Catalina Grand Prix Movie Now in Pre-Production

May 7, 2015 2:45pm | by:

FULLERTON, CALIF. - On a crisp December morning back in 2010, a group of more than eight hundred professional and amateur motorcycle racers lined up to participate in a once in a lifetime racing extravaganza: The 2010 Red Bull Catalina Grand Prix. Contested annualy during most of the 1950s, the event fell victim to political infighting and ran its last lap in 1958. Amazingly, after a deep sleep of more than half a century, a visionary part-time race promoter rekindled the Catalina Grand Prix embers and brought Catalina Island's once great annual racing phenomenon back to life.

Amongst the capacity-plus crowd of racers, mechanics, and racewatchers on Catalina that day was award-winning motorcycle documentary filmmaker Todd Huffman. Over the next twelve hours, he and his Pipeline Digital Media film production crew chronicled every twist, turn, tumble and wave of the checkered flag. 

Dubbed The Catalina Grand Prix: The Race Returns, the new film already has secured a commitment from Gathr Films in Los Angeles for theatrical distribution. In recent weeks a promotional film teaser premiered to a packed auditorium of 750 ardent motorcycle racing and industry legends and their families at the annual Trailblazers banquet.

Motocross legend and ESPN announcer, David "The Little Professor" Bailey is lending his unique voice talent as narrator for the film. 

A Kickstarter fundraising campaign is underway to help fuel the project along with industry and non-endemic sponsors who the filmmakers will be adding.

"With PENTON: The John Penton Story wrapped up, the time has arrived for us to get the Catalina GP movie project revved up into high-gear," said Huffman. "Fortunately 90 percent of the movie has already been shot and we are now deep into the pre-production phase."

As Huffman has done on many other projects, including PENTON: The John Penton Story, he is collaborating again with Scott Cox and his Resmarket agency who will focus on strategic partnerships, marketing, and film promotion.

"When Todd invited me to join him on another movie making adventure, I could not say 'YES' fast enough. Over the years we've collaborated on a number of projects such as the Penton movie that debuted last year. So, of course I didn't hesitate," said Cox. "This film is extra special for me also because my team and I worked daily alongside Cuz'n Vinnie Mandzak, the event promoted without whom the 2010 Catalina Grand Prix would never have happened. Todd's crew captured spectacular footage and I am absolutely certain that this movie will be equally as spectacular."

With miles of 2010 event footage already "in the can", Huffman is joined again by the Director of Photography for the 2010 event, Kevin Ward (Dust to Glory) for pick-up shots of Catalina Island as well as interviews with a host of motorcycle legends. The long list of celebrities highlighted in the film will include Malcolm Smith, Ricky Johnson, Travis Pastrana, Johnny Campbell, Kendall Norman, Danny LaPorte, Dave Ekins, Chuck "Feets" Minert, Eddie Mulder, Preston Petty, and many others. Huffman's plan is to set-up "a weekend 52 years in the making" with historical highlights from the original 1950s era races in stark contrast to what took place during the 2010 race when Team Honda racer Kendall Norman staged an epic battle for the overall Catalina Grand Prix victory against Team KTM's blindingly fast star, the late Kurt Caselli.

"I am so happy to finally have this opportunity to tell the story of what became a once in a lifetime event for so many people - including me!" Said Huffman. "This is the type of documentary film project that I know will hold such a special place in the hearts and minds of so many and it will be such an honor to bring it all the way to the checkered flag for them!" Led by Huffman, the Pipeline Digital Media team will begin editing original race footage and scheduling interview subjects. Shooting will take place through the Summer followed by on-going post-production timed for the film's anticipated December 2015 release date. Meanwhile Scott Cox will direct the Resmarket team as the development of sponsor and strategic partnerships within the motorcycle industry and elsewhere. The original 2010 Catalina Grand Prix was only made possible by great, industry sponsors that include Bel-Ray Lubricants, KTM, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Motion Pro Tools, Hinson Clutches, and Troy Lee Designs. These companies will be part of the project moving forward.