...and the birth of American off-road motorcycles and modern KTM motorcycle.
About John Penton: There is so much to talk about with John Penton himself that we suggest everyone clicks on the American Motorcycle Association's Hall of Fame website to learn about this incredible man and his family's story:
Now the film project itself:
After reading Ed Youngblood’s book “John Penton
and the Off-Road Motorcycle Revolution” in 2007, renowned motorcycle
biography director Todd Huffman (The Motocross Files-Speed, Legends of Supercross-CBS, The Carlsbad USGP:1980, One
Chance to Win, and Bob Hannah's 1981
Massacre at Saddleback) thought there was a story to
be told there. In June of 2007, on location to shoot interviews
in Michigan for The Motocross Files, Todd and
accomplished Director of Photography, Michael Graber, went to Amherst, OH to at
least get “John Penton on tape”. Two days and seven hours worth
of HD tape later, Todd and Michael had John and Jack Penton as well as
nephew, the late Dane Leimbach, on tape.
Fast-forward to the fall of 2010 when Penton
enthusiast Jack Martin contacted Todd to suggest a film project about John
Penton’s life. After reading Youngblood’s
book in 2000, Martin had come to believe that a documentary of John Penton’s championship
enduro career, his development of the Penton motorcycle line and the tremendous
effect that had on the sport of off-road motorcycling would be a wonderful
demonstration of American ingenuity, entrepreneurship and family values. After contacting Youngblood and Penton and
mulling the project over for several years, Martin finally came to the realization
that, while Mr. Penton’s story deserved to be told, he wasn’t the man to do it.
Rather than let the dream just die, Martin contacted Huffman to share his idea,
not knowing that Todd had already commenced work on the project. Martin suggested that Lyle Lovett narrate the
film since he had competed on Pentons as a teenager and remained a motorcycle
and Penton fan. Todd contacted Motorcycle Hall of Famer, Mark
Blackwell who is personal friends with Lyle who said he’d “be honored to
be the voice of the film” since as a 14-year-old boy, Mr. Lovett worked
sweeping floors at a Penton dealer in Texas.
By November of 2010 PDM, along with supporters and
fans of John Penton, had produced a teaser to generate interest, complete
with Lyle Lovett voice-over and music.
It’s time to finish the project.
The plan is to get into production the summer and fall of 2012
traveling back east for interviews with Penton family, friends and enthusiasts.
Also, there will be a 10-day shooting trip to Europe including Austria (where
Penton's were made by KTM), Italy (where Penton’s line of Hi-Point competition clothing
was made by Alpinestars) and England, Germany, Sweden, etc. where longtime
Penton customers and competitors will be interviewed. Both John and Jack Penton may accompany the production to Europe to see some of their old friends. We plan on capturing those moments on film when they happen.
interviews will be involved with the production.
In early 2013 the post-production process will begin and will
involve more pick-up interviews and re-creation shooting to fill holes in the
story. More editing, music and effects will be undertaken through the spring
and summer to get the film ready for a fall release on DVD and digital
downloads. A premiere may happen at the annual AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame
Induction Weekend in Las Vegas, NV which usually takes place in Mid-November.
If you're a motorcycle or dirt bike fan in the US or around the
globe, or you just love a great story about American spirit, tenacity and
ingenuity, then you can be proud of having been a part of bringing this project
Thank you for being part of bringing John and his
family's phenomenal American story to life.