Joey Schusler is an adventurer extraordinaire who also creates gorgeous films about his journeys. In his early 20’s he realized his bike could be more than simply a thrill-seeking tool for racing the clock, it could also be a tool for adventure and getting an personal view of the world.
“Gotya” is an intriguing bike-themed film set in India. We spent some time talking with filmmaker Devansh Mathur about the making of this complex piece.
Dwayne Burgess says it was Ron Fricke’s “Koyaanisqatsi” that really paved the way for him as a filmmaker. “My first film was born out of the pure desire to challenge myself to create moving image with a digital camera, push every aspect of my knowledge and technical artistry using time lapse photography.”
Dwayne is excited to have two pieces in this year’s festival. “The Spring in the Catskill Mountains video is about flow and interconnection. The music, sound and visuals all work together. It wasn’t just about the traveling, it was more about capturing amazing imagery and the sonic sounds immersed in that that particular location, which in turn dictates what the film will become in it’s entirety.”
Dwayne traveled across country on his bike and documented the journey in his film “East To West” which was shown at the 2015 Filmed by Bike. Dwayne says he thinks about that trip all the time. “It was my first big tour and introduction to bicycle touring if you will. It gave me the opportunity to give back to people by sharing my stories, video work and photography. More importantly talking to people about it such as my friends and family.”
Having a film in the festival gave Dwayne a good excuse to visit Portland, and he says he’s excited to return this year for more city exploration. “I love Portland! Much like New York City, Portland is very eclectic. There are so many slices of culture from the street food carts, coffee shops, donuts, beer and of course bikes. This year we plan to stay a bit longer and dive into different areas of the city.”
“Spring in the Catskill Mountains” shows Saturday at 6pm, and “Pagoda” plays in the Sunday VIP screenings at 5:00pm and 7:30pm. These screenings are an exclusive opportunity for VIP Festival Pass holders. Purchase your VIP pass when buying festival tickets. [ info + tickets ]
Ryan Van Duzer describes himself as a tree-hugging hipping boy from Boulder who has never owned a car.
“When I was a wee little boy. My first bike meant freedom, it meant the ability to get past the confines of my neighborhood, and most of all, it meant FUN! – and still does.”
This is the second time Ryan will have a film featured at Filmed by Bike, and he says he loves being part of the festival. “This festival has created an amazing community and I’m proud to be part of it. I’m also a big bicycle advocate and love inspiring people to ride, and I’ve found that my silly little videos reach a lot of people.”
Early on, Ryan realized the power his films could have to inspire others. After serving in the Peach Corps in 2005, Ryan rode his bike from Honduras to Boulder and documented the journey. “That content inspired a lot of people,” he says, “It got me really excited about sharing all my two-wheeled adventures. People look to video and film for inspiration and education, and it’s fun to provide a spark in people’s lives.”
Ryan takes a very serious yet lighthearted approach to all of his work. “Making viewers laugh or smile or feel warm inside is really the key to winning them over.”
Ryan’s film “Why I Love Riding” plays in the Sunday VIP screenings at 5:00pm and 7:30pm. These screenings are an exclusive opportunity for VIP Festival Pass holders. Purchase your VIP pass when buying festival tickets. [ info + tickets ]
Damian Ineichen says he loves to capture adventures with friends, and for him film is the best way to do that.
Adventure comes easily to this Swiss filmmaker – he can hop on a train from central Switzerland and be in the Alps by evening time. “Public transport is very good in Switzerland and in most cases you can take your bike with you. For us, it’s the perfect way to get access to all the trails in the Alps.” He and his fellow adventurers like to bring little more than their sleeping bags. They spend the night outside on top of the mountain, then ride down an epic trail the next day.
The only problem, Damian says, is that sleeping in their bags outside is so cozy that they often sleep late and have to hurry back to ensure they can catch the train on time.
Damian got his start documenting adventures early on. “My parents have used to take me and my brother to the mountains from a young age on. I’ve always liked to take pictures of our trips and I would make my younger brother do stunts for me. When we had the first digital camera, we also started filming it, that’s when I started to film the journeys.”
From the early days until now, Damian has been hard at work creating gorgeous films that reflect his adventures.
“I really like being outside and try to capture the perfect picture. But it costs me quite an effort to sit on my computer and edit a film. That’s why I have terabytes of unused footage on my hard drive, waiting to be edited.”
And we can’t wait to see what Damian shares with us next.
Damian has three films showing in this year’s festival film. “Rookie” shows Friday at 7pm, and “Gibidum” and “FAT 5” show during our Adventure Night program Saturday at 8pm. [ info + tickets ]
Alastair Humphreys was once named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and is a sought after inspirational speaker and a best-selling author. His expeditions are a call to arms: “Nothing,” he proclaims, “is achieved without someone being bold enough to begin it and taking that first step” – which needs only be a tiny one to “set us on the way to realizing that we are all capable of more than we imagine.”
