FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT: Professor Dave Shapiro

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.

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Filmmaker Spotlight: Chad Berkley

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.


Drawing inspiration from drawings is not just a process exclusive to big guns such as Marvel and DC Comics, but something animator Carlos Maya has perfected for Filmed by Bike in his shorts like “Big Wheel Bounce”, a 30-second complex animated piece that showed in our 2009 festival.

I would never describe my Saturday morning cartoons as a very thoughtful effort, except perhaps to decide which sugar cereal goes best with reruns of Captain Planet. For Carlos, though, this is when the thinking cap comes on. An animator by trade, Carlos’ ten years of experience have helped prepare him to be a front runner for past Filmed by Bike festivals. His inspiration from cartoons is the fuel behind his passion. Drawing from the archives of classic School House Rock, Carlos sets forth to bring out originality, personality and something completely new through his work.

Carlos offers up this advice for all of you aspiring filmmakers: “Do what you love, even if it does not make sense.” Maybe for Carlos doing what you love means cartoons and making people laugh, but for you it could mean something different. Find out what it is that you love and start filming. We can’t wait to see.

The deadline for Filmed by Bike submissions 1/20/2011 and you can learn more at our Best of the Worst (What not to do) event on November 6th. Details here >>

Filmmaker Profile: Lars C. Larsen

Filmed by Bike - Every April - Come watch bike movies!In Portland, the name Lars Larsen may ring a bell – of alarm: the conservative talk show host (Larson) is well known for giving bikers a hard time. But there’s another Lars in town who is fighting more for good than evil: Lars C. Larsen. This Lars is a Portland based filmmaker who has been involved with Filmed by Bike for four years now. With his films, Lars brings a creative approach to the festival, such as the ultra-short 2009 Speed Kills that was shot with a cool vintage effect.

Lars’s films have appeared in the Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Caucophany Film Festival, at San Francisco Film Arts, the Humboldt International Film Festival and now for the fourth time at Filmed By Bike. Lars is currently working on the TNT drama series Leverage and he has previously worked on Coraline, The Hunted, and several TV and film productions shot in and around Portland.

Lars’s most recent film Go! Paperboy! will show in Program 1. Program details >>

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

2008 Program Selection

The moment you’ve all be waiting for is finally here! After weeks of sorting through over 100 submissions and trying to fit all the good stuff in, we have finally assembled our 2008 program. And we think you’re going to really like what we’ve put together.

This year there will be two separate programs that run over three days and eight screenings.

Congratulations to all the filmmakers who made the cut! [ program ]

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: 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.”

NE Portland Wins!!!!

If you know Portland, you know that creativity abounds in all five quadrants (yes, they’re quadrants but we have five). So I don’t know what it is, call it the magnetism of Filmed by Bike Headquarters (based in NE Portland), if you will. An overwhelming majority of submissions for this year’s festival came from NE Portland. Sure, we had our Australias and Victorias and Dublins, and plenty all around the US, but the most common area of the world was right here. And the winner of the Proximity Contest goes to someone who is also in the running for the Hottest Short Short – a 30 second film submitted from three blocks away.

And they’re still rolling in! We’ve gotten nearly 20 submissions today alone. It’s 11:00 at night and the doorbell just rang with yet another.