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Documentary org to offer class on filming by bike

Posted by on March 9th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Filmmaker Joe Biel will go to
great lengths to capture bike
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Did you know there’s a non-profit based in Portland devoted to teaching the art of the documentary? Not only does NW Documentary teach folks the, “art of non-fiction storytelling,” they have a new class this term that will delve into the often overlooked discipline of filming by bike.

Teaching the “Ride and Shoot” bicycle filmmaking class will be none other than local bike filmmaker Joe Biel. Biel — a prolific artist and publisher who’s also the man behind Microcosm Publishing — has been making moves about bikes for many years. Remember his Martinis in the bike lane film back in 2006? More recently he’s embarked on a documentary about cargo bike builder Tom Labonty.

Lilah Cady with NW Documentary says Biel’s class will meet twice, first on 3/19 from 6-8pm and again on 3/25 from 1-5pm. Joe will share his knowledge of camera mounting techniques and provide tips on shooting while riding. At the second class, he’ll lead a ride to put the techniques to work. All experience levels are welcome and the class is $200 for members and $350 for non-members.

The goal, Cady says, is to offer this class three times a year and then show off the best work at the Filmed By Bike festival starting in 2013 (it also just so happens that NW Documentary is the official beneficiary of the festival this year).

Learn more about the class and register at at

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