When I founded Budnitz Bicycles, people kept asking how I planned to market a high-end titanium city bicycle company on the Internet.
Partly because I’m a film geek, and partly because I couldn’t think of a better way to do it, I figured it’d be way more fun to spend what little money I had on making short films about bicycles rather than actually advertising anything.
This didn’t endear me to my investors (I remember one call that started out with “What the fuck?” and ended with the same word). But three years later there’s a waiting list for most of our bikes and we’ve made some awesome films, so I guess its working out.
The Gift was shot in 16mm black & white film on a single night in downtown LA, and written and directed by my friend Russ Lamoureux (@lamoureux).
I never got a screenplay from Russ. All he sent me was a poem and a sketchy description of a woman in pajamas ridings a bicycle. When I called Russ and said, “please explain this?” all he said was, “don’t worry, it’ll be awesome” — which sounded so much like the kind of thing I would say (it’s exactly what I told the good people that invested in Ello!) that I just told Russ to go for it.
Russ had a volunteer crew and equipment “borrowed” from a Mercedes-Benz shoot earlier that same day. The equipment had to be returned by dawn, so they had one night to set up and shoot the entire film.
Here it is: The Gift.
Our third film by @budnitzbicycles, and maybe my favorite.