Cat Bruce won the Short Narrative award at the 2nd annual MFF for her film Vincent Black Lightning, an animated film thatfollows the heartwarming yet tragic love story of Red Molly and James, A film about love, motorbikes, and a redheaded girl. Read all about Cat and the MFF award winning film here: http://motorcyclefilmfestival.com/vincent-black-lightning/.
Vincent Black Lightning will be screened at Petrolettes festival in Berlin July 29-31 2016 as part of an MFF films from the female perspective, so we took a few minutes to check in with Cat.
MFF: What new projects do you have in the works?
CB: After making Vincent Black Lightning, I went on to make a number of promotional animations, including a music video for a band called STRAW: vimeo.com/102508143. Following that, I made a short animated film called No Place like Home, focusing on a woman dealing with the threat of eviction. The trailer can be seen here: vimeo.com/154026285. I’m currently working on a few projects including another music video, and a promotional animation for a company I’ve worked for many times, called Black Cow Vodka, who make Vodka from the milk of grass grazed cows in West Dorset, England.
MFF:How did you find out about the MFF?
CB: I just happened to come across the festival online after making Vincent Black Lightning (an animated music promo) for musician Ewan Robertson in 2014.
MFF:Have you attended the MFF?
CB: I have not attended! I would have loved to, but as I live in Scotland, it would have been a very big trip, but maybe I will go another year!
MFF: How did you get into making films?
CB: I went to Edinburgh College of Art, and originally wanted to take the sculpture course. In my first year, I tried out all sorts of stuff, and after creating an animation, I fell in love with it and decided to do my degree in animation, which lead in to freelance animation jobs and making my own films.
MFF: Was making motorcycle films always an interest, or was this film an exception in your work?
CB: It was an exception, however, I have been inspired and may venture back into the animated realm of motorcycles.
MFF: Do you ride motorcycles?
CB: I do not ride motorcycles, however I don’t drive either. I’ve always thought that if I was going to use any vehicle, it would be a motorbike, but I haven’t gotten round to it yet. So I cycle a pedal bike and make engine noises with my mouth in the meantime. MFF: Is there anything you’d like to say as a woman filmmaker of a motorcycle themed film specifically?
CB: It was a great fun film to make. For me, when I think of motorcycles, I get a sense of freedom and adventure, which is something that as a female filmmaker, really resonates. As a filmmaker, you should be adventurous in what you are making, and you have the freedom to show people how you see the world. This is an important thing to remember, especially when at the moment, there are far fewer well known female filmmakers than males. The male point of view can dominate media, and that is why it is so significant to encourage female filmmakers and filmmakers from any other minority group; so we can see that there is more than one perspective, more than one way to live, more than one way to have an adventure, and more than one way to be free.
MFF: Anything else you’d like to add?
CB: I grew up in the highlands of Scotland, where we have a yearly Harley-Davidson festival called Thunder in the Glens, and I remember as a kid I really looked forward to it. Hundreds (or what seemed like hundreds) of folk from all over the world on Harleys, and other motorbikes would ride through all the wee highland villages, until they got to Aviemore where there was music and food. And it was so loud, it really did sound like thunder. It’s quite a poignant memory, watching and hearing these big thunderous and super cool motorcycles roaring past as a small kid. So it probably has positively affected the way in which I see motorcycles. Just thought I should give it a shout out.
The Motorcycle Film Festival is built on one simple thing. The Motorcycle. It transports us from here to there. It gives us freedom. It pushes us to take chances, go farther, and test our limits. Motorcycles don’t define us, but they do become a part of us and it is this shared understanding of what they bring to our lives that brings the motorcycle community so close. For us, it’s this common bond and the relationship between Festival, Filmmakers and Audience that is the most rewarding. It’s a relationship that doesn’t end once the theatre lights go dim. It’s why we travel the world to bring the films to riders everywhere and remain in contact with all of the MFF Filmmakers. One of those filmmakers is Cam Elkins.
MFF: What new projects do you have in the works?
CE: Since I started Stories of Bike, the commercial work has really picked up. After I finished Discovery, I went on to shoot a couple of TVCs (one for a motorcycle insurance company, of course) and a stack of online content. I was also invited to help develop another Web series called The Leadership Show. I also went to the U.S. last year to shoot a new secret moto TV pilot, which I’m still editing. All of which has been keeping me pretty busy and away from doing more on Stories of Bike.
MFF: How has Stories of Bike progressed?
CE: When I first started Stories, I didn’t really have an idea of what it was going to be. All I knew was that I didn’t want to do stories about builders, but rather everyday riders. Yes, there are a couple of builder stories in there, but it’s about the reasons they ride and the particular aspect of their riding that makes their riding unique. Since then, I’ve wanted to refine this a little more and show more about who we are as people who also ride and how riding makes us see the world a little bit brighter than most.
I started shooting a little bit of Season 3 last year, but have only really been able to make some real progress in the last couple of months. So far I’ve shot 4 episodes and I’m about to head back to the U.S. in August to shoot 2 more. I’m hoping to round out Season 3 with 10-12 episodes along with a bunch of other experimental stuff, including a pay-per-view episode, new merch, and even a screening tour.
MFF: How many episodes are there now?
CE: I’ve made 18 episodes so far across 2 seasons, with a few trailers and bonus clips along the way.
MFF: Where can they be seen?
CE: They’re all up on my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/storiesofbike or you can head to www.storiesofbike.com to watch the episodes and also get extra content like behind the scenes footage and more.
