Filmmaker: Mark Macinnis

Film: Black Kat, 1st annual MFF Short Film Official Selection, 2013

“Rick Monahan has dedicated his life to vintage BMW motorcycles. He didn’t watch Easy Rider, he lived it. Rick’s passion for these bikes sustained him from bad ass teen shooting down Route 66 to opening his own indie garage in order to “pollinate Western L.A. with as many BMW’s as possible.”

Q: What inspired you to make this movie?

A: Rick Monahan was the inspiration behind making this film. Vintage bike owners know that finding a good mechanic is like finding gold. Anyone who’s met Rick will tell you what an honest and great guy he is. I wanted to do something special to honor him.

Rick gave up his day job at 50 because of his obsession with old Beamers. He’s really more of an artist with these vintage bikes; he lives in his shop with a hundred or so on hand to keep him going. As he says, he’s busy “pollinating the streets of LA as many vintage BMW’s as he can”.

Q: How did you find the MFF?

A: I was looking for an interesting festival online and I came across the MFF.  I could tell from the MFF website that it was a festival fueled by a passion for the motorcycle culture. I was also excited to be a part of something new and respected the crew that was making this up and just going for it.

Q: Have you made any other films, and if so, is there a common theme throughout your films?

A: In 2011 I made a film called URBAN ROOTS. It’s a documentary about the urban farmers in Detroit. Like Urban Roots, Black Kat was made out of my connection to the people and the subject. Because films are so hard to make, I’m only going to do something that I believe in. So far the common theme throughout my films are people in unique situations doing what they love at any cost.

Q: Do you ride a motorcycle, and If so, tell us a little about what you ride, and why?

A: Yes, I do ride. I have a 1975 BMW R90 and a 1969 BSA Star Fire

The reason I ride has evolved over the years. About 10 years ago I bought the BSA because I was broke, so I started riding because of my financial situation. Once I got into it the feeling and memories of riding dirt bikes on the trails with my brother would come back constantly. And the smell of gasoline would remind me of my dad. It was a means of transportation but also a mental time warp that brought back some amazing memories.

Now the bikes are pure joy. They give me my Zen when I’m riding and when I’m wrenching on them. Motorcycles also open me up to meeting amazing friends and having experiences that I would never have had otherwise.

Q: As a filmmaker, what about the MFF and motorcycle films in general speaks to you?

A: The MFF reminds me of the Sex Pistols…  they’re just doing whatever they want and that really resonates with me. They’re doing it the right way and with the right people.

Q: Possibly impossible question: Favorite bike movie?    

A: My favorite motorcycle movie is Motorcycle Diaries by Walter Salles. I saw this film just as I was getting back into riding. Anyone who has spent some serious time on a bike can appreciate that desire to take off in search of something.  It has everything, an amazing Norton, adventure, great cinema photography, beautiful soundtrack and social justice tied to the film, a great combination.


Q: What’s next for you as a filmmaker?

A: I just produced a multimedia iBook based on Rick that’s available on iTunes. The iBook features my film Black Kat, old photos and advice from Rick. See the book HERE