Filmmaker Profie: Oliver Ogden

Filmmaker Oliver Ogden first heard about Filmed by Bike by seeing posters up at some of his favorite haunts. He was quickly inspired to work on a movie, and set about brainstorming ideas. “As a filmmaker and bike enthusiast,” he says, “I didn’t want to pass this opportunity to brush elbows with like minded Portlanders.”

One night, unable to sleep and continuously thinking of movie ideas, Ogden was struck with nostalgia for the fond memories of his youth, and he came up with the concept for Derailed, which will debut at this year’s Filmed by Bike. “The question arose,” he says, “can someone return to those idyllic carefree times while being weighed down by life’s trivialities?”

To find out Ogden’s take on that question, you’ll have to come see Derailed, which is part of the Pump it Up program. Showings: Fri 7,9 // Sat 5 // Sun 7,9

Filmmaker Profie: Ricardo Portillho

Ricardo Portilho, a Brazilian bike enthusiast and art director, heard about Filmed by Bike from the Amsterdam-based Gerrit Rietveld Academy mailing list. His film “I Just Can’t Forget These Things” will show in our 2008 festival.The impetus for the movie came from an assignment Portilho received from Kosmopolis, an organization from Rotterdam that works with cross-cultural relationships in The Netherlands. Continue reading

Welcome to Portland, Rapha!

Rapha, the newest kids on the Portland bike block, have generously donated over $500 worth of their hot performance roadwear to the Filmed by Bike auction. Welcome to town, Rapha!

For the last ten years, Portland has made impressive and advanced strides toward being a leader in bike friendly cities. About four years ago Chris King moved to Portland and in my opinion that really sealed the deal that we’re Bike City, USA – big enough, awesome enough, and definitely bikey enough for top cycling manufacturers to call this home.

Add to that mix our powerhouse collection of frame builders, transportation planners, crafters and event hosts (grasrootsy and not) and you’ve got one hell of a bike town. Now, let’s watch some movies!!

Bring your Cash and your Used Bike Tubes

If you’re coming to the Opening Night Throwdown, be sure to bring your cash and your used bike tubes. Cash, because our raffle is filled with hot items like this bike bag from Alchemy Goods. Used bike tubes because Alchemy uses recycled bike tubes to make bags like this.

Filmed by Bike is an official collection spot for bike tubes and we’re are trying to collect as many as possible. Keep ’em outta the landfill and on bikers’ backs!

On Being an Intern.

From my own personal experience, being an intern can be either an all around great experience or a dreaded “look what I’ve wrangled myself into this time” situation. Good or evil. Enriching or “I gotta get out of here” tragic.

I am on board as one of the two Filmed by Bike interns for the 2008 festival season. What do I think? So far, so good.

I’ve joined Team Filmed by Bike in the role of Promotions Extraordinaire. What’s not to like? The festival is all about awesome people, independent artists, great bike shorts and high levels of chili potential (see previous blog entry by my fellow intern Maryann).

And so. It’s officially my job to tell you this: April 11th is the big kick off. Tell all your friends. We’ll see you there.

NO MAS CHILI!

On Feb 10th I was at the Worst Day of the Year Ride in Portland to promote Filmed by Bike and encourage people to submit their movies. This is a fun, 18-mile easy ride around Portland, no matter the weather. I had a blast! I met many fun bike lovers who were not only excited about bike love but about sharing that bike love! Laughing Planet Cafe did a fantastic job of feeding us all. As I am new to the Portland area, it was my first supported ride experience. And what a beautiful experience it was! Fresh chili, chowder and bread filled our tummies and warmed our hearts.

When Ayleen, FBB Director, told me there was a chili overload and asked if I would like to take some home with me, I was more than delighted! Being the angel she is, she delivered it to our home. But this was over a week ago…and I can no longer stomach even the idea of stuff! So here is where I say, NO MAS CHILI! Yes it was delicious, yes it was free, but here’s the down side..I live with six other people who have been no-stop chili eating machines! I have seen endless devoured chili dogs, bowls of chili mac and even chili and eggs! Thank goodness it is gone, until one of my house mates finds the hidden stash in the freezer!

Now, let’s get back to MOVIES and forget about chili!

