Filmmaker Todd Huffman- Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of On Any Sunday
Filmmaker Todd Huffman discusses what it was like to work on 1981- The Story of the 1981 Motocross des Nations Team. Todd also shares why he wanted to make sure the 50th Anniversary of On Any Sunday was honored, and why he loves bringing motocross stories to the fans.
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Pit Pass Moto is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Tommy Boy Halverson, Chris Bishop, Producer Leah Longbrake and Audio Engineer Eric Koltnow.
This transcript is AI generated, and may contain misspellings.
[00:00:15.290] - Dave Sulecki
Welcome to Pit Pass Moto, the show that keeps you up to speed on the latest in motorcycling and brings the biggest names in motorcycle racing right to you.
[00:00:23.230] - Dale Spangler
I'm Dave Sulecki and I'm Dale Spangler. This week we have television, film and video producer Todd Huffman. This week's weekend watch is the MXGP finale at Montova, Italy, also called the Cheetah de Montova final round of the MXGP. Dave, it couldn't have been any crazier this race.
[00:00:44.070] - Dale Spangler
[00:00:44.690] - Dale Spangler
The action was insane. I was on the edge of my seat. I felt like the entire time I think my heart rate was through the roof, even though I was sitting on my couch watching the race. What are your thoughts? I mean, it couldn't have been any better finale for this MXGP class.
[00:00:57.890] - Dave Sulecki
Yes, I thought so too. And honestly, a lot of emotion came out of that race, I think, for hurlings, who swept the event for the Championship. That alone, I think, was amazing. Him and Barbara coming into that final Moto tied in points. You're talking about a series of 18 races that came down to one Moto. The other emotional part was Cairoli, his final GP does it in Italy and the man is retired. So just a lot to talk about. A lot of emotion, a lot of action on the track.
[00:01:29.330] - Dave Sulecki
But hurling, I think, is the big story. The young man who's always kind of really put his heart in the racing and ridden probably harder than he needed to most times and usually paid for it unfortunately, but this season was able to hold it together. Didn't look like he tried to dominate every event like he had in the past. He nurtured that into what I'd say is one of his strongest Championships, for sure.
[00:01:52.120] - Dale Spangler
Yeah, I would say hurlings this year I felt like we saw a more mature hurlings, like he said, instead of going for the win every single time, he kind of did what he had to do. He clawed his way back from a points deficit to take it to the final modal. We saw in the first mode, where February was able to grab second place, but that brought them into the final Moto, tied exactly on the same points. And winter takes all and Hurling really kind of put a stamp of authority on the Championship with a one, one sweep and did it strongly.
[00:02:23.760] - Dale Spangler
So Congrats to them. And the whole team on the MX two side, I noticed, kind of as you predicted, Dave. Yamaha seemed to really try and put Yago Gertz up front and his one two finish was able to give him the win. And as a result, one, two. Yam Haw finished with Maximmer no, the world champion, and Yago Gertz in second place.
[00:02:42.950] - Dave Sulecki
Yeah. How about that? I was really impressed with Gertz's ride. Sad day for Vial. I mean, he got hurt in the first Moto and scored no points on the day. So we really can get the battle with the guy for a second, but to see Gertz ride the way he did win a photo and just ride strong all day didn't necessarily really need any help from Renault, but good on Yamaha because they did get the Manufacturers Championship for MX two. So just check another box for Yamaha this season, who has dominated all forms of racing, full credit to them and their team.
[00:03:17.630] - Dale Spangler
[00:03:17.950] - Dale Spangler
One other great ride of note was young upstart Kai DeWolf got his first MX Two podium for the Rock Star Huskavarna team. And speaking of that team, I also noticed that there's a recent signing of Roan van der Mosheik has signed with Rockstar Huskavarna for the 2022 and 23 seasons alongside the Wolf, so they'll have a pretty strong and young team coming into the 2022 series.
[00:03:43.980] - Dave Sulecki
Yes, I couldn't agree more of the two Dutch riders teaming up together, probably closing up some logistics for the team also, but they've always come on strong. They've had some decent finishes this year, but it's good to see both those guys be on white bikes for next year. Man, that's cool.
[00:03:59.930] - Dale Spangler
Absolutely. I can't even imagine if this year's series is any indication of how things are going to be going into 2022. It's just going to be another incredible series. Like you said, we are going to lose a few with Antonio Cairoli moving on. I think Sean Simpson as well. A few of the veterans from the MXGP class will be moving on or retiring. But yes, plenty of young talent coming up. And so both classes are going to be pretty stacked going into next year.
[00:04:40.270] - Dave Sulecki
This week's industry spotlight. We want to talk about bike life. It's somewhat of a controversial subject. It's the growing and challenged trend of inner city motorcycle culture. More recently we are seeing many articles, observations and a lot of discussion about people riding off road vehicles in the inner city. And the impact of this activity varies between riders that are enthusiasts to dangerous traffic encounters and even damage and injuries.
