../people/Mark Eaton

Sources: www.bangpictures.com, www.myspace.com/mark00eaton, www.notfreestylin.com, www.ridebmx.com, Dig, www.ridebmx.com, Freestylin, www.rampupthejawn.net, krtschmidt.com, ...
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1969 DOB: may 13, 1969.
early years Joe Kid press book: Mark began riding at the age of 4 and discovered “BMX” by seeingolder kids in his neighborhood jumping curbs on their modified Stingray bikes.Eventually, by 1979 mark was terrorizing the neighborhood school grounds jumping anything he could on his bicycle. In 1981 he met Kevin Jones –the localBMX legend at the time, and they began documenting their BMX-escapadesjumping, riding on natural structures, and goofing around.
In late '84 the Plywood Hoods were formed. Mike Daily thought up the name.
1985 Joe Kid press book: The PlywoodHoods were some of the best freestyle BMXers in the area and they began doing local shows at fairs and public gatherings.

Mark airing a pool of the Spinning Wheels skatepark in Reading, PA.
mark eaton spinning wheels
1986 The first steamroller
Mark Eaton, Ride BMX US april 2001: At the end of 1986 we -the Plywoodhoods- went to the AFA Velodrome contest (CA), and there were some groundbreaking tricks coming out like backyard and funky chickens, and we were trying to push some tricks and come up with whole new tricks. For the longest time I was working on holding the seat, pushing with my foot and then just cruising in the steamroller position, but whipping into it wasn't even a thought. No one had done any tricks were you didn't use the brake and whipped in it. When I got back from that AFA contest I was Really motivated and pumped to learn it. I was in my basement just trying and trying to whip into it, and finally, I was able to whip and hold it.
1987 The first whiplash
Mark Eaton, Ride BMX US april 2001: As soon as the steamroller came, I immediately started working on the whiplash because I knew it was going to happen. I just worked on doing the opposite smoothie out on the other foot. Once I was confortable whith that, I finally pulled it.
I heard that someone had doing it before but I kind of didn't believe it. Since freestyle was a lot smaller than it is now, it was kind of a little tighter... I assumed it was more of a rumor than anything.

3rd place expert 16-18 flat @ AFA Masters round, Colombus, Ohio, september 1987.
Plywood Hood Mark "Lungmustard" Eaton took third with such antics as a forward-rolling tailwhip after beating Gary Pollak in a tie-breaker.

Cover & interview: Freestylin #29 october 1987.
mark eaton steamroller 1987 afa round 4
AFA Masters round 4, steamroller.

mark eaton freestylin
Joe Kid press book: In May of 1988, Mark Eaton & Kevin Jones produced the first independent BMX/Freestyle video titled: “Dorkin’ In York”. This [video] was the first rider-produced video, which would lead a revolution of independent, rider-made videosin the years to come.
Mark Eaton, www.myspace.com/mark00eaton , may 13, 2008: While driving frantically to make the last FedEx cutoff time in Philly to deliver a video, I thought of something: 20yrs ago this day, I was doing the exact same thing but on a WAY different level.
I was tight up against a deadline to deliver a video -a video that I had spent days & days of all nighters working to complete in time to show.
May 13th, 1988 something profound happened (which at the time I had no idea the impact it would have). I premiered a crappy little homemade BMX video in my hotel room at a BMX competition in Austin TX. The video was called "Dorkin' In York", and it basically changed my life forever. Dorkin' In York was the first homemade BMX video to showcase great undiscovered riders and show an "insider's" view of antics with the pros that had never been seen before. Dorkin' showcased The Plywood Hoods -a group of riders from York PA that -in the late 80's redefined BMX Flatland and promoted a DIY (DO IT YOURSELF) mentality by creating 'Zines, new tricks, and now videos.
May 13th was also significant because it's my birthday. I was 19yrs old without a "plan". I wasn't going to college and if I had, I had no idea what i wanted to do. All I knew is that I was doing what I wanted to do - trying to become a professional BMX rider (even though there was no money in it at the time).
Dorkin' In York sold about 400 units -all of which were hand made. EVERY video was personally dubbed one at a time, VCR to VCR, and the cover was zeroxed & pasted onto each cardboard box by either me or Kevin Jones. The video sold for $10 shipping included.
To us, Dorkin' In York was a success because we produced our own video the way we wanted with the riders we wanted and the music we wanted. We were also able to distribute it worldwide thru reviews in the BMX magazines.
One video led to another, and another, and another. By the 4th video, I had realized that this "video making thing" was really fun, and another creative outlet besides riding. I began studying techniques of other videos and reading technical books on video & film. There was no internet, so resources were very slim. Cut to the Chase (multiple puns there) -This little homemade video led me to a "career". 20yrs, 10 Dorkin's and a DVD Boxset, and hundreds of productions later, I am sitting here tripping out on the journey and where the next 20yrs will take me.
Every video or project is a test to see how good I can make something within the budget & time given. I have accepted that I will probably always work all nighters frantically up until the very last minute to make it perfect to me, and then think to myself: "If i only had one more day..."
A LOT has changed in 20yrs, but alot has stayed the same...
Ironically, DIY also stands for Dorkin' In York...

