Documentary on skateboarding park receives widespread recognition

Skateboarders under Kingshighway Bridge in St. Louis were filmed by mass communications senior Ashley Seering and instructor Cory Byers for a documentary that made the Broadcast Education Association's award list. The award ceremony will be held April in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Seering

A skatepark documentary filmed by a mass communications instructor and student has received international attention, as well as recognition from the Broadcast Education Association.

Mass communications instructor Cory Byers and senior Ashley Seering learned in February the Broadcast Education Association will award them the Teacher/Student Co-Production Award of Excellence for their documentary, “Everything Will Be Forgotten,” in April at a ceremony in Las Vegas.

Byers and Seering said it was “a pretty big competition.”

“I’m happy to have won and to have been recognized by my peers that we’re doing good work,” Byers said.

In the documentary, skateboarders tell how they raised funds for five years to build a park for public use. It is the only free skateboarding park in St. Louis. According to the documentary, the city plans to tear down the 76-year-old deteriorating bridge, and take down the skatepark as well. Yet through a lease on unused property in St. Louis, the skatepark will have a new home overseen by a group called Kingshighway Vigilante Transitions (KHVT) which established itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The video was screened last month at the Rider Film Festival in Australia, as well as at the International Skateboard Film Festival in Los Angeles and The Big Muddy Film Festival at SIU Carbondale. It has also appeared in The Riverfront Times.

The roughly 10-minute documentary was filmed over a period of two days in July at the skatepark under the Kingshighway Bridge.

Seering said she learned of the story on a news feature segment on television and thought “going into depth would be a whole lot more interesting.”

“I think it’s one of those stories that people have heard on the news but don’t think much of it,” Seering said, “and when I saw it, I thought I would go down there to see if they would tell their story.”

Byers said he enjoyed learning about the skateboarders’ passion for the park.

“I learned that the skateboarders have a lot of passion for what they do and are willing to take the time and effort to make possible for others to skate…,” Byers said. “They care so much about this they want to get the word out about it.”

Byers said it was great talking to the skateboarders.

“They really opened up to us. They took time out of skating to talk about their thoughts and feelings on the skatepark. They were interested in getting their story out to other people,” Byers said.

The experience was rewarding, according to Seering and Byers, who spent two weeks in August editing the documentary.

“It turned out to be a really good story,” Seering said. “It’s always good to get recognition.”

Seering looked into distribution platforms such as skateboarding sites and film festivals accepting submissions to get the documentary viewed by more people. According to Seering, it has roughly 2,000 views on Vimeo.

Byers and Seering began working together when Seering volunteered to help on shoots as a sophomore.

According to Byers, he has enjoyed working on projects with Seering for the past three years.

“She’s very good. She’s one of our best production students. She’s good at the storytelling aspect of it and the technical aspect of it,” Byers said.

Byers said they were both interested in the project and felt that working together was a good idea.

“We both kind of have similar styles in that we don’t have to direct each other that much because we both have the same thing in mind so it makes things easier to shoot,” Byers said.

Byers said they keep working on projects but “don’t do it for the recognition.”

“We just enjoy producing things…telling stories…but it’s always nice to have the recognition,” Byers said.

Working on these kind of projects helps students build their skills out in the field, according to Byers.

“It’s a valuable experience for everyone involved.The subjects get their story told, and the producers get a project they are proud of,” Byers said.


Everything Will Be Forgotten from Ashley Seering on Vimeo.

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