[00:05:07.150] - Dale Spangler
Yes, it's an interesting subject. I've been reading a little bit about this, and one of the biggest points that stood out to me is the bike life culture really is similar to surfing, skateboarding, hot rods, any of these other subcultures where teenagers bond over bike skills and camaraderie. So I think it's pretty interesting. It might have some negative repercussions attached to it, but there's a lot of positive as well with the similarities between bike life and the skateboard culture.
[00:05:33.210] - Dave Sulecki
Yeah, I couldn't agree more, and it's hard to ignore what's going on. And we got to wonder, as an industry what the impact can be as things continue to grow, and what should the power sports industry be doing to acknowledge and help guide municipalities to harness the bike life movement? This week's moment in Moto history, we want to talk about the Elsinore Grand Prix dirt bike race that took place in and around the Lake Elsanor area of California. The annual event was held in mid November, and it was very popular back in its day in the 60s and 70s and was actually featured in the movie on any Sunday.
[00:06:26.970] - Dave Sulecki
Unfortunately, in the mid 70s, the event took a snag. Some bad elements of the motorcycle community started to take over the event. Therefore, the city Council cancelled the event and then no longer held it. Until recently, they were able to revive the series, and they do hold the event on a provisional basis, which is important because this is a huge part of the motorcycle offroad culture. Back in 1001 973, Honda introduced the Honda Cr 250 Elsinor, which was named after the event.
[00:07:09.450] - Dale Spangler
This week. We'd like to welcome to Pitpas Moto television, film and video producer Todd Huffman. Todd, welcome to the show. How are you today?
[00:07:17.520] - Todd Huffman
We are good out here in extremely sunny Southern California, so it's good.
[00:07:22.720] - Dale Spangler
Awesome. Well, you've had a pretty busy year between the Carlsbad Monument project, the 50th anniversary re release of Bruce Brown's on any Sunday. And I even saw where you threw in there for a little extra fun. 40 years since the America's first win at the 1091 Trophy in Motocross, the nation celebration at the Moto Dosa Winery. How are you getting all this stuff done? How you finding all the time to create these projects?
[00:07:49.910] - Todd Huffman
Yeah, I don't know. Actually. I have a BMX career in the past, and we also put on a three day Vintage BMX festival for the first time ever, a month ago and up in Northern California. So I was leading on that, too, so, yeah, not enough me to go around this year. It seems like it's been a busy year so far. I can't believe it's almost December onward, upward towards 2022.
[00:08:14.040] - Dave Sulecki
So tough. Your Memorial at Carlsbad Project. That one was very interesting to us, obviously, because of the history behind Carlsbad and the fact that you held the event on the anniversary of Marty Mocha's big win. There talk about some of the challenges you had to bring that to fruition because I understand it took a few years to kind of get things moving and finalize it.
[00:08:39.560] - Todd Huffman
Yeah. Well, first off, did you guys order your bricks yet?
[00:08:42.350] - Dale Spangler
No, not yet.
[00:08:43.720] - Todd Huffman
Moto brick been ordered yet. The road recovery. Okay. We'll put that on your to do list, so definitely, you guys can all be part of the monument when it's finished, but, yeah, it's been eleven years so far, actually, in October, it was eleven years formally, because in October of 2010, we kind of decided to do it at the film's DVD release party in 2010. We said we're going to work on this monument came up with the idea for it. So it's been eleven years. We have gone through the ups and downs of dealing with cities and private landowners and developers and attorneys and everywhere in between.
[00:09:22.990] - Todd Huffman
So where we finally landed on the current site is perhaps a blessing in the sky. We ended up there because it's really a neat location. And there's two Breweries in the parking lot. So you can't go wrong there. Wow.
[00:09:39.090] - Dave Sulecki
Off road riders and Breweries, I think, definitely going hand in hand.
[00:09:42.810] - Todd Huffman
Yeah. Drag racers and everyone else in between.
[00:09:47.250] - Dave Sulecki
It had to be very satisfying, though. How big was the final get together there? Did you have a group of good core people there?
[00:09:55.190] - Todd Huffman
Yeah. I'm guesstimating throughout the course of the day because it had to be done on, like a two0 Wednesday, right. Because that was the day that the 21st fell on. And I'm not maybe 500 people. We were just talking about this the other day. We were there finishing up a video shoot that's tied into the monument. And we're talking how many people we have there and we're, like, probably 500 throughout the course of the day. And a lot of the right People magazine people and a couple of Moto stars.
[00:10:22.310] - Todd Huffman
Brock Glover came out and shoot Don the Snake Purdon came out and was part of our festivities and took pictures and signed autographs, motorbikes and car clubs. The Mopark Club of San Diego brought a bunch of cars out, finished tractors. It was really cool Sunday now.
