G U M P T I O N | Triumph Motorcycles

An isolated man embraces a Triumph motorcycle to escape his dark normal world to ultimately reach a new world that consists of his mecca.

Director’s Vision

Man, it has been a long time coming with this piece. We first went into production over the weekend of December 1st and 2nd of 2018 and officially released it this past July. It actually all started with an idea to create a commercial of some sort with my DP, Sam Mosco and producer, Josef Maxwell. Josef, who is also a motorcyclist, approached me about potentially doing a piece for Triumph since it is the brand of the bike that he owns. At the time, I just got done working on a VFX pre-shoot for Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat out in Joshua and was immediately inspired to shoot something desert-oriented. Thus, I went to Sam and we began conceptualizing an idea about a motorcyclist who starts off in an abyss filled with anxiety and ends up in a place that leads to peace due to his own drive. From that, I became mesmerized with the vision of this piece beginning tonally like the opening sequence from The Dark Knight concluding like the closing sequence of The Graduate. From dark and anxious to a strange mixture of “happy go lucky” and surreal, which is what influenced the color transitions from black and white in the warehouse to greyish-cool tones in the city to heavenly warm tones in the desert, especially when we get to the final drone shot of the motorcyclist walking towards the dunes.
During this time, my most frequently used word was “gumption”. I used it through my natural vernacular to describe lots of things, which led to me expressing it in some way during a pre-pro session with Sam and it immediately became the title. “Gumption” is also the best way to describe a group of 10 mid-twenty somethings heading to the Mojave Desert for a gorilla shoot in under a 12 hour span of time, there and back. And, it certainly was GORILLA, with the exception of having a shot list and storyboard ready to go. However, there were no pre-scouts in advance and it was pretty much run and gun. To this day, I still don’t know how my 1st AD, Janelle DeChanie, managed to put up with our ambitious shenanigans but she did and made it more than possible for us to pull it off. Much obliged, Janelle.

As indie filmmakers with a tight budget, post was the longest process of this journey. However, with Sam and I eventually deciding to co-edit together, our dope sound designers, Christina Gonzalez and Grace Owens, jumping aboard to bring the smallest bits of sound to life, and my determination to not have music to score the piece, which led to me asking my best friend, actor and poet, Trevor Butler to watch our final cut, write a spoken word piece inspired by it and record what he came up with in his home-made sound studio. This is what made it all come together. It was a true co-creation from artist to artist. I mean, from the jump, we trusted one another and created on the go and now out of all of my directorial pieces, this is the one I am a fan of the most.

It now stands on its own; with gumption and gusto.