MFF: What have you discovered about yourself as a filmmaker and rider through making these films?
CE: Having only been regularly making videos for 4 years and doing it professionally for 2, you could say I started out late in the game. So, it would be safe to say that I’ve learned just about everything about being a filmmaker through the making of these Stories of Bike episodes. I started the series as a way for me to fast-track my filmmaking experience and build up the confidence to have my own style and make creative decisions without regret.
MFF: How did you find out about the MFF? What years and films have you been included?
CE: I can’t remember exactly how I found out about the MFF. I think I stumbled across it while searching for moto related film festivals that I could submit the series to. Either way, I’m glad I did. For two years running, I had 4 of my episodes selected to be shown in the 2014 and 2015 festivals.
MFF: Have you attended the Motorcycle Film Festival?
CE: I sure have! Through the amazing generosity of the moto community here in Sydney, I was given a surprise return ticket to NYC to attend the MFF in 2014. I had back surgery a few months before and missed out attending another festival where I picked up a couple of awards. Jodie, who is featured in Dream, didn’t want me missing out on another awesome event and rallied the community here to raise some money to send me over. I’ll never forget the day Jodie and a bunch of super cool mates sprung that on me at the Rising Sun Workshop. Actually attending the MFF was even better. I had the most amazing time.
MFF: Anything else you’d like to add?
CE:I just hope everyone can get along to the MFF. It’s a fantastic event with an amazing bunch of people.
MFF: Two episodes of Stories Of Bike ‘Discovery‘ and ‘Dream‘ which feature women riders, have been featured at the MFF and will travel with us to Petrolettes in Berlin, July 29-31. So we asked Cam what his experience has been filming with female riders as subjects?
CE: In my episodes, I’ve always wanted to treat women just like any other rider I feature. That might not sound like anything special, but it is because it’s still a bit of a rare thing. All of the women I’ve featured haven’t thought anything special of themselves and simply want to ride for the joy of it, but hope that more women join them in the future. I think perhaps the difference between the way that guys and girls ride is that guys can go riding for the sense of power on the bike and connection to the world around them, whereas women can do that too, but enjoy sharing that experience with others.
We are thrilled to present the official trailer for the 3rd annual MFF 2015 by filmmaker Daniel Rintz. Daniel won “Best Of Festival” at the 2nd annual MFF with his film “Somewhere Else Tomorrow“. With the support of Honda, the MFF was able to fund Daniel in filming a trailer for this year’s festival. No small feat as he is still on the road with limited means.
It was a such a great experience to work with such a talented filmmaker and get updates like these throughout the process.
April Email update from Guatemala:
We’ve captured the last missing shots for the trailer yesterday. The weather wasn’t cooperating until then, but now we’re very close getting it finished.
The other day got almost killed filming. We shot footage on a very nice narrow and windy road; it was newly paved. Several cars stopped and told us to “get lost”. Finally when one of them threatened to “make a phone call” we immediately left the scene. We talked to some local friends about it the next day and found out this road was only buildt and paved so they could extract Gold from the mountains in the region more easily. The people who threatened us were indigenous and do not in the least profit from the natural resources. Instead their kids are born blind, woman get sterile, and diseases are through the roof, only because they depend on the water of the land, which is now polluted because of the mining. The mining company is – of course – American. The corrupt Guatemalan government made a quick buck by selling the land to greedy corporations. We look like Gringos to the indigenous and they immediately hated our guts for obvious reasons. There was no explaining our way out of it. But we acted in time and got out.
Yesterday we found a spot where there were no miners for filming the “campsite scene,” but it was hairy to get to. Single track on the heavy bikes… We filmed till sunset and getting down in the dark I almost threw my whale of a bike down the cliff.
But it’s all good fun and adventure and everybody loved working on it.” – Daniel Rintz
Daniel & Joey
Read about Daniel Rintz’s award winning film “Somewhere Else Tomorrow” HERE.
Artist Martin Squires’ work was featured ‘The Museum’, an official selection of the 2nd annual MFF. Martin made the trip to NY from the UK to be at the Festival, and while he was here he sketched several local motorcycle shops. Here is a 360 view of the piece he created at 6th Street Specials.
Excerpt from our recent interview with Martin:
You came to New York for the Film Festival, but you also did a bit of work by going to Sixth Street Specialsand Paul Cox Industries to do some drawings. Tell us about your expectations before you went to their shops and what you came to find and to do. My main aim was to use the scrolling sketchbook to produce 360-degree sketches of the workshops, but I was open to change if the workshop needed to be portrayed differently. I looked up both shops so I had an idea of what to expect, but I knew that it would all change as soon as I got there. At Sixth Street the main workshop was perfect for the 360-degree sketch as it was just one room. I sat in the middle of the workshop and sketched away as the guys carried on with their work. I really enjoyed experiencing the comings and goings of the workshop. Paul’s place was different than Hugh’s as it’s a large space with lots of different areas. I worked around the space producing a 360-degree sketch made up of the different sections. I spent 2 days at each workshop and within those 2 days I had roughed out the entire workshop and inked as much as I could. I took photos as reference so I could finish the pieces in the studio. I would have loved to do the whole thing on location but time did not allow. One thing that I didn’t know before I went to the workshops was that Paul used to work out of Hugh’s place when he started with his leather work. I was really happy that the two shops were associated it was a perfect connection.