Hollywood could be found right next door in New Berlin this past Saturday morning, as actors, crew members, and investors of the film "Born to Ride” (movie trailer) made an appearance at the Marcus Ridge movie theater on Moorland Road as part of the Milwaukee Rally, a collection of events taking place this weekend throughout the metro area paying homage to Harley-Davidson, bikers, and the biker way of life.
Starring Casper Van Dien, William Forsythe, Branscombe Richmond, Patrick Muldoon, and Theresa Russell, the 90-minute film was written and produced by Mike Anthony Jones, CEO of Wolf on the Moon Productions. Jones is also a musician, and his band, Generation Jones, was scheduled to perform at Hal’s Harley-Davidson stage Saturday afternoon. Jones wrote the songs that comprise the film’s soundtrack.
Milwaukee personal injury attorney Michael Hupy, long known for his advocacy for bikers rights and focusing a good chunk of his legal practice on that particular demographic, played a prominent role in bringing the film’s stars to Milwaukee and has been friends with Jones for many years.
After a free showing of “Born to Ride”, Jones and actors of the film were available for autographs and a meet-and-greet.
In exclusive interviews for Muskego Patch, we caught up with some of those involved with the film:
Michael Hupy: Asked how he came to focus his law practice largely on bikers rights, Hupy described himself as a libertarian and said he identified a need 23 years ago, in 1988, to represent bikers. “There just weren’t many attorneys around who seemed truly interested in that particular niche,” he said. He noted that Tony Sanfelipo, the founder of ABATE of Wisconsin (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) is going on his 20th year with the firm as an investigator. The prominent Milwaukee attorney is onboard as an executive producer for the film H.O.A. (for homeowners association), which is set to start filming in March 2012, with portions of it slated to be filmed at his Milwaukee office and Chicago. The film is about a wealthy attorney who passes away and leaves his home in a gated community to his financially-strapped brother, a biker. The biker moves in and, according to Hupy, “basically raises hell in the gated community.” “I read the script, and it sounds like a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it,” Hupy said.
Mike Jones: “This was truly an honor,” the writer and producer of the film said, talking about the event and crowd that came out to support it. Jones said he includes military vets in a lot of his work, and there was a Vietnam veteran in the audience who is also a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. The vet received a standing ovation from the crowd upon being recognized by Jones. “Positive biker image is what I portray,” Jones said of his work. He is set to film H.O.A. in March 2012.
Branscombe Richmond: The seasoned stuntman and actor, who has appeared in a variety of films and TV shows over the years can also be seen in “Soul Surfer”, which was released this past April and stars AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, and Carrie Underwood. “You have to see it,” he said about “Soul Surfer”. In three motorcycle halls of fame, Richmond said he has traveled to Wisconsin a couple of times before and is enjoying his time here. He was also excited to be back with his fellow “Born to Ride” stars. “It’s been a few years seeing these guys, so it’s great to just catch up and hang out with them again.” Richmond, who lives in Maui, Hawaii, said he is old buddies with former Wisconsin state Senator Dave Zien, a biker and Vietnam veteran who also appeared in the film and was present at the event.
Michael Higgins: Higgins works for Ultramedia in Phoenix, producing media and supporting promotional materials for films and albums. Higgins said he has known Mike Jones for 18 years and has done a lot of video and music work with him over the years. Higgins’ wife, Carla Kirlin, is an artist and musician, and she is the bass guitarist in the band that is featured in the film. The couple’s home can also be seen in the film, as well as their son, who also played with the band. Asked how he’s enjoying Milwaukee, Higgins joked about the temperature being a lot more tolerable and that he was already interested in checking out homes here because of that [a little editorial commentary: you’ve obviously never been through a Wisconsin winter, Mr. Higgins!]
Sathish Chari, DDS: The dentist of Mike Jones, Chari, of Scottsdale, Arizona, came onboard as an associate producer of the film. He estimated that around 97% of the film was shot in Arizona. On what is his first time to Milwaukee, Chari said he likes what he’s seen so far and said he was looking forward to getting out and seeing more on Sunday. He said Milwaukee is very similar to where he grew up in Michigan.
Joe Espinoza: A personal friend of associate producer Sathish Chari, Espinoza is also from Arizona and an investor in the film. He’s looking forward to seeing his book come out soon, Succeeding in Real Estate When it’s Impossible, based on 42 years of experience in the business.
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