ABOUT THE PITCH VIDEO
Using audio from our interviews with Right of Way members Michael Smith and Charles Komanoff, NYC Street Memorial member Leah Todd, NY Times freelancer Jason Grant, and Queens-based photographer Gaby Manrique, alongside images we captured of ghost bikes in New York City, this is just a taste of the film we want to make.
ABOUT THE FILM
Since January 2009, we have been collecting footage and interviews for a feature length documentary about the worldwide ghost bikes project. Starting in our own backyard in New York City, we started with the ambitious goal of photographing each of the over 60 ghost bikes that have been installed in NYC since 2005. With proper funding, this film would expand to include the bigger picture of the ghost bike movements in cities all across the world and the larger issues surrounding pedal power as a viable means of alternative transportation in our most congested urban environments.
Over the past six years or so, white painted bikes have been appearing on street corners and city blocks all over the world. Ghost bikes are roadside memorials and powerful emotional works of art. They are often decorated with personal mementos, flowers, and candles, and sometimes there is a plaque with a name, and the explanation: "Killed by car." They appear at the site of a crash where a cyclist lost his or her life, brought there by friends or a local street memorial project. They have been popping up all over London lately, and are being well documented on Flickr.
Since bicycling, for numerous timely and excellent reasons, is becoming a more ubiquitous part of our transportation environment, tragedies that were once brushed aside as mere accidents are now becoming emblematic of an infrastructure and culture that needs to change. Stories about road rage from LA and Chicago made recent headlines.
Ghost bikes are becoming more visible, and are perhaps making biking more visible. The idea behind the ghost bikes project has spread from city to city, and in many cases one group puts them up in a concerted effort to raise visibility of these crashes. Chicago had an art exhibit last spring called the 1000 Ghost Bikes, which aimed to raise awareness about bicycle traffic fatalities.
WHERE YOUR PLEDGE WILL GO
There is a lot more ground to cover and more to shoot. We want to address the psychology of ghost bikes; how they make you feel, think, react.
We want to talk about riding on city streets. We want to talk about the person behind each ghost bike. We want to talk about urban planning and the Livable Streets Project which has been reclaiming spaces in NYC for people instead of cars. We want to talk about the work being done by Transportation Alternatives in NYC, and other advocacy groups in other cities.
We want to trace the roots of the ghost bike movement from San Francisco to St Louis to PIttsburgh to New York, and examine how it is manifesting in New York, Chicago, London, and Brasil, where ghost bikes have been big news in the past year. We want to talk to cyclists in each of these cities, and capture images of their ghost bikes.
We want to cover current events related to ghost bikes. The next big event we will be covering is the 5th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk on January 3rd, 2010, in New York City. We'd like to cover events in other cities too.
Your pledges will cover equipment, travel expenses, crew, and post production expenses. We are shooting HD, and have been working on a shoestring budget out of the director's pocket for the past year. Having a decent budget would allow us to flesh out the photography and interviews properly while including a view of ghost bikes projects outside the NYC area.
Please help us reach our funding goal and make this film a reality. Our plan to finish this film is to pre-sell copies of the DVD at $25. If you pledge $25, and we reach our funding goal by February 1st, you will receive a signed copy of the DVD as soon as the film is released. You will also have immediate access to the private production blog with updates, extra footage, and early trailers. If we pre-sell 660 copies of the DVD, that will meet our fundraising goal.
Get updates on the film at ghostbikesfilm.com
You can follow us on Twitter, so you will be notified every time there is a new blog post with news about ghost bikes and the film.
We have been taking stills as we make our way through the city. You can view them at our Flickr photoset.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for supporting independent film!