80s Pro Skater / Street Skating Legend / Community Activist / Venice Skatepark Foundation, Founding Member
In the early 80s a few local skate rats who lacked access to pools and ramps created "street skating." Among these pioneers was Jesse Martinez, who is also renowned for infusing an instinctual aggressive style into the street skating discipline. Today, you'll find Jesse still getting aggressive, only now it's on the concrete of Venice Skatepark, to clean and remove the graffiti tags from the iconic park every morning starting at 4 AM… since 2009. A true Venice hero.
80s Pro Super Skater / Star of "Rising Son, The Legend of Christian Hosoi" Documentary / Vans Rider / Born Again Pastor
Hosoi landed in Marina del Rey Skate Park when his father "Pops Hosoi" took over as park manager. There he saw the Z-Boy greats skating and followed in their footsteps, emerging as one of the top competitors of "vert" riding. Hosoi invented the Christ Air, the Rocket Air. He was renowned for pulling huge aerials as well as living like a "Rock Star", but rebirth led him to be a positive influence on the sport and its up-and-coming skaters.
Skatepark Activist / VSA Founding Member / Venice Surf-a-Thon Creator/Manger / Works for the U.S. Forest Service
Today, Ger-I continues championing the Annual Venice Surf-A-Thon - a contest he still manages over the past 19 years, and is documenting on film. Besides his beach life work Ger-I is remembered for his tireless involvement in fighting for the funding and building of the Venice Skatepark for over two decades. Currently, Ger-I offers his time through extensive volunteer work and works for the U.S. Forest Service.
Original Z-Boy / Skate Legend & Surfer / Beloved Venice Skater aka Jay "Boy" Adams
Born in the mythical skateboarding area known as "Dogtown," Jay Adams is known as "The Original Seed" of modern skateboarding, and considered one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. He passed away in Mexico in 2015, where he was spending time enjoying his other favorite activity … surfing. Jay's memory lives on for skateboarders around the world. His final film performance is seen in Made In Venice.
Photographer / Cinematographer / Documentarian
Jonathan Penson came to cinematography from a several-decades long background in photography, including shooting on scene at rock concerts, and for various performers. His early documentaries were short subjects mainly told through the eyes of his subjects. Made In Venice started as a challenge to get to know the skateboarders of the famed location, and evolved into the challenge of finally getting the Venice Skatepark story told.