Interview with the TRIKE GANG film team

TRIKE GANG was the winner of BEST FILM at the Aug. 2022 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

MH: Max Huggins, Direcotr, DP
JP: Justin Pines, Producer
JK: Jared Kleinstein, Executive Producer
AO: Producer, Writer, Editor

1. What motivated you to make this film?

JK: Once you meet the cast of our film, aka the members of the Trike Gang, you instantly gravitate towards them and want to adventure with them. Coincidentally, as one of the people who loves them as humans (and was close friends with Justin beforehand), I happen to run a production company. They could’ve picked any company or creatives in the world to tell their story, and it would’ve made a great film. We just feel lucky that it got to be us, and that we got to go on the adventure with them!

JP: 4 years post injury, I had just discovered these incredible e-assist mountain bikes. I spent that summer in the Rockies riding with Quinn, Sam and Allyson. I was raving about my new freedom to my good buddy Gordon, a close friend of Jared’s and mine. He goes: “Pines, would you ever consider bikepacking?!”

It was a lightbulb moment.

Ever since my 2016 skiing accident, backpacking was one of those things I figured I would never do again. All of a sudden, spending days in the wilderness was back on the table.

Gordon continued: “We should see if Jared and the team would want to film it.”

It was May of 2020, Jar has just lost his father, a man larger than life, and this fledgling idea Gordon spoke held the promise of something new and life-giving. I called Jared. What followed was an adventure and a slate of memories that have opened up how I live my life.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

JK: About two years – we started talking about it in the spring of 2020, shot most of it that fall, and then worked on the edit through 2021/22.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

JK: Endless Possibilities.

Possibility explored
OR Possibility redefined
OR Possibility [through] community

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

JK: Just getting everyone on a trip in the fall of 2020, with everything the pandemic hit us with, was a tough initial challenge. On the edit side, we were trying to get the work done while juggling the rest of our paid production work. It was easy to de-prioritize this passion project over revenue generating ones, but we’re grateful we kept it alive.

JP: Getting stranded in the high desert on a scouting mission the day before the ride was also a spicy and exciting challenge.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

JK: We know the Trike Gang members’ stories and personalities. But hearing how the audience connected with them showed that we were able to let that shine through in the footage.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

JK: Middle School, though I always thought it would be a fun hobby and never could’ve dreamed it would be my job.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

JK: Pitch Perfect, Forrest Gump, or High School Musical 1 (they were in the phase that I was young enough to just watch over and over again).

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

AO: The process is great, and the fact that this is a feedback festival is an amazing opportunity for us. Getting real critiques from those who are in the know, is beyond helpful.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

AO: FilmFreeway is a great resource for an indie production company like ours. It easily collates and provides a simple means to get the information we need from festivals – like run times, locations, timelines, and more.

10. What is your favorite meal?

JK: A cheeseburger from Carls in St Louis, or soup dumplings from Joes Shanghai in NYC, or sushi from Sushi Den in Denver.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

JK: Two documentary projects, a slate of client projects for commercial work, and keeping up the growth of our software company, Gondola, that gives creators credit for their content on social media!

also: more film festivals & broader exposure for Trike Gang. We feel this story is important to share. We want to help expand preconceived ideas about what adaptive athletes are able to do.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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