The Distinguished Gentleman
As filmmakers and motorcycle enthusiasts, we’re always looking for stories and projects where these passions intersect. Usually, this means working with our clients to execute their creative vision with promotional material, short-form storytelling and more.
In the case of The Distinguished Gentleman, there was no clear business impetus — as members of the New York motorcycle community, we just knew this story needed to be told.
In February 2019, motorcyclist Vincent Nicolai suffered life-threatening injuries when propane fumes caused an explosion in his garage, destroying his bikes and covering 40% of his body in burns. When the NYC riding community heard the news, they sprung into action.
After all, Vincent wasn’t just anybody — over the years, he’d raised over $100,000 for various men’s health causes through the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR), a global motorcycle event that raises awareness and funds for men’s mental health programs and prostate cancer research.
In the two months following the accident, the New York moto community was ultimately able to raise $77,000 for Vincent and his family. Not only was this a testament to Vincent’s remarkable impact on his community, but it was also a reminder of the spirit of kinship and loyalty that unites motorcyclists all over the world.
When Kirsten Midura approached us about telling Vincent’s story, we got to work immediately. DGR was generous enough to offer us financial sponsorship, and their funding opened up invaluable new doors for us. With the help of our editor Tom Ragan and our sound mixer Anna Khromova, we put together a 17-minute documentary highlighting Vincent’s life, his contributions to DGR, and the inspiring aftermath of his accident.
Filming presented several challenges — for instance, we had almost no B-roll or archival footage from Vincent’s life before the explosion, so we had to get creative in how we brought his background to life. Ultimately, we told Vincent’s story using a combination of photos, supporting footage from Triumph America, and interviews with Vincent, his loved ones, and the motorcycle community that came together to help him.
The film was a labor of love above all else, but we were thrilled to see it resonate with so many people across the globe. The Distinguished Gentleman premiered at the 2019 Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival in Ontario, and it has since been screened at the Moto Film Festival Mexico, PDX Motorcycle Film Festival, and several others around the world.
This film wouldn’t have been possible without Vincent and his family, our dedicated crew, Triumph America, Mark Hawwa, Mikey Stojcevski, and the rest of the DGR team. It was an honor to tell Vincent’s story, and we’re proud to have captured even a fraction of the love and generosity that make the riding community so special.
- pictures by Rahoul Ghose & Kirsten Midura & Bill Woodell & Craig Carlsen & Viktor Radics & Jean Pierre Kathoefer
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