Recently, we were given an early look at the new film Handcrafted — an insider’s look at the Australian custom motorcycle community created by Electric Bubble and Purpose Built Moto. The filmmakers followed Tom Gilroy of PBM as he traveled across Australia in the summer of 2017, interviewing and riding with several Australian custom builders he’s gotten to know since starting his shop, including:
- Brado Miller, Milwerx
- Justin Holmes, Popbang Classics
- Ian Don, Black Cat Customs
- Scott Gittoes, SDG Moto
- Leo Yip and Steve Barry, Ellaspede
- Matt Bromley, DVMC Motorcycles
- Jeremy Tagand, Deus Ex Machina Sydney
“My goal was to shine a light on the buzzing custom motorcycle scene in Australia. All too often we see builders from all over the world soaking up the limelight, and I feel for the talent we have here, Australia is under-represented.”
We found the film beautiful, insightful, well-shot, and filled with awesome people and camaraderie. Below, we interviewed the creators about the inspiration, intent, and process of making the film.
Handcrafted: Creator Interview
What prompted you to create Handcrafted?
Tom, Purpose Built Moto: “I had met with the filmmakers, Jake and Cameron about making a short film on Purpose Built Moto. After the interview they seemed intrigued and we decided to expand the project, interviewing and riding with seven builders I had gotten to know since starting out. We wanted to put Australian custom motorcycle builders out there, and have our community known.”
Cameron, Electric Bubble: “We started to see a lot of similarities between these craftesmen as bike builders and ourselves as filmmakers. They are doing this not because they’re professionally trained, but because they’re passionate about what they’re creating.”
The film is so well-shot! Tell me about the team at Electric Bubble — how did you meet them and decide to work together?
Jake, Electric Bubble: “Electric Bubble has a sharp focus on storytelling. Handcrafted, before it was a motorcycle film, was intended as a series of short videos, looking at craftsmen of many different disciplines. Once we were shown the door into custom motorcycles, we decided to go on a deep dive into this creative space. Cameron + I (Jake), since meeting, have always wanted to bring fresh light to stories that may have not otherwise been unheard. To be able to deliver these stories in an entertaining way is our end goal.”
Were there any films that inspired you? Greasy Hands Preachers or anything like that?
Electric Bubble: “Other films in the same space haven’t really inspired us. It became obvious during the filming process that the builders would be the driving inspiration behind the film. These guys with very different back grounds and stories, all operating with the same undercurrent of love for what they do. That’s what has really propelled HANDCRAFTED forward, and pushed us as filmmakers to create what we did.”
How long did shooting take? Did you visit the other shops as part of one big road trip?
Electric Bubble: “The Handcrafted trip was filmed over 2 week over the summer holidays in 2017. Although filming was done in 3-4 weeks, the editing process took 12 months with the film undergoing a total re-structure about 3 months in. to create the engaging feature length documentary it is now.”
What’s something you hope viewers will take away from the film?
Tom, Purpose Built Moto: “My goal was to shine a light on the buzzing custom motorcycle scene in Australia. All too often we see builders from all over the world soaking up the limelight, and I feel for the talent we have here, Australia is under-represented. For HANDCRAFTED I wanted to show people that Australia should be put forward in the custom motorcycle industry. With the amazing response we’ve received, it’s evident that there are a lot of garage builders being inspired to head out and pick up the spanners and have a go at their bike with fresh eyes and motivation.”
Cameron, Electric Bubble: “As we discovered during the film. Although these builders turn out extraordinary bikes, they’re just everyday aussies who go into the workshop and have a go. The hardest step is the first one, and once the ball is rolling, if you’re dedicated enough, you can build something amazing from not much at all. From an Electric Bubble stand point, we were happy to have the opportunity to show these people to the world, and have their skills put on show to receive some well-deserved recognition. On top of that to inspire other creative minds to pick up the tools and try it themselves. ”
What’s next for Tom Gilroy and Purpose Built Moto?
2018 was a big year for PBM with the release of a lot of new products and the completion of some huge projects. Handcrafted was a love project we did for the growth of the community, and now it’s been received so well, plans are in the works for a follow up film. 2019 will be spent bettering my fabrications skills, building crazier bikes, and refining my product catalogue.
Follow the Filmmakers
Follow the Featured Builders
- Black Cat Customs, Ian Don
- Deus Ex Machina Sydney, Jeremy Tagand
- DVMC Motorcycles, Matt Bromley
- Ellaspede, Leo Yip and Steve Barry
- Brado Miller
- Popbang Classics, Justin Holmes
- SDG Moto, Scotty Gittoes