There’s some very smart people out there that believe this thing we call reality is most likely a computer simulation designed by some ultra-intelligent life we’re unaware of. And if we are indeed just characters in an alien video game, Todd Falcon is well on his way to the final boss.
For any noob’s out there that may not know about the one and only Todd Falcon, how about this for starters: he’s invented at least “1,000 original tricks” (mostly within the confines of his Texas garage), he sincerely describes himself as a mix between Rodney Mullen and Tony Hawk, and he’s managed to amass a cult following, direct some self-produced horror flicks, and get a trick in a THPS vidya game – all without ever getting sponsored by a big board company.
With the impending release of his new video, “Skateboarding Revelations: Journey To The Final Level,” we wanted to reach out to the man himself to understand what’s going in that big shiny head of his.
Have you always approached skateboarding differently than others?
Immediately. Maybe it’s because I feel there’s no rules to it. And maybe because I would skate by myself and just started doing whatever was fun, creative, or interesting. I wasn’t thinking about tricks, but I did do bonelesses in the late 70’s. It’s about the only trick I remember doing until I started core skating in the 80’s.
How many tricks do you think you have you invented?
I actually have this massive list I made in 2002 and that list tops 2,000 (tricks invented). I tried to mend it in 2012-2014 and I think the total where my list stops is 3,500. I believe there’s 1,000 more tricks I invented since and I’m hoping to reach the 5,000 trick barrier but I’ll never have a chance to count.
Do you think you are a genius?
I never think about these things. I am too busy creating art non-stop 24/7, but I am trying to do the best I can with every aspect of my life.
Do you think you’re insane?
No… I don’t think… I know I am, but what’s insanity anyway? For me it has been taking everything in skateboarding light years into future worlds that still don’t exist yet, and pushing myself as far as humanly possible to reach the most epic heights in skateboarding… Is that insanity? I view it as a life long goal that has come to fruition.
What’s the hardest trick you think you’ve invented?
There are many that are the ultimate tricks of all time for me, it’s hard to narrow it down to one out of a list of over 3,000. I designed many of the tricks to be so difficult that they will never be performed again…not by myself or anyone else. That was sometimes the intent.
Have you ever seen anyone else replicate your tricks in videos or the streets?
I invented every single trick for myself and never thought about anyone else doing them and never cared if anyone did, but I’ve been seeing stuff as of lately. I get tagged all the time on Facebook with tricks that people know that I came up with or similar variations. It’s funny because 10 or 20 years ago I didn’t see anybody doing any of my stuff, but it seems like 20 or 25 years later after I’ve done these tricks they’re starting to get going. I thought of that in the early 2000’s like, “Why is no one really doing any freestyle on ramp?” I was sitting there doing a 50-50 axle stall and I’m thinking, “Why don’t we just go up to primo?” That trick opened up a world of over a thousand variations.
I have actually seen my tricks being done since 2002 and they are being done now more than ever these days… I have seen many FalconStalls, FalconPlants, FalconStomps, Lemon Drops, Pretzels and more done. It’s amazing to see, and I would have never known if I had not been notified by others.
Rodney Mullen has invented many fundamental street skateboarding tricks. Who do you think is more innovative, yourself or Rodney?
You can’t really compare apples to oranges really. I will say that Rodney is a definite influence on me. My whole mindset was inspired by Mullen and Hawk because I thought they were the two greatest abilities on flatground and ramp. Rodney Mullen is amazingly innovative. I used to rent these VHS skate videos that were competitions in the 80’s and I would always fast forward until I saw Mullen and just watch his part over and over.
Speaking of Tony Hawk, one of your tricks was featured in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game series. How did that come about?
I think it was around the same time as The Big Brother magazine interview. They [Neversoft] contacted me and said we’d like to license one of your tricks. And I was like, of course. I’m not going to say no. They chose the Falcon Slide and that’s a hard one to explain on paper. It’s a one footed darkslide with one foot pushing sorta thing.
Did they cut you a check for that one?
I wish I could say I got some money off that, but no. It was just a publicity thing, you know?
Damn! That’s crazy.
Yeah, it would’ve been nice and I asked if I was going to get paid and they were like, “Nope.” Welcome to the skateboard industry! [laughs]
Have you ever made money off of skateboarding at all?
No… but I hope to this time.
Let’s talk about your newest video project, Todd. What’s it called?
Skateboarding Revelations: Journey to the Final Level.
What is the “final level” of skateboarding?
Well, that’s a question that took me 32 years to answer myself. I won’t tell you what it is because that would give away the main part of the film, but the final level to me was a level that would be so difficult that you either assume you can’t really do anything without doing something entirely different, or you could just take this point and open up a whole different universe. I think that’s truly what’s going on here, but final level sounds right.
It’s marketing, it’s fun, and it’s tongue in cheek because there is no final level, but what it really feels like after all these decades of inventing tricks… it feels like it can’t get much further than this without starting a new stance on the board, but you’ll see.
What can we expect from it? Is it going to be one giant part or is it going to be a movie?
I want to call it a documentary/feature film/music video/reality show/horror movie. An amalgamation of a lot of things thrown together, like spaghetti. It follows and tracks testimonials from myself and other pro skateboarders just speaking about my skating and what they know about it and how it influenced them and how it can go in any direction.