Alastair has spent years tackling adventures that are what he calls “simple but not easy, and values the crucial difference between those two words.”
A few years ago, Alastair transitioned from photographing his trips to filming them: “I did this to try to reach a bigger, newer online audience,” he explains. It was a “pragmatic choice, but now I love filming.”
Alastair credits the invention of the DSLR with inspiring his foray into filmmaking. A digital single-lens reflex camera (also called a digital SLR or DSLR) combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, instead of photographic film. Better ones also include high definition video. The possibilities of the DSLR amazed him, but then when YouTube came along he was suddenly motivated to “jump in and learn how to film.”
In addition to a prolific catalog of films on adventure travel, the life-long adventurer is also the author of Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes, and the forthcoming Grand Adventures.
How does Alastair keep it fresh from one film to the next? “I just go out and film something that really excites me,” he explains. Alastair doesn’t really think about how many other people will watch his films, and he doesn’t care. “I just do something that means a lot to me.”
It turns out that authenticity appeals to a lot of people.
Alastair says he had no script when he began filming his Film by Bike submission, “Mountain Bikes and Bothy Nights.” He just filmed everything and then came home and crafted it into a story.
Alastair says that for him the films evolve through the creative process and sometimes most dramatically when he is editing. “It’s often really hard to reconcile the difference between what I desire and what I achieved. I just stuck all the shots together in an order that looked pretty, wrote a script, recorded it just once, and that was it. It all just worked—for once!”
Alastair’s film “Mountain Bikes and Bothy Nights” plays in the Adventure Night program, Saturday May 7 at 8:00pm. [ info + tickets ]
Manny Marquez says he got into cycling through film – not a typical route for most people. In 2009, About Face Media sent Manny to France for The Tour De France. His job was to create a film a day for Trek Bicycles. During his time at the Tour, Manny made 22 films base on Team Astana and the love of cycling throughout France. “I was going to all of these places that are famous,” Manny explain. “Now I watch cycling religiously and I know these places, but I didn’t then.”
When Manny returned home to Hood River, Oregon his experience in France not only inspired him to begin cycling but also gave him some serious street cred with the local cyclists. At the time, Manny weighed more than 300 pounds. Over the next five years, Manny lost 130 pounds through cycling. During that time he built a community around the Dirty Fingers bike shop.
Each year Dirty Fingers shop owner Mitchell Buck and his crew host IngerUcker, an outrageous mountain bike ride. Manny decided to make a film documenting the work that goes into building the event and the all the shenanigans that result. The result is “IngerUcker: Beyond Fingerdome,” a rugged, irreverent and hilarious glimpse into this beloved ride.
Manny is still researching what his next large project will be, but like all of his pieces he says “I want the film to be loaded with so much content, that it is so rich, you don’t have to see it to feel it.”
IngerUcker: Beyond Fingerdome plays in the World’s Best Bike Movies Program (B) – Friday at 9pm at the 2015 festival.
Chris Bruntlett hails from Vancouver, B.C. and is incredibly passionate about biking. He believes biking should be for everyone.
When he first moved to Vancouver, B.C. Chris found the bike scene to be intimidating for the everyday cyclist. Most of the other cyclists on the road were clad in branded jerseys and spandex while Chris was in his blazer and jeans. He was just a casual commuter with the idea that everyone can and should feel welcome to bike in their beautiful city. He had a goal to make cycling, as he puts it, “normal and accessible.”
Chris is an architect by day but found himself inspired by the Copenhagen-based Cycle Chic Photo Blog (now a global movement). With no budget or film experience Chris set out to bring Cycle Chic to Vancouver. He found friends and friends of friends who were a living testament to the Cycle Chic Manifesto (style over speed; grace, dignity, elegance; all while riding for transportation) and created six beautiful films about those individuals and their everyday lives.
Although Vancouver Cycle Chic is a side project for Chris, the films have brought him some fame as he is headed off to Arlington, VA to create six new original films for Bike Arlington.
In 2014, two of these profile films played in Filmed by Bike, and Chris came to Portland with his family to explore and be a part of the festival. Two of Chris’s fresh releases will show at the 13th Annual Filmed by Bike.
Tim Royale’s passion for art and cycling came at a young age. Fervently drawing since 8 years old, Tim’s childhood dreams of being a great illustrator inspired him to begin training as an animator. After some initial frustrations, the focus on animation quickly gave into film and motion pictures.
“Filming something was way easier than having to draw 24 frames per second,” Tim recalls.
