change things up to keep it interesting for yourself. The driving factor for this video was a feeling that making full parts from the older guys wasn’t something people wanted. Obviously since then I’ve changed that stance: I like making these videos with people I enjoy skating with, no matter who they are, and the bottom line is that I make videos I want to see. If people like watching them, then that’s cool too.

The selection of skaters was intentionally small and Coventry based. Looking back at Batface and Cthulhu I felt that things had expanded a little too much, and I wanted to keep the scope reasonable and to raise up a group of people I thought were really putting Coventry Skateboarding on the map. The idea was to keep the video length restrained and ensure quality… Or at least as much quality as you can expect from a Terrible Company video.

My gut feeling over these 6 dudes was soon proven to be accurate – they all put down a rad selection of tricks for this video, and whilst some parts are shorter than I would have liked, there’s a great variety of terrain and some fantastic bangers throughout. I was especially fortunate that my good mate Martin Orton (aka Poisoned Pen) happily jumped on as a second cameraman for the project and was always happy to get second angles or even film stuff I couldn’t get to.

The most fascinating thing about this video (and I have mentioned this before) is that the last section from Lucas Healey was originally the opener for the video. The making of Cannonball Holocaust was the moment I knew Lucas would go on to be fucking incredible on a skateboard (arguably one of the most exciting skaters to come out of the city alongside the likes Daryl Nobbs, Stan Byrne, Tony Lui and Joe Fleming). Some of the tricks Lucas does in his closing part are some of the best tricks I have ever had the fortune to film, full stop: and whilst by other filmer’s standards they may seem decidedly average, as far as Coventry is concerned, and as far as this blog is concerned, having those on film for all to see is pretty rad.

It wasn’t the grand reboot of a brand new re-invented Terribleco that I hoped it would be, but Cannonball Holocaust is a really rad video. Considering that this blog sits on the precipice of an actual reboot, with a video in the works that shifts focus to those who previously hadn’t received full parts, up and coming local skaters, or continuing to showcase the new faces from Ghostface, Cannonball Holocaust is a great reminder of what happens when I am solely concentrating on being behind the camera. And if that video is any indication, the future looks great.

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