Filmed by Bike Trailer

Are you ready for Filmed by Bike 2008? If you’re not quite jumping out of your seat with excitement, maybe it is because you have not yet watched our 2008 trailer. This cool piece was produced by Savannah Teller-Brown of Teller Films and it was sponsored by Laughing Planet.

Spread the love! Tell all your friends and embed the trailer on your website.

Bikers are Easily Locavores

Oxford chose locavore as the 2007 Word of the Year. A word so new it is not yet showing up in my web browser’s built-in dictionary. I’m excited about the honor awarded to this word as I’m a bit of a localist myself. Anyone who knows me knows I’m completely obsessed with my crooked-streets Woodlawn neighborhood: hanging out with neighbors, eating foods from my front yard, working on neighborhood projects… you name it.

I think being a locavore, someone who eats foods produced locally, comes easily for bikers. For one, we’re very connected to our physical environments as we bike around. Drivers see the blossoming cherry trees. We see them, smell them and maybe even feel them as they drop lightly fluttering petals upon us. Continue reading

Can Safety be Sexy?

Unfortunately, safety is on our minds a lot lately here in Portland. Two cyclists were recently killed when struck by a motorist making a right turn. A third was seriously injured. I’m more nervous when riding at night – I feel more vulnerable than ever. But at the same time, there is strength in numbers. Two different major studies have shown that the number of motorist-bike accidents goes down significantly when the number of bikers on the road increases. That means keep riding. Keep riding.

No one wants to be told what to do and safety shit has never been cool. But this is the Modern Age, with beats, technology and innovation at our fingertips.Fads and styles change by the minute. YouTube makes unlikely people worldwide stars (Chocolate Rain, Turtle Boy…). Can safety be sexy? Can you make a kick ass safety movie in under 8 minutes? The jury (TBD) and I look forward to seeing your attempt.

Way to go, Night Ride!

The Filmed by Bike special mini-screening at The Night Ride was amazing! They took a field in North Portland, along a long, quiet off road bike path, and transformed it into a bike-in theater. A large blow-up theater screen allowed for great viewing for the crowds. Fire dancers greeted riders at the entrance and the fresh popcorn was flowing. There was a cool breeze rustling through the trees making for an extremely pleasant night for riding bikes.

Were you there? What did you think? So, should we do this exclusive screening again?

Amazing

2007 was an amazing year for Filmed by Bike! Over 1,300 people attended the screenings all weekend long. Special thanks to the Clinton Street Theater for embracing our wild crews. Many of the shows sold out and we’re just trying to decide what to do next year. One thing’s for sure – we’ll be back at the Clinton.

We still haven’t had anyone claim the winning ticket for the Electra Amsterdam. Tell your friends to check their tickets. If we don’t have a winner by Wednesday we’ll move on to the next number on our list.

35 volunteers worked hard to make the event happen. Special thanks to Meghan Sinnott and Brad Nelson for going the extra mile. Thanks also to the Seattlies of Cranked Magazine for helping out.

DVD Sale Ends Soon

Our compilation DVD features most of the films that will be screened at the festival, plus bonus features that didn’t make the jury cut. We’re all out of the ones from 2006, but the 2007ers are at the printer right now. You can pre-order for only $10 (US shipping) or $12 (intl.) online through tomorrow morning, 9am Portland Time.

I’ve seen orders for 4, 5, 6 DVDs coming from Colorado, California, Washington and Ireland. This is a hot item, get yours while you can. We’ll also have them for sale at the Opening Night Throwdown for $8.

[ Buy the DVD ]

Filmmaker Profiles

I’ve spent some time getting to know the filmmakers of this year’s festival, and they are all really great. Check out the profiles on the blog and start to get excited about this weekend.

Which screening are you going to? Are you excited? Do you have your eyes on one of those raffle prizes? What are you wearing?