Once he picked up a camera, Tim never looked back. Now a busy Third Assistant Director on various TV developments, he still finds the time to film his own projects on the side. Three of Tim’s films, The Chop, Tale of a Tenner and Le Grand Depart were featured in the 2014 festival, with The Chop winning the prestigious Golden Helmet Award, presented by Travel Oregon – the top prize of Filmed by Bike. The vibrant piece starring Royale’s eccentric friend Ed Oxley was shot over four days with zero budget. While it starts as a somber, almost documentary style story of a man who builds and refurbishes bicycles in Accrington, UK, it turns on its head and offers a visual feast encompassing voodoo style didgeridoo playing and faux-cannibalism, plus plenty of the expert trail riding that Oxley is famous for.
“I suggested to Ed that he should be eaten, so we thought ‘Why not?'” explains Tim.
With eight – that’s right, eight! – more bike-related film projects coming down the pike in the near future, Tim’s production company, Whitenosugar Productions, will certainly remain busy. Influenced by the likes of Spike Jonez, Michel Gondry, Clay Porter and Alex Rankin, Tim continues to push towards his goal of directing full-time.
Andy Chandler, mastermind behind the hilarious Sandy Blvd Trailer, started making comedy shorts in high school and polished his technical skills working for Portland’s KGW Channel 8 News for the last six years. This skilled filmmaker can bang out a highly produced film on his computer with limited resources.
“You can make something pretty good-looking for free nowadays,” Andy explains.
Andy is becoming something of a master at movie trailer parodies – lampooning the overwrought sounds and suspense of modern action-thrillers. Sandy Blvd is Andy’s crown jewel. Local comedian Sam Dinkowitz (also the film’s star) hatched the idea to make a fake movie trailer about the “infamously horrible” Portland street, and asked Andy to help. They produced the film using some of Andy’s friends as actors, and the result is pure Portland in-joke cinematic brilliance.
Check out Andy’s other films on his Youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/andygeek44
Andy will be on stage as a part of our Filmmaker Q+A Sessions following the screening of his movie at the Sunday 7pm show. READ MORE >>
“Sandy Blvd. Trailer” plays during the Bicycle Dreams program.
SHOWTIMES: Sunday 7PM (plus Filmmaker Q+A), Tuesday 7PM (Plus Golden Helmet Award presentation)
Raised in the suburban town of Beaverton, Oregon, Stephan Blanquie escaped over the hills to SE Portland where he gets around on skateboards and a ten-speed – filming bands, skateboarding, fixed-gear freestyling and the great majesty of the Pacific Northwest.
All of Stephen’s work is tinted by a washed-out, psychedelic-Americana vibe thanks to his extensive use of Super 8 film. He was given a Super 8 camera three years ago, and has since become a devotee, transfixed by the aesthetics, and enamored with the process of putting images on the physical object of film.
“I like the idea of capturing the current times on an older format,” Stephen said.
Stephen’s submission to Filmed by Bike is “Devin Tolman: End of Summer”, a fixed-gear freestyle film. The piece was shot using a variety of cameras and mostly filmed from a cruiser board. “I think it looks a lot better to film on skateboard than on bike,” he said.
Stephen became a cyclist as soon as he moved to Portland, lugging around 40lb of equipment to skate spots to get footage of his friends. “I’m not much for the fixed gear myself,” Blanquie said, “but i know how to work a ten-speed.”
“Devin Tolman: End of Summer” plays during the Triumph Program of Shorts.
SHOWTIMES: Saturday 5PM, Sunday 5PM (+ Filmmaker Q+A, + GoIndependent! Award presentation), Tuesday 9PM
Guillaume Blanchet left France ten years ago to settle in Montreal, leaving behind friends and volumes of tender memories. So it was decided that every year they would meet at some destination in the world. Blanchet was in charge of filming which grew his passion for filmmaking. Some scenes from trips were not traditionally filmed so in order to round out story lines Guillaume would use creative film techniques like stop motion and play mobile to recreate events not typically caught on camera. The projects led to more projects until Blanchet had forty films and a cache of festivals under his belt, including winning awards in Bike Reel Film Fest, NDG Off The Wall, Boston Bike Film Festival and the Francophone Film Fest.
Blanchet’s current submission to Filmed By Bike was inspired by his father who traveled almost consistently with and by his bike, “He called me once from Romania and told me about his trip…I said dad you really do live on your bike. Hence the title.” In The Man Who Lived On His Bicycle we see a man literally cook, sleep and bath via bike. When asked if there is any thing else he would like to do in film, Blanchet replies, “Shoot a project with Lionel Messi.” To view a couple of Guillaume Blanchet’s films visit:
Kara’s organization Bike-Love.org hosts a variety of events, everything from fashion shows and art exhibitions to comedy and social experiments. But the hub connecting each project is firmly rooted in feminism, and Kara’s personal history.
In an effort to reach “bike-curious” women and empower them to discover the freedom of bike riding, Kara is embarking on a documentary journey. The film explores her transition from a motorist to a cyclist. Kara has come a long way since last December. In less than a year, she sold her car, explored bike-commuting firsthand, and put in motion the Bike Love project that has engaged more than three hundred local supporters.
