Wednesday May 09 2012
Old Town skateboarder goes to extremes
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
Ridgeline Entertainment aims to have show picked up by networks
Amidst the quaint streets of Old Town Auburn a skateboarder set on fire aimed to clear a moving vehicle Wednesday evening. The extreme scene will be part of a promotional video for Auburn-based production company Ridgeline Entertainment?s new show Armstrong Action. With a little help from local businesses, law enforcement and firefighters, Ridgeline Entertainment was able to feature Auburn as the backdrop for the show they hope to shop to major networks next month. Starring in the promotional video is William Spencer, who recently wrapped up filming for ?The Amazing Spiderman? where he is actor Andrew Garfield?s (who plays Peter Parker) stunt double. Creating stunts and helping people push the envelope are two Hollywood stunt men Andy Armstrong and Auburn resident Gary Davis. Their work has been featured in ?Spiderman?, ?Planet of the Apes? and ?Terminator.? ?It?s really a show about taking unique and extreme people and taking that person out of their own comfort zone and giving them a task to do that they have never done before,? Armstrong said. ?It?s more extreme, bigger, different and it?s also something nobody else has ever done.? Armstrong said while clearing a moving vehicle on a skateboard is an arduous enough task as it is, being aflame at the same time will up the ante. Spencer will be wearing fire retardant clothing and gel, but the inferno and moving car will all be real. If the show is picked up by a network, the rolling hills of Auburn could be the backdrop for even more stunts. Some concepts include landing a man in a flying bat suit from a jet with no parachute and putting the highest number of vehicles airborne at once. Davis said he hopes the show can continue to be shot in his hometown. ?They have opened their arms up to us. They have given us all this area. They have made sure the parking is all out of the way so we can see the beautiful buildings,? Davis said. ?We want to keep the show here in town and base it out of Auburn.? Doug Stanley, director and owner for Ridgeline Entertainment, said the company is focused on bringing production to Northern California. ?We love this town and for us we like the concept of dragging Hollywood north,? Stanley said. With the production boom in other cities, including Knoxville, Tenn., Stanley said there is no reason it can?t thrive in the Sierra Foothills. Spencer said he is ready to try the fiery stunt and relying on the expertise of Armstrong and Davis to keep him alive. ?Being on Spiderman I had never met these dudes before and they set it up so I survived the whole movie, so if I can?t trust them by now, I just can?t trust them,? Spencer joked. As dusk fell Wednesday, a crowd circled around the scene of the jump in Old Town Auburn. Cameras flashed and applause erupted as the stuntman completed the jump. Auburn siblings Jesse and Melissa Clark initially saw fire trucks in Old Town and stopped to see what was going on. They said watching the stunt was ?exciting.? ?It was interesting,? Jesse Clark said. ?It?s definitely a contrast from what usually goes on around here.? Reach Sara Seyydin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.