RIFF Movies Archive

Choppertown: the Sinners

United States, 2005, mini DV - Color - 90

Scott Di Lalla & Zack Coffman

James Intvled, Jason Jessee, Cole Foster, Rico Fodrey, Kutty Noteboom

Scott Di Lalla & Zack Coffman

Zack Coffman & Scott Di Lalla

One World Studios Ltd.


Custom motorcycle builder and punk rock guitarist Kutty Noteboom builds his Working Man's chopper from the ground up with the help of his good friend Rico and the rest of the Sinners. As they criss-cross California finding parts and trying to stay out of trouble, we learn that there is more to these tough bikers than meets the eye.

Filmmaker Scott Di Lalla talks about how the film came about:“As far back as 1998 we had been discussing ideas for a bike film, even before we started One World Studios in 2001. We knew motorcycles were going to come back in. I’ve always loved them and built my first chopper before I could even legally drink. There was just too long of a period since Easy Rider and On Any Sunday. Our feeling was that a bike film that could express the true spirit of motorcycling would have a real shot at capturing people's hearts and minds. When choppers broke into the spotlight on TV, we knew it was time to buckle down and get moving. I couldn’t relate to a $100,000 show bike that never sees over a mile of road. I wanted to make a film about the regular Joe building a bike in his back yard.”Filmmaker Zack Coffman recalls getting it together:Hollywood is a tough place and everyone is paid to say “no”. We’re not guys who accept negativity and we kept plugging away with our projects and working our part-time jobs to make ends meet. Finally we just told ourselves that we didn’t need permission from anybody to make a film and just green-lighted Choppertown ourselves.An old college buddy of ours [Armando Koghan] was attending AFI for cinematography and we asked him to come on board. We got a hold of soundman Anthony [Pardines] through Craigslist and our crew was set.The first night’s shoot was great, we got some excellent footage and were feeling confident that things were going as planned. Then two weeks later, things got hairy because Armando became swamped with his school responsibilities and we had to either put the film on hold or find a replacement...”* * *That’s when friend, veteran stuntman, Michael Baron came to the rescue. Michael had met Scott at the doctor’s office where Scott was working for another friend, Philip Gabriel’s father. Michael was recovering from a stunt accident and he and Scott became friends through their love of film. Michael admired Scott and Zack’s passion and willingness to work multiple part-time jobs and live such an austere lifestyle while pursuing their dream of filmmaking. He had recently purchased a couple of XL-1 digital cameras for his company and lent one to Scott and Zack along with some excellent sound equipment.So while Scott practiced with the camera, Zack read the entire manual for Apple’s Final Cut Pro editing software. “It was a pretty good read, especially with the task of editing an entire film looming on the horizon,” recalls Zack. “We had gone and maxed out our plastic to get a complete G5 editing system from the Apple store across the street. It was absolutely beautiful and after we set it up we kind of looked at each other and said, “Now what?”




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