If you’ve got 50 minutes to spare, watch this beautifully produced feature film, titled Handcrafted, about Australia’s custom motorcycle community.
It has been made by Gold Coast film production company Electric Bubble and available free on YouTube.
The Handcrafted video was posted a couple of weeks ago and has had more than 30,000 views.
In the opening scene, a rider “surfs” the motorcycle, standing with one foot on the seat and one on the tank of a custom Harley Sportster around the cane fields of Norwell on the Gold Cost hinterland.
Ok, we know that’s illegal and we expect the production company would have obtained relevant permissions and road closures.
I also suspect the ATGATT (all the gear, all the time) supporters may be horrified by the lack of good safety gear in some of the shots!
However, it does show the beautiful camera work from the film, the high production values and the almost poetic nature of motorcycling.
Yes, the video is very hipster with lots of beards, pony tails, piercings, tattoos and backwards caps, so it may not appeal to everyone.
However, it is a good feature of the new Aussie custom bike scene that has revived many old bikes, given rise to events such as Throttle Roll and the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride and nurtured thriving businesses such as Deus ex Machina and Ellaspede.
Some may say hipsters have destroyed many old bikes. It all depends on your perspective.
The Handcrafted film includes many interviews with custom bike builders.
They include Tom Gilroy of Purpose Built Moto, Justin Holmes of Pop Bang Classics, Brado Miller at Milwerx, Matt Bromley at DVMC, Jeremy Tagand at Deus, Ian Don at Black Cat Customs, Scott Gittoes at SDG Moto, as well as Steve Barry and Leo Yip at Brisbane’s Ellaspede.
As Tom says about “wrenching” a bike from the scrap heap back to life: “There is no better joy than creating something with your own hands.”
Cinematographer Jake Ashe from Electric Bubble says the film was created on a road trip down the east coast of Australia with director Cameron Brunt and Tom Gilroy the narrator and, of course, one of the builders.
“We wanted to shine a spotlight on an industry with very interesting and passionate characters,” Jake says.
“Our goal was to find a way to communicate the creative freedom that comes with building a skill set to drive your passion.”
The film was premiered on the Gold Coast at the the Mobile Barber Depot on January 11, 2019.
More premieres are lined up for Deus Ex Machina in Sydney on March 21 with dates yet to be announced for Kustom Kommune, Melbourne; The Motorcycle Society, Adelaide; Ellaspede, Brisbane; Roosters CC, London; and Perth County Moto, Toronto.