When New York filmmaker, Mike Collins met the owners of Jane Motorcycles in Williamsburg, he could immediately see they were different. Mike talks about his meeting Alex and Adam, and how he approaches telling their story through a series of documentary based commercials.
"One of the guys that I work with, Adam Kerchman who has done all of these amazing slider shots in the last couple of pieces, happened to walk by 'Jane’s' storefront the week they opened. I then looked them up online and I saw immediately that they had this very cool aesthetic. Their brand is very clean and very modern, and quiet different to the leather and grease you usually associate with a motorcycle shop. The name ‘Jane’, too, has a whole level of interest to it that is very different."
"When I met the guys at 'Jane', they had literally been opened for three days. When I look around the shop I knew immediately they were the right guys to do our next piece about. The owners are Adam, who is from California and very artistic. And then there is Alex, who grew up in Manhattan and who has worked for a bunch of big motorcycle companies, and most recently at Ducati."
"Adam and Alex pooled all of their money and found this space at the back edge of Williamsburg. This is an insanely hip neighborhood in Brooklyn, and is literally 5mins outside of Manhattan. It has become this artistic mecca for artists, designers, filmmakers etc. It really is an amazingly cool neighborhood."
"I understand that they gutted the place and then rebuilt the interior themselves. My one big regret is that I didn’t get to know them earlier, as I could have shot the building of the store from scratch.”
"Since they launched, they now have the young moms dropping in for coffee and motorcycles guys in there all day long. But then, they also have people coming into to buy clothing in the afternoons and evenings. It is this really amazing ebb and flow of different people all day.”
"What I wanted to do with this piece was to really hone in on the personalities of Adam and Alex and to make the brand about them. When they saw the finished piece, I think they were really moved at seeing their own story come to life in this way."
"For me as a filmmaker, I really want to get that sort of reaction from your subjects. They really felt that we had been able to capture who they are as individuals and to tell some of their life's journey."
"What I love about this piece is the ending where we are talking about motorcycles - but we are really not! These guys have not had the easiest of roads, so the conversation is really all about them and their individual journey."
"When Alex says, that ‘this experience has shown him how great the world can still be’, that’s not what you are expecting out of a portrait piece on a guy who owns a motorcycle shop. At least from my personal perspective."
"Again, this piece is not about the motorcycles or the clothing, it’s about their journey. And hopefully you are going to want to watch this piece and support them after seeing it."
"This piece for ‘Jane’ is like some of my earlier stories, but really stripped back. It’s ultimately a refining of our aesthetic so that the story is the focus and each piece becomes unique in its approach. The pieces we are doing now are hand crafted bespoke motion pictures for people. They are not formulaic at all. They are a response to the story and the people we are doing them for."
"The pieces we are doing
now are hand crafted
bespoke motion pictures
"It’s a narrow line you’ve go to walk because you can’t ignore the commercial aspect to a piece like this. This first piece we have created for ‘Jane’, kind of sets the ground rules and establishes the storefront for ‘Jane’. This means that with the next piece, we can move away from the storefront and start to tell the story about Adam and Alex. It will be about them building their apparel line, or Alex building these custom bikes. One of the pieces I have been recently working on, is literally about them riding their bikes through New York. This latest piece is to really get into the lifestyle part of ‘Jane’s’ brand."