by Ryan Allan

Night Rider from Cool Guys Productions on Vimeo.

Back in the spring I randomly met Steven from Cool Guys Productions (CGP) on the Bikes & Beers group ride. We chatted that day about bikes, beers & life in general. It was a random meeting in a year filled with random meetings. That led to a feature post on the local video production company he & his business partner Ryan run out of North Park.

Stolen Bike Schwinn CutterThen on May 20th I stumbled on a youtube video of a guy driving his car around LA at night. Revving his engine, wide turns, accelerating through the downtown. It was stoke inducing. Afterwards I wanted to get on craigslist, buy a sports car & rip around San Diego. Just one problem. I don’t drive. Or at least try not to as much as possible. “Why,” I wondered, “Why is there not a film that makes me feel like this about riding my bike?”

There are all kinds of clips of tricks, races, fixed gear alley cats, BMX half-pipe, but I couldn’t think of one that was geared at inspiring normal people to just get out and ride. I’m sure they are there but they are buried behind all the extreme stuff. Where was a video for the other 85% of us? We e-mailed the CGP team the next morning with an idea for a bike film inspired by that car film. We met for coffee the two days later. They were immediately on-board & we hashed out a plan.

The goal: To create a short film that inspires an emotional response to biking downtown San Diego at night that equals badass exhilaration.Night Rider Film

We assembled a small team adding Austin Atencio as our second camera man & casting Ruben Alvarado as our rider. Five weeks later, on the eve of Comic-Con, we shot hours of footage over two nights. An hour into the first night we got an e-mail from Schwinn offering to cover our base expenses. Up until that point we had been digging into our own pockets. We knew this movie would get made no matter what.

Night Rider FilmThen the CPG guys went to work wading through the footage, editing & putting together something pretty incredible. I set about trying to find music. After a long fruitless search listening to stock sounds online I reached out to Dead Feather Moon on Twitter &
. I had been listening to there album obsessively for months while working on this film. The song “My Sun” just felt right, but I had no idea if they would be interested in letting us use it.

Night Rider Film Premiere
pc. Charlie Sears @theawarewolfs

Within a day of posting a request to twitter, Greg from DFM called me. He & the band was supportive from our first contact. This film was falling into place. Not only had we made this love letter to San Diego & to bikes but we would be using a stellar local rock band to provide the soundtrack. We finished up our last edits early September & submitted it to the Action International Film Fest. Fingers crossed.

We had decided that no matter what happened with the film fest we were proud of what we had made. Plus…Ninkasi gave us a bunch of beer and North Park Bikes let us premiere the film during Ray At Night on Sept 12th. Beer, Bikes & Community is what this project was all about. Thanks to all you who helped, supported or watched. You are all fucking awesome.

And then we got the e-mail. We were accepted into the film fest. It was goal, the impetus for this project even existing. Even though we didn’t need that validation anymore it still felt real, real sweet. We hope to see you there.

Action! International Film Fest will be held October 23rd-25th. Tickets can be purchased here. It is being hosted by the same folks, Misfit Pictures, that puts on the epic San Diego Surf Film Festival.

Night Rider Film