Though it had its US premier in Seguin, Texas two months before it's native Australia, Mad Max, a MFF favorite, grew to become a worldwide phenomenon. The film was shot in 12 weeks, on a meager $350,000 budget, in and around Melbourne. After the shooting was completed, many of the film's bikers kept the 14 donated bikes that appear in the movie. The Kawasaki KZ1000s were modified by long-gone Melbourne builder La Parisienne – one as Goose's MFP bike and the rest for the Toecutter's gang...and yes Hugh Keays-Byrne, the Toecutter, is a classically-trained Shakespearean stage actor. Hard to believe Mad Max debuted 35 years ago.
Hi Chris. How did you hear about the Motorcycle Film Festival?
Living in Brooklyn it’s hard not to hear about anything that’s motorcycle related. I first caught wind of The Motorcycle Film Festival prior to its inaugural event when I ran into Corinna at a Cine Meccanica screening. When she explained it to me I immediately thought the idea brilliant and said to myself, "Why has this never been done before?"
You get around writing for Iron & Air. What have been some of your favorite stories?
The crew at Iron & Air have been extremely generous in allowing me to share some of my stories within the pages of their magazine. Some notable moments from the few that I’ve written include time spent at NYC Norton with Kenny Cummings and his speed machines, interviewing Sean Gilligan and Justin Knapp of CotterPin Gear as we raced from Brooklyn to the beaches of Long Island, and lastly, spending an entire weekend talking Vincents with the master tuner himself, Big Sid (a few months before he passed). I’m extremely grateful and will never forget these moments.
Do you look for the 'story' in films, or are there other aspects that grab your attention?
I won’t lie, there are several aspects in a film that will always capture my attention i.e. physical comedy, memorable one-liners, an actress I’m in love with, but storytelling is king. It’s what separates the men from the boys.
Any favorite films?
Nacho Libre, I’ve probably watched this flick hundreds of times. Top Gun for obvious reasons. Labyrinth, Willow and The Sandlot bring me back to my childhood. My favorite moment in film comes from a fairly unknown movie called Return To Snowy River. There’s an epic scene in which the main character, played by actor Tom Burlinson, basically rides his horse down the side of a mountain. It’s an emotionally charged scene that blows my mind every time I watch it.
What got you into motorcycles?
Growing up in a military family we moved around every four years, so I’ve grown accustomed to ‘getting up and going’. My father always talked of owning a motorcycle but he never got around to it. Not wanting to become my father in that regard and after a breakup with a girlfriend, I pulled the trigger and got a bike. It keeps me moving.
You are combining motorcycles and food, what inspired that?
The story of "The Shop Brooklyn" is an interesting one and it starts with Dan Lyle (my business partner and primary founder). It’s actually a realization of his dream, I just passionately believe in it. So much so, I signed on as the creative arm of the business. Combing bikes and BBQ under one roof is obviously not a new concept, but one that needed a new interpretation. And that’s exactly what we plan on doing.
What do you ride and what would you like to ride?
I currently ride a caf’d out 1999 Triumph Legend TT. Due to their short production run, there aren’t too many of them out there. She’s been a dream to own and ride.
As much as I’d love to wrap my legs around a century old board tracker I’m a big fan of the rise of the electric bikes. I want nothing more than to ride the Tron Light Bike.
There has been a boom in all things motorcycle related. Why do you think that is, and what trends are you seeing?
I chalk it up to innovation and technology. Combined they’ve made everything accessible and have given the individual a sounding stage in which to communicate to the world, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Motorcycles have always been and will always be cool, so I don’t think it’s a fad. I think more people are being exposed to it, talking about it and getting involved. It’s an exciting time in the motorcycle world, and as much as I adore vintage motorcycles I applaud the innovators in the field for pushing the envelope. Personally I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those HUD helmets.
What are you working on next?
Outside of "The Shop Brooklyn" I’m also one-half of The GodSpeed Company. Along with co-founder Allan Glanfield, we’re set to launch what will be our first of several products later this fall. We’ve partnered with several of the oldest US manufacturing companies here on the east coast to produce a one-of-a-kind work wear shirt.
On July 28 in 1971, director Bruce Brown's motorcycle classic On Any Sunday made its premier. The film follows the racers who built bikes in their garages, hauled them in their vans to the weekend races, then returned to their day jobs Monday morning. A slice of true '70s dirt racing. Hope your weekend had some good riding, and here's to looking forward to next weekend. To get you through, here is some excellent reading at Motorcyclist on the film's fortieth anniversary. Cine Meccanica will be screening On Any Sunday tonight, August 20.
THE OFFICIAL FILMS OF THE 2ND ANNUAL MOTORCYCLE FILM FESTIVAL!
After weeks of watching films, hours of phone calls and emails, and a ton of genuinely deep and thoughtful conversations, they've finally settled on what we feel is an incredible lineup. We can't tell you how thankful we are to have such an incredible panel of JUDGES who devoted so much time to these films.
More importantly, we want to send our deepest thanks and gratitude to all the filmmakers who submitted to the festival this year. We can't tell you how honored we are to have you as part of our family. None of this would happen without you and we hope that you'll continue making more incredible art for a long, long time to come.
To our official selections of the 2nd annual MFF, CONGRATULATIONS! The competition this year was super stiff and the crop was massive. We're so proud to be able to share these films in person next month in NYC, and we really hope that you will be able to make it out to see your hard work up on the big screen.
And now, without further adieu we give you... THE OFFICIAL FILMS OF THE 2ND ANNUAL MOTORCYCLE FILM FESTIVAL!
1 Map for 2
The Badger: Made in Trenton
Catalina Grand Prix
China on 3 Wheels
Driven to Ride
Gabe Griffin DKS
Follow Your Fears
Konigreich Klitmoller - Hemi Ride
No Ordinary Passenger
Old Delhi Motorcycles
On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter
The Reaper Chronicles
Sailing Round England on a Motorbike
Shooter & Whitley
Somewhere Else Tomorrow
Stories of Bike: Dream
Stories of Bike: Romance
The Art Of Cornering
Vincent Black Lightning
Why I Ride: Passion At Work
Congratulations to the official selections and thank you again to everyone who submitted films. We'll see you at the screenings at the Gutter - 200 North 14th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Please head over to our Films/Schedule/Tickets page for more information on each of the films and how to buy tickets and all-access VIP festival passes.
Hi JP. How did you find out about the Motorcycle Film Festival?
Jack Drury approached me for the 1st MFF and asked if I’d like to be involved. I was truly honored. I still remember my very first encounter with Jack at an event I had at Fast Ashleys Studios in Brooklyn a few years ago. He sauntered in (wasn’t on the guest list) looking like he just stepped out of a ‘70s Biker B-movie. He was gregarious, loud and confident, and I remember nodding to security to watch this guy. I quickly realized he was just...