[ read the profiles ]

Moviemaker Spotlight: Bill Prouty

tag stillBill Prouty is a Minneapolis-based filmmaker. His thrilling chase film TAG pits a cyclist against a super-skilled rollerblader on the streets of London. You wouldn’t know it, but Bill says the piece was a totally guerilla production, filmed by hanging off the backs of busses, clinging to a motorcycle and skating along side the action. “All very dangerous,” he says, “but no serious injuries to speak of.”
Continue reading

Moviemaker Spotlight: Ashira

AshiraAshira Siegel’s film “Even the Girls” showed at our 2006 festival. “During the time I worked as a messenger in NYC” Ashira says, “I had all these crazy experiences that involved peoples reactions to seeing a woman in a job that most people don’t really expect a woman to work. At the same time we’d get mad props from people as well, but it was also because of our gender. It was bizarre because all the women I knew who were earning their living on their bikes were these amazingly strong, smart, focused, well spoken, really cool women who were drawn to the physicality of messengering and the adrenaline of rushing around the city on our bikes.”

And she had never made a movie before, but she was motivated. ” Riding my bike and messengering in the city changed my life. There is great community among messengers and biking made me strong, not just physically, but in my mind as well. It sharpened my senses and taught me to stand strong and firm, to speak up, even yell if I have to, and not feel bad about it. It gave me a confidence that nothing in my life ever had before. It really empowered me. ”

It wasn’t all fun and games putting the movie together, with a broken camera, damaged footage, re-shooting, and lots of learning, but in the end, Ashira says, the piece became her homage to riding. In short, Ashira declares that riding bikes saved her life, so the least she could do was to make a movie about it. Continue reading

Moviemaker Spotlight: Joshua Frankel

Joshua Frankel has been working as an animator and in visual effects for the past six years. His film, Bicycle Messengers, features animated messengers set against a backdrop of live action footage shot in Manhattan. “I was interested in integrating my animation, but drawing attention to the differences between the real and the fantasy,” Joshua says.

In the piece, Joshua says, he “cast bicycle messengers as mythological heroes in our contemporary society. They can do things that no one else can, they risk life and limb for their task, they live by their own codes, and they are simultaneously admired and feared by the general public. Like comic superheroes, a lot of them even wear tights. Usually we need to go off into fantasy worlds in find romanticism these days… its pretty fun find some of those elements right here in our midst. I’ve tried to do it in a way that is fair and not offensive, (mostly by leaving lots of bits mysterious so that the viewer’s imagination has a lot to chew on), and so far the reactions from messengers has been positive, so that’s good.”

Next up Joshua is working on a short fully animated piece about climate change. He’s also developing concepts for a more narrative extension of Bicycle Messengers and a public art piece that he describes as “fairly ambitious.”

Moviemaker Spotlight: Martin Reis

Martin Reis, from Toronto, Canada, is very busy with all things bike: from being a cycling activist to his blog Martino’s Bike Lane Diary. He never really thought of himself as a moviemaker until last year when he put together La Fuga di Olma and submitted it to Filmed by Bike. The piece easily won over the jury with its vintage found super-8 footage and sweet story of an Italian bike that longs for home.

This year you’ll see Martin’s submission Love to All the Rebels, a short, upbeat visual collage.

When he’s not busy riding bikes, Martino works in the arts for a Baroque Orchestra called Tafelmusik. He also enjoys still photography. But what is it about bikes that so engages Martin? ” Simple” he says. “Human and machine in harmony. They are blissful things.”

Bike Boat Float

That’s what my friends and I call it when we put our boats in the trailer and bike to the river for a little ole float over to an island. So imagine my delight when today I received a submission that’s all about biking with boats! I don’t want to spoil the movie, and since I’m not on the jury I’m not able to say for sure it will make the cut, so I won’t reveal any more of the details. But think about it! Biking with boats… boating with bikes….

Every day I’m greeted by more submissions! Keep them coming. You’ve got Wednesday and Thursday to get them in. Portlanders, drop them in the mailbox slot at the Filmed By Bike headquarters.

Snow Days = Make Movie Days!

We here in Portland are having a snow day. I’m from Illinois, so I know what it’s all about, but we just don’t get this out here. It’s real snow, and it’s sticking around! So what to do on a snow day? Some people are out there riding their bikes, and I’ve heard some excellent stories, but people should be out making movies! Biking in the snow movies!
We have never had a submission of full on snow riding.  The deadline is March 1.  Plenty of time!  Today’s the day to shoot.  GO for it!