My point of the film is that I wanted to invent the most tricks in skateboarding history and I want to find the hardest trick of all time that would be where the “final level” is. It took 32 years to reach that and as I said it follows the tricks I invented and shows you the year on camera for almost every single thing that has been done from the early 80’s to 2014, where I cut off the film. That’s the year I hit the holy grail vert trick I was looking for.
Is there a release date or where can we all see it?
Not quite yet, I’m still tweaking and finishing up some testimonials I wanna get. Nobody has really done anything like this, so I want to be careful and make sure it’s as top notch as it can be. It’s 32 years in the making that’s a long time to consciously program one specific mission and film it for all these years. I’ve been editing it for almost 7 years. With all this footage, it’s a pretty massive project. I hope I can do a premiere in the summer of 2017, and hopefully get it out in the summer time as well.
Since this is the final level of skateboarding, does this mean this is the last time we’ll see Todd Falcon?
All that stuff really depends on how the film is received and what comes out of it because I’m really doing the film for myself. This is my skating, but I do hope everyone likes it and it can lead me to a greater involvement in the skate industry, considering that it seems to evoke the idea of being original and doing your own thing. I would love for nice things to happen and to push creative and original skateboarding to the forefront spotlight and put skateboarding in levels that it hasn’t been put into yet.
For instance, the Olympics just pulled skateboarding in, and how’s that going to go? Are they going to have rules? Put me on as a judge. I’ll design a level for them. We’ll have some colored LED lights or something crazy. Props… put in a pitchfork and whatever you can grind on. Let everyone just go for it and give them an open forum.
I don’t think the Olympics are going to do anything like that, but that’s an example of like, “Hey, let me step in and push it up a notch and progress it.” I’d love to have my own skatepark one day. Maybe a Todd Falcon Final Level video game? [laughs] I’m serious, how sick would that be? A bunch of pro skateboarders known for doing original tricks all in there and you would have the ability to create your own tricks in the game.
Back in the day, how did you get Ben Raybourn on your board company?
I think I met him at a local park and he was a real creative skater at the time and did original stuff so I sponsored him and gave him a spot on the team. He toured with FalconSkates for the No Logic skate film that we did. After I closed down the old team, I already knew exactly where he would wind up. I’ve known a lot of things decades before they have happened.
Besides skating, you’ve also released a ton of horror films. Do you write and direct them?
Most of what’s on the site are probably my own films, but we’re picking up filmmakers around the world. I think I’ve done 19 or 20 full length films – all horror. I wrote, produced, directed, edited, and even scored a handful as well.
What’s with your obsession with gore and blood and horror?
Horror movies are my favorite thing ever and it’s what I do. My world of skateboarding is full of horror, which explains why I have pushed the limits so far.
Where does it stem from? Have you ever actually killed a man?
I’ve been into horror since I was three or four, and after seeing the original Friday the 13th in 1980, I knew I was going to write, produce, act in and direct horror films for the rest of my life. I’ve killed hundreds on camera through a lifetime horror film career.
As a horror guy, do you like it rough in the sack, with bondage and such?
Everything in my world is set for an 80’s slasher film 24/7 so there are plenty of evil clown masks, mannequins, body parts and props to choose from.
”My world of skateboarding is full of horror, which explains why I have pushed the limits so far”
Have you ever considered making a horror porno?
A lot of the films I have already directed and released have already been compared to that since there’s always plenty of boobs and gore. Actually, I have a major skateboarding horror film planned, but it is only going to happen if the full budget is raised.
Do you believe in magic? Have you ever tried to summon the powers of satan or use white magic?
I believe in David Copperfield. He is my favorite magician. I’ve tried to use (and did on occasion) telekinesis more than anything, my old house was inhabited by unknown spirits and lots of odd things happened and several films I wrote and released had parts of the plot come true many years afterward.
Do you think you’ll always direct horror films or do you think you’ll try other genres like romantic comedies?
Man, I can’t really see myself doing anything other than horror, I really can’t. But then again, if a studio asks if I want to do it, it’s like sure, why not? I’ll give a shot at it. But personally, I don’t see that happening any more than a found footage film. Horror is just the genre of film I grew up with as much as skateboarding probably, who knows. It’s my favorite thing ever. We just watch horror movies all day every day in this household.
What were you like in high school?
The same as I am now… focused on skating, horror films and music and being unpredictable. That’s all I did in school, write and direct horror films while skating during the day. By the time I had my first film class in college, I had already directed seven full length films.
What were your interests before or aside from skateboarding and film making?
I was born and raised in the music industry and started playing drums and skating at four. I started making horror films at eight, so I have only done these three things for my entire life. There were no other interests ever.
Do you ever worry that skateboarders don’t take you seriously?
Ultimately, I don’t care what anyone thinks, but that is probably an accurate statement as the industry was not ready for this kind of skating until now. Skaters who don’t take me seriously are not hardcore skaters because that’s what my journey is all about…being as hardcore as absolutely possible both physically and mentally. Those without knowledge and experience tend to be unaccepting.
My thinking is that they hate without knowledge because they haven’t done it or tried it, because if they did, they might find that it’s quite difficult and quite challenging and quite fulfilling to do something like that. I was always the type of skater that said never say never to anything, and never critique anything, because at the end of the day I think skateboarding is art and art is subjective. It’s a personal thing. Make your own world and create it as you want.
What do you say to the people who think you’re joking?
I ignore them.