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This city app developer’s slow-mo video of skateboarding monsters is pure joy

Andy Rothwell tells us how “Monster Thrashin’” was made.

That, friends, is a thrashin' monster. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Monster Thrashin’Andy Rothwell’s video masterpiece of Muppet-like monsters doing sick skateboarding tricks all across Philadelphia, has been a long time in the making.
It started with this video of adults playing with toy cars. Then, Petty Cabswhere Rothwell filmed cutouts of Tom Petty riding on RC cars.
He took a short break from the craft when he moved to Philadelphia from Washington, D.C., three years ago. Now, Rothwell, 37, an app developer for the city’s Streets Department, is back with some of his best work yet. (Onlookers loved it, too, he said. Some would even cheer as the puppets jumped.)
Watch it below.

Here are some behind-the-scenes technical details from Rothwell:

The board is radio controlled, I’m right outside the shots driving it, there’s a stick coming up through the middle of the board, and those are ~1.5 ft tall puppets. I converted a radio controlled car to a skateboard with just a little handiwork. I think the thing goes ~25 mph without the puppets dragging it down, a little slower with them though.

And more details about the actual filming:

I actually got a lot more shots where you can see people running by or watching the action, but when I was looking through the footage I sort of liked the idea that if I didn’t show people, the video might feel like it’s happening on a parallel puppet world where there are no people. But then I didn’t commit to that theme fully, because friends I showed drafts to loved the shot where the purple puppet takes the man in Love Park by surprise, so I felt like I had to use that one.

Our editor-in-chief, Zack Seward, is a super fan. We don’t think we’ve ever seen him so happy in the newsroom.

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