[00:10:41.740] - Dale Spangler
Is it located directly? Is it literally on the site where the former racetrack was located, or is it just kind of nearby?
[00:10:49.690] - Todd Huffman
It actually overlooks the site. So geographically, it's on the northeast corner of the property. And so kind of the feature of the monument. Is this about a 2015 by 20 foot deck that kind of just out over the Canyon, and you kind of look down into the Valley where the racetrack used to be. And, of course, across the opposite side from the monument location is you're looking at Melrose Avenue, which is really kind of where the same Carlsbad Freeway was on the big uphill and the big downhill that was featured in all those USGP TV shows on ABC One Rural Sports.
[00:11:26.730] - Todd Huffman
So you're actually physically looking over the dirt of where the drag strip was and the road racing course for Superbikers. Unfortunately, there's a little rise of a Hill. You can't see where the starting line was. Motocross, of course. But it's the spirit of the place, right. Hollowed ground of Motocross.
[00:11:45.720] - Dave Sulecki
Well, Todd, in your history, you've worn a lot of hats in your industry, doing all sorts of content and directing, producing, writing of all the various formats of those things which do you enjoy most? Which one? Flips your happy switch the most?
[00:12:00.250] - Todd Huffman
Oh, boy, just sitting down, talking to people, doing interviews. It's fun when you said you write out a whole list of questions, whether it's a half a page, one page, whatever, 20 pages for a guy like John Penn, whatever. And you have your own stories, the information. You kind of know that you want to get out of them to talk about. But then when they tell you something completely new that you had no idea about, right? Like some new tidbit of history or whatever. It's always fun to kind of know that you pull that out of somebody and no one's ever heard that story before or it wasn't publicized very much.
[00:12:38.700] - Todd Huffman
So I really like that part of it. And I think discovering hidden archival pictures and videos and things like that other people's collections, because that's a big part of what we do is having people send us your stuff. And when you see some nugget of a still picture or a little piece of old home movies or something that you know, how it's going to make the piece out that much better. It's really pretty fun.
[00:13:07.200] - Dale Spangler
It's like finding that story. Yes.
[00:13:09.550] - Todd Huffman
Finding the story. Everybody says, hey, what do you do? I always like to say, I'm just a storyteller. We produce, we direct, we have to write some stuff. But just being a storyteller is the fun part.
[00:13:20.710] - Dale Spangler
Yes, I read that where you said you consider yourself a storyteller, whether it's from developing documentaries to producing corporate videos, every production tells a story. And so would you say that at the root level? Is that what drives a lot of your projects? That kind of must have that sort of, I guess, pass the passion test, if you will.
[00:13:41.320] - Todd Huffman
Yeah. Anything worth asking someone to spend their time to watch? Whether it's like a 32nd commercial or a minute video or some short form, 1011 minutes, twelve minute, two hour and 15 minutes John Tent movie. Whatever. If you're asking someone to spend their time to watch your stuff, it should be interesting. And we try to make everything we do, tell a little story. And whether you're selling someone's life story or you're selling a product or a service or something to make it interesting, just try a little bit.
[00:14:16.710] - Todd Huffman
So many times I see things online and television, movies, whatever. And it's like, man, they didn't even try. And it's just kind of heartbreaking. And sometimes I'm my own worst enemies because we don't get projects or whatever, because if you can't do it right, make it like a story, then why do it? And or if there's not the budget there to do it right, you don't do it. I just won't do it.
[00:14:41.190] - Dave Sulecki
So, Todd, I know in our industry, in racing specifically, I'm going to talk about offroad or in Motocross Racing. It's filled with interesting characters, I guess, is the way I want to describe it kind of tongue in cheek, I guess. But the Motocross File series that you worked on, you had some what I felt were some of the icons of the sport that are very colorful characters. Let's say, what was it like to work with and get information out of somebody like Bob Hannah or Rick Johnson where they volunteering it?
[00:15:13.580] - Dave Sulecki
Did you have to pull teeth? I mean, what was that experience like for you?
[00:15:17.530] - Todd Huffman
Well, it's going to make a good book someday, right? That whole process of dealing with all those guys. And I hope it's not the end of doing them. We hope that one year here, maybe next year we're going to get a chance to do a season four of The Motor Cross Files. There's some unfinished stories to be told there, but over the course of doing these things, I don't know. It's been 16 years now, I guess, is when we did the first one, 2005 or 2005. They came out after this month, 16 years ago.
[00:15:46.900] - Todd Huffman
There's been hundreds of interviews that have gone into those things. And man, by the time guys get the age of Bob Hannah and Ricky Johnson or whatever in their 50s, nobody has to be politically correct. There's no more sponsors to take care of or watch what you say, whatever. And so people just love to speak their mind. And all of those guys have become great, great storytellers. And I just have to kind of get them going and they got stuff they want to say, and we just let the camera roll for the most part.