By Nicholas Nanpei
For seasoned photographer and cyclist Daniel Sharp the Nobeyama Cyclocross race at Lake Biwa in Japan was not only his first time back in action since breaking his fibula the previous summer, but it was also his first foray into video.
Competing in the difficult, sandy course was a small personal victory for him and when he was done he turned the camera on to travel partner, famed Portland cyclist Molly Cameron.
Brian Mathe, Morgan Monchaud, Vera Siphay and Bertrand Dolci have always been adventurous. The French travel enthusiasts have long been into activities like snowboarding, surfing and windsurfing but it was a wild idea by Morgan that put the wheels of a grand journey into motion: travel around the world… by bike! Luckily for us, they filmed it, too.
Traveling around the world is no easy task. To help make it happen, the team formed an organization called Solidream. They worked for two years cultivating partnerships with corporations, local businesses and private donors to fund the trip and garner the support they need to sustain and document their travels. Through their website, the travel team shares articles, pictures and video with sponsors and fans around the world which has also kept donations coming in.
Evan and Adam Nix, known as The Nix Brothers, are filmmakers and bicycle enthusiasts based in Denver, Colorado. Along with songwriter/actor, Randy Washington, they created one of the most popular videos of our 2011 festival, All You Haters (Suck My Balls).
Assisted by Auto-Tune and often dancing in front of intentionally shoddy, green-screen-assisted backgrounds, the video’s star, played by Washington, musically explains the trials of being a hated-on hipster cyclist. “The general position the song takes is supposed to both embrace and be self-deprecating about the whole hipster ideology. If you’re sensitive about being called a hipster … that makes you too concerned with image and therefore a hipster,” explains Evan. “We just think people should spend less time worrying about all of that nonsense and just go ride bikes.”
Evan, Adam and Randy continue to churn out great work to this day. The three of them perform in the faux-German parody disco group Total Ghost, for which they’ve produced a number of music videos. They also produce web comedies with various Denver comedians. To see more of their work, visit their website.
Professor Dave Shapiro is a longtime contributor to Filmed by Bike, and returns once again this year with his film “The Boy Who Cried ‘Mechanical’.” This stop-motion photography-animated short continues Dave’s series of Aesop Fables with bikes as the main stars. Dave brainstorms ideas for his movies while biking to work – an hour and a half each way. “I have lots of time to make stuff up,” he says. “I got to the point where the script was pared down to the minimum; then I wrote it out, and shot the film.” The subject matter is fitting; Professor Dave, as he’s known by friends and students, is a philosophy instructor, hence the draw to re-telling Aesop’s Fables.
Professor Dave spends about one day shooting his films with his daughter and her friend as assistants. He says it generally takes him about three days to edit and finalize the pieces. Dave plans to make more bike-themed films, “I have a few more Aesop’s fables I’d like to try; then, at some point, I want to do an animated version of Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’ using bikes as the main characters.”
Professor Dave and his daughter will be on stage after the Saturday 5pm screening as a part of our Filmmaker Q+A series.
Crash is a charming comedy short in which two friends get into bike accidents amid lusty desires. The piece is produced by filmmaker and Sexbot band leader Ilima Considine. Ilima says her storytelling background stems from making music videos for her band and drawing comic books as a kid. She says she got the idea for Crash after learning of a mutual lust, “‘Oh yeah, those greasy fingers.’ This comment, from a straight Mormon, made me realize that I’m not the only one with a thing for bike mechanics.”
Crash has a bold set of actors (including Ilima herself) that would normally be hard to come by, but to cast the film she simply wrote a bulletin on Facebook titled “Who is willing to ride their bike straight into a tree for me?” and drafted anyone interested. The cast and crew toughed out the hurdles they encountered while filming, including Portland’s nasty weather. Although the story is set in the summer, it was shot in 30 degree weather. “In one scene, you can actually see my lips turning blue,” Ilima explains. Ilima worked to find interesting indoor locations on a budget, including some that had to be shot quickly, before the crew could be thrown out.
In the future Ilima is releasing another music video for The Sexbots, “It’s basically a 3-minute action film where I am kidnapped, tortured by dominatrices, and end up shooting my kidnapper in the head. It’s going to be awesome.” You can check out her band’s work on their website.
Crash premiers in the Bike Love: Program of Shorts C.
We love to hear the backstory for submissions to our festival, and to showcase a little behind the scenes action. We’ve been interviewing filmmakers about the process they took when making a film for the Filmed by Bike festival. Chad Berkley is one of these submitters, and this week we stopped by his editing suite to talk to him about his film Remember Your First Bike, which profiles the Community Cycling Center’s, Holiday Bike Drive, an annual bicycle giveaway program.