The movie Easy Rider consummated the marriage between motorcycles and movies – just add motels and the three make up the holy trinity of American Pop-Culture. Easy Rider would become one of the most recognized counterculture films of all time. Jack Nicholson was nominated for a Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 42nd Academy Awards and Dennis Hopper received the First Film Award in 1969 at the Cannes Film Festival!
Film Festivals have always played an important role in bringing people together to share in the experience of movies together. The most famous film festivals; Sundance, Cannes, Venice and the Toronto International Film Festival – have been used by movie makers to showcase and premiere their work. The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival and it has been in operation since 1932. And spun off from the mega film festivals have come smaller festivals that feature every kind of film genre imaginable. From animation, to shorts, to documentary, to horrors, to classics and every interest too – like motorcycles.
Now Motorcycle film festivals have been making a bit of a come back in recent years. There is the (Portland) PDX Motorcycle Film Festival that is probably the longest running motorcycle film festival in the US. In recent years the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival founded and created by Caius Tenche had launched and was poised for continued growth. But as with all festivals – COVID Hit!
Now film festivals – like almost every other industry where it isn’t safe to gather in large numbers – have been forced to come up with new ways of bringing people together. And the Rev Sisters, (Shana Sanderson, Liza Miller and Michelle Lamphere) have made their upcoming South Jersey Moto Film Festival coming up December 4-13 a completely virtual event. On my show, The Rev Sisters explain how and why they are launching a motorcycle film festival during a pandemic.
Award-winning motorcycle film maker Sterling Noreen knows all about making films. On The Motelorcycle Show podcast, Sterling talks about film as a medium, why film festivals are important to showcase your work and how to make money by making movies.
But first, let’s check into the Motel Office…
Two of my guests on The Motelorcycle Show actually own motels that you can find here on the website. Film maker Sterling Noreen is the co-owner with Eva Rupert of the Jonquil Motel in Bisbee Arizona and One of the Rev Sisters, Michelle Lamphere is the owner of the lovely Chalet Motel in Custer South Dakota – just around the corner from the Official Movie Site of where they filmed North by NorthWest. But for a third suggestion and if you want to stay where all the classic Hollywood stars would visit – check into the El Trovatore Motel in Kingman Arizona. Everyone from Clark Gable to Bob Hope to Marilyn Monroe and James Dean have made this motel their temporary home. Sam the owner will treat you with the history at check in and I am sure most of it is true.
But before we go – and getting back to Easy Rider – that film had a production budget of $360,000 and grossed over $60 million – and it was written by Peter Fonda – in just four hours – in the middle of the night – in a Motel!
On The Motelorcycle Show podcast you can listen to my interviews with the Rev Sisters and Sterling Noren here.