[00:16:19.410] - Todd Huffman
And if you're going to ask me is your favorite, it would be really tough to say who's a favorite? Bob Hannah has become a close friend over the process. I've interviewed him, I don't know, half a dozen times now for various projects, and I feel I'm one of the few people that he'll let interview him now. Like, I'm kind of one of his go to. He's not the go to guy, but everybody, Danny, the Fort was amazing and sitting with Torson Holman for 7 hours for his story for a 22 minutes television show.
[00:16:51.640] - Todd Huffman
Right. So there's some footage to come out in the near future from a lot of these that people haven't seen yet. So we're going to do something with all this old stuff.
[00:17:01.000] - Dale Spangler
It's got to be fun and rewarding to be able to speak so candidly with people like Hannah and Laporte. And like you said, when they get to that age where the filter is gone and it's kind of like just tell it the way it was and it's got to be fun stuff. So I have another question, do you have any other projects coming down the pipeline pun intended there that you're excited about that you can share with our listeners?
[00:17:25.050] - Todd Huffman
I think so. I mean, our big project that we are really hoping, obviously on any Sunday, the 50th, that's just more of a marketing project because I didn't make the new movie. We just retained the licensing right to do the film distribution on it because it was going to come out anyway. But put it back in theaters and some limited capacity was fun and it's still going on going. People can become a movie cap if they want, but just go to on any Sunday 50th. Com. You can sign up to host on any Sunday in your hometown.
[00:17:54.950] - Todd Huffman
So cost nothing. But beyond that, the story of the Motor Cross and Trophy De Nations team would be our next big film project, amongst others, just corporate video work we're doing, and we hope next year to start shooting that and hope we can come out with it in 2023.
[00:18:13.080] - Dale Spangler
Is that building on what you did at Moto DOFO? Is that building on that?
[00:18:17.100] - Todd Huffman
It is kind of, you know, because those guys are all friends of mine that were there that day at Moto DOFO. If people have not watched that Facebook live video, it's there just go to the One Film Facebook page and you can watch it. You got to scroll through about 17 minutes in before it officially starts with Lauren Nicholl hosting it. But that's the first time all six of those guys with Dave Arnold and Roger the Coster, have been in the same room together since 1981. Was that day in September.
[00:18:47.200] - Todd Huffman
Do you think about that?
[00:18:48.660] - Dale Spangler
That's pretty incredible.
[00:18:50.010] - Todd Huffman
Yes. Well, mainly because Johnny Omera had not been to some of the other hall of Fame things that the team had been as a group been to. He didn't go right. So Johnny was kind of the missing man out on this other get together. So it was really fun to have all six of those guys on the stage together talking about those stories. I knew some of the stories, but, boy, I learned a ton more on top of that. And heck, nobody else was doing anything to celebrate the 40th anniversary.
[00:19:21.210] - Todd Huffman
I knew we had this potential movie coming up here to start working on next year. And I'm like, this will be a good time to get the guys together, make people remember what they did 40 years ago. And we have to get to announce the movie project because we actually have someone who wants to help us produce it from a financial standpoint.
[00:19:40.390] - Dave Sulecki
Well, for sure, Todd, these are awesome projects, and we are definitely looking forward to seeing what comes out next. Unfortunately, our time is running short, so if there's anybody that you want to give a shout out to right now, anybody on your team or in your projects now would be the time to do it, man.
[00:19:58.710] - Todd Huffman
No, I just want to say thanks to everybody who appreciates the work we do. It always sometimes feels like a thankless job telling these old motorcycle stories and the people that either write to us or I see it events and stuff to say thanks for what you do. It's always nice to hear it. And that's it. We hope to be able to bring more stuff out to the public that likes these old dirt bikes and motorcycle, anything motor sports stories. That's what we do.
[00:20:25.960] - Dave Sulecki
Awesome. Thanks again, Todd, for spending time with us today. Man. We appreciate it.
[00:20:29.920] - Todd Huffman
No problem. Thanks.
[00:20:30.680] - Dave Sulecki
You guys take care of upcoming events. We have the World Superbike of Indonesia, November 19 through the 21st. And that is the final round of that series. So it is coming down to the final round on that World Championship. So we look forward to that. Thank you again to our guests for being with us today and thank you for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to follow us on your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode. If you have a moment, please rate and review us.
[00:21:16.690] - Dave Sulecki
We really appreciate it. Make sure you're also following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and visit pitpassmoto.com where you can check out our blog.
[00:21:26.660] - Dale Spangler
This has been a production of Evergreen Podcasts. A special thank you to Tommy Boy, Halverson, Chris Bishop, Producer Leah Longbrake, and Audio Engineer Eric Koltnow. Now, I'm Dave Sulecki and I'm Dale Spangler. See you next week.