Thanx Tyler, an interesting little by Bike Blog NYC
"I’ve been talking about a few subtle hints for those paying attention but now the bomb has dropped. First off, if you haven’t figured out already, there is a new iPhone game coming out day one next year, featuring artist and tall bike aficionado, Ryan Doyle. More on this new app can be found at the website: Bikeclubgames.com
Ryan’s been busy at the Miami art Basel showing off his skills as the world’s greatest joustman and demonstrating a few of his ridable art pieces including the Regurigitator and Hell-o-copter.
The master mind behind this game is Fredric King, who made the documentary B.I.K.E. back in 2007 for Fountainhead films. He’s teamed up with Curious Pictures for the creation of a truly unique app which allows the participants to command a tall bike in several urban settings and try and defeat various opponents through the bizarre sport of tallbike jousting.
I was able to interview Fredric King and find out what inspired him to make this app and bring the world of freak bike culture to iPhones everywhere:
Name, Age and where you live?
Fredric King. Age 51. Lives in NYC
What lead you to making a film about tallbikes, Black Label and eventually Ryan Doyle? In what order did that come about and talk a bit about the process?
After I finished my first film “Streets of Legend” that won cinematography at Sundance and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, I was searching for a new project. Anthony Howard was slated to be the lead in a film I was developing at the time called Blue Valentine. His co-director on “B.I.K.E.”, Jacob Septimus, was an associated producer on my first film. They both came to me with a trailer for “B.I.K.E”. that had the 3 elements that I like in a picture: action, a love story, and a kick-ass sound track. I think Tony Howard is a huge talent both in front of and behind the camera. In all of the films he’s made, he is the star — they are unpredictable and elicit an emotion. The challenge on “B.I.K.E.” was embarking on a project with a narrative arc with no set ending to the film, so after shooting for 1 year and ½ and compiling 385 hrs of footage, the task of editing the project over the next two years was the enormous feat. Doyle is one of the main characters and was someone I came to know and respect by watching the dailies.
What interested you in mutant bike culture and tall bike jousting?
How could I not be… it’s fascinating.
What inspired you to make a iPhone app about tall bike jousting?
I spent a couple of Halloweens during the shooting and production of the film at the Bike Kill where hundreds of wild unbridled youth performed extreme Ex-game type feats that would make a skateboarder look like a sissy. It’s a natural extension of the film. Tall Bike Joust is the first of 3 games I intend to make.
Talk about how the game was developed and what lead to certain details like choosing the other cities for tallbike jousts to occur?
Freak bike culture and my movie touch upon serious social and environmental concerns that I have deep feelings for. The underlying theme for the game embraces sustainability and anti-consumerist values. I grew up in New Orleans so it was natural to have a post-Katrina setting; Minneapolis and Reno are very strong BLBC (Bike Label Bike Club) chapters; New York is where Doyle and I both live; Amsterdam and Hong Kong embrace bicycle culture in Europe and Asia.
How did you get involved with Curious pictures?
I was introduced to Lewis Kofsky, a partner at Curious Pictures, at a party that Doyle was DJ-ing at about a year ago. Lewis and Doyle have spent several years together at Burning Man together, Lewis had caught wind of our intention of making a video game. At the time, I wasn’t aware that he was one of the producers of the Beatles RockBand video game. The rest is history.
What was it like working with Doyle in the making of the game?
A match made in bike heaven. I’m a producer who likes to make things and tell stories. Doyle’s artwork creates a unique design language for our game and he’s the Tall Bike Jousting Champion of the World, which brings authenticity to the project.
How was he with the motion capture experience and were there specific challenges in making this game?
Doyle’s persona is one with the bicycle whether he is jumping on to a Tall Bike, cruising down the boulevard or being toppled to the ground. His actions seem effortless almost poetic. The game is truly unique with very ambitious 3D art for the existing platform. Once we realized the 3D engines that were needed to run the game did not exist as off-the-shelf modules, the schedule and budget went out the window to achieve the quality that Doyle and I want to deliver to the user. Curious is pushing the limits of the iPhone platform. I think we are defining the possibilities what can be done with this medium — building tall bikes, creating jouster attributes, there are so many details to the game that will blow your mind.
Are the masses ready for an app about tallbike jousting and what do you think will be the impact on bike culture in general?
Frankly, the masses have no idea what Tall Bike Jousting is, but every time we screen the movie or talk about the impending game, it captures people’s interest and imagination. The gang at Curious pictures are amazingly talented and have exceeded my expectations. The end user will experience a game like no other at a price point that is unheard of for a game of this magnitude.
You may have faced difficult challenges with exposing a sub-culture like mutant bike clubs to the mainstream in the B.I.K.E. documentary. Do you foresee similar hurdles as far as acceptance with the iPhone app?
I’ve been criticized for making the film and exposing its dark, tragic nature. For me a worse experience would be to make a film that doesn’t evoke any feeling at all. I’ve met the most creative and generous people making and distributing the movie. We support advocacy groups be allowing them to screen the movie at festivals, museums and galleries around the world. Ultimately the positive feedback outweighs the negative and I think it partially inspired my daughter to study environmental science. I don’t foresee any negative backlash from the game. I think people are going to experience it and enjoy it.
What do you hope people walk (ride) away from the iPhone app? Do you think this will inspire more tall bike welding, mutant bike club formations, tall bike jousting in the xgames 2030?
I hope that the app will inspire people to become more creative and aware of the waste in our culture. There’s a whole section in the game called the Club House that allows you to weld, repair and recycle parts for your tall bike. Doyle and I felt strongly that the game shouldn’t be tied to a culture of waste and that the underlying theme would embrace the bike club’s message of anti-consumerism. I don’t know about Tall Bike Jousting in XGames 2030, but I hope there’s Tall Bike Jousting on Xbox in 2010!
What are future plans for video games with mutant bike sports?
Tall Bike Joust iPhone app is a litmus test to see if gamers are interested in this culture. If we’re successful, peer-to-peer jousting is obvious, with two additional games already being conceptualized. Stage II would offer these 3 games as downloadable modules on the PC platform with console gaming and social networking capabilities down the road.
Anything you wished I’d asked you?
When I was a kid, I remember the feeling of freedom I got from riding my bicycle through the streets of New Orleans. When my brother and I were about 10 years old, I remember flipping my bicycle frame and building a very rudimentary Tall Bike. Doyle’s experiential artwork and outlook on life give that same feeling of freedom and possibility. Making this game has given me that feeling again."
Ride Ur Bike!
Here is a little video with some behind the scenes footage of Doyle involved in making of the app with motion capture: