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Professor Releases Award-Winning Film


When attending a women’s motorcycle event a couple years ago, Assistant Professor of Digital Design Michelle Carpenter was hungry for stories. She patiently waited for one so captivating and unique that she could make a documentary or film out of it. Years later, that’s exactly what she did.

Inspired by motorcyclist Laura Klock and her two daughters, Erika and Karlee Cobb, Klocked: Women with Horsepower is about more than a mother/ daughter/daughter racing trio who set world records: it’s about girl power, and encouraging women to be independent.

After a year and a half of filming, the documentary was released in May 2016, and will be broadcasted on television Oct. 16.

The filmmaking process wasn’t all fun and games. Carpenter and her team, most of whom are CU alumni or current students and staff , faced many obstacles.

“I filmed all the interviews,” Carpenter said. “Once you ask all the questions you want in the documentary, you kind of weave the story together.” “[Klock] gave me five hard drives with nothing organized. I was going through mountains of data. At one point, she mailed me a giant box filled with all of their first world records, medals, and medallions.”

As the director, Carpenter not only wanted the documentary to be perfect, but even envisioned a picturesque ending. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. Carpenter was going to head to the Bonneville Salt Flats for a race when the event was cancelled due to inclimate weather.

“I thought, how do I twist the ending to finish the film?” Carpenter said.

For Carpenter, working with her crew was the most rewarding, because she knew the strength of their work ethic and commitment. She enlisted the help of many students and faculty members, including Associate Professor of Recording Arts Leslie Gaston-Bird. She crafted and tweaked the audio for the documentary, keeping an ear out for extra noise that might distract the viewer from the picture.

“I’m more aurally oriented, so paying attention to traffic noise [and] just the quality of the film,” Gaston-Bird said. “Of course there’s traffic noise; it’s a film about motorcycles. It was cool seeing how beautiful the images were.”

Both Carpenter and GastonBird enjoyed Collaborating with students. “It’s always great when you can bring students in and what it takes to make a professional film,” Gaston-Bird said.

Carpenter echoes GastonBird’s praise for student involvement, and thinks it’s an integral part of a student’s career to peek into the jobs of a professional. “I looked for students who I thought would have really high- quality work,” Carpenter said. “It was labor of love.”

The hard work paid off . The film portrays the families professional career, which is quite impressive, and the journey each individual took that brought them to their success.

The film has won an Award of Excellence Feature documentary and an Award of Recognition Women Filmmaker from the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

Klocked: Women with Horsepower will headline the Adventure Reel in the Breckenridge Film Festival on Sept. 16.

Dilkush Khan
Dilkush Khan

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