Krt Schmidt, krtschmidt.com/blog, april 2008: Is it the best flatland run you have ever seen? No. But for those of you who can appreciate the innovation Mark and Kevin brought to freestyle then you will enjoy watching Mark’s run in 1988 AFA Masters round 3, Arizona.
1989 2nd place Good @ Meet The Street 1989 final standings.
1991 From june 1 through august 21, the Plywood Hoods are "rolling" across the USA on their '91 summer tour. Kevin Jones, Mark Eaton and Chase Gouin have hooked up with Peregrine and tour manager Jerry Uy to put on this tour.
Dorkin 8 video: Wheelies.

Mark Eaton under the spotlight in the 20inch video issue 2.

KalaYasuda, www.youtube.com, august 2011: Mark Eaton's section from his Dorkin' 8 creation, Wheelies, 1994. ,Talk about flat and street fusion, Mark is a pioneer of the concept. Also David Letterman's stunt double. Cool.
Mark Eaton produced the HB video Madd Matt.
I spent like an entire month just editing, but I was so psyched with the first fifteen minutes, that I kept catching myself matching the beginning of the video. I would get so motivated by watching what I had just done that it helped me get through the video while maintaining the name level as the beginning.
Balancing Acts.
I started filming for the video at the XGames in 96 and continued filming until march of 97' (about 4 months total with editing.) Most of the footage was shot on Hi8mm, but I try to shoot as much 16mm film as possible because of the way it turns out. The only problem is It's just so damn expensive...

Interview in Dig #6 autumn 1997.
Right now, I am Producing/Directing videos & commercials through EATONFILM. I still ride. In fact, I am cosponsored by Trek Bicycles to do shows on the East Coast. I've done a lot of shows this summer with my friends from the Philadelphia area called The Gotham City Daredevils. The shows were sorta "Old School", but we throw a lot of new stuff in too. It's fun to bust out old tricks, because a lot of kids have never seen them before and they're more entertaining to people not familiar with the sport.

I am getting married in december 1997.
1998 Mark, Ride BMX UK february 2001: Right after completing the Hare Fantasy video. I moved to Philadelphia, PA, to start a production company with two other guys that I had been working with on commercials and stuff. Philly was a good location for us because the other guys lived close by, and there was more production happening in Philadelphia than in York. York is only one and a halt hours away, so I still go there often.
1999 Joe Kid press book: In April of 1999 Mark Eaton joined forces with longtime riding friend John Swarrto launch Bang! Pictures; a production company created to harness larger film & videos projects.
2000 YORK JAM.
Mark, Ride BMX UK february 2001: This York Jam was fun, but I was really exhausted from trying to complete Dorkin' 10 in time for the premiere. I have always edited up to the last minute, but this time was ridiculous, I was awake for many days editing non-stop. I wanted to be able to just hang out and ride with everyone like a true jam session. I think everyone there had a good time though. This jam was the last York Jam because it's the end of an era - The York Jam, Dorkin' videos, The Plywood Hoods. I wanted Dorkin' 10 to tell the story of how a group of guys in York, Pennsylvania, wanted to change and influence a sport, which, at the time, had little-to-no future. I hope that this video will give inspiration to the new generation of riders, who probably have no clue who The Plywood hoods are or what Dorkin' is, and give them a video that has more than just hard music and the hardest tricks - kind of a philosophy. It's really weird for me to say this, but it's time to move on. We all have things we want to do, and it wouldn't right if we [the Hoods] kept doing the same thing...
2001 Interviews: Ride BMX UK february 2001 and Ride BMX US april 2001.


Mark Eaton's Riding segment from Dorkin 10.
2002 Mark is the father of a little girl.
Mark Eaton released a DVD box set containing all of the Dorkin' in York videos.
Mark, www.ridebmx.com, november 2004: The Dorkin' DVD Box Set came to mind when I got the first Lord Of The Rings special four-disc DVD set. I was really impressed with the whole package and thought, "What a cool way to have a collector's set like this." It was then when I started getting inspired to do a full-redo of the Dorkin' series and remaster it to DVD. The main reason to release this DVD set was to put an official and proper closing to the Dorkin' series. There aren't many people out there who physically own all of the Dorkin' videos on VHS. I wanted to create this DVD set so that people could have the whole series in one set and proudly display it amongst their DVD collection. The only way that I was going to be satisfied with the DVD was if the videos were re-mastered to their best quality. Not all the original footage existed so in some cases I had to go off of the second generation edit tapes, but it was still cleaner than the VHS masters. All ten videos have an additional commentary track throughout the whole video that explains a lot of behind-the scenes stuff on the video, and there is a 20-minute bonus York Jam video, which includes footage from the first York Jam in 1990 all the way to 2003.

Joe Kid on a Stingray
Joe Kid on a Stingray has been submitted to the Sundance Film Festival. If Sundance selects the film, we will premiere it there in late January. We will then plan a full-on BMX industry premiere in Los Angeles sometime in February. The film should be released in the spring of 2005.