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2nd October 2013
12 O’clock Boys
Title of film: 12 O'clock Boys
Director: Lotfy Nathan
So called because if you get your bike almost standing on end to 12 o'clock "you're the shit". Lotfy Nathan started filming these Baltimore biker boys five years ago when he was 23 and now his documentary is set to roll globally. We talk here with the new director just signed to Stink

12 O’clock Boys is not only a riveting story, it’s filmed in a very cinematic way that’s perfect for the subject. Did an enormous amount or pre-production planning with your producer and cinematographer go into this before the shoot days?

To be honest there was very little planning. For the most part, it was either myself or a couple of friends shooting. There was no line producer to coordinate with day to day. I was lucky enough to have access to a great DP for a few high end camera shoot days, but even then, we had difficulty planning out this kind of shoot. The subject is by nature spontaneous and hard to pin down.

What were the main challenges of the production?

Filming illegal activity was problematic on many levels. I started this film when I was about 23, and I didn’t really have a budget to work with until towards the end, even then it was minimal. First projects are hard I think because you haven’t proven to anyone that you’re capable yet, so it’s harder to get support. Thankfully there was some incredible help from friends and mentors along the way which sustained it.

Over what period of time did you document the boys?

I began in late 2008, and finished around February of 2013. The shooting was intermittent.

You seem to have an intimacy with the boys from Baltimore. How did you build these relationships and trust?

I spent a lot of time hanging out with the kids, specifically pug and his siblings. That was pretty much it.

This has been billed as your first film, it must be incredibly gratifying to see it pick up so many awards. What is your back story in film making which led you to making 12 O’Clock Boys?

I began this film while I was studying painting and fine art in university. I took a film course while at school, sort of on a whim, and that’s when I first embarked on documenting the dirt bike riders. From there, filmmaking really took over for me.

And now you’ve been signed to Stink. What’s Plan A – commercials, music videos or more films?

I’m really eager to do some commercial work, it’s a great compliment to the feature film effort. I’ll also certainly keep working on films.

See stills series shot by Noah Rabinowitz in Related Content

Credits

12 O’Clock boys

Director: Lotfy Nathan

Producers: Lotfy Nathan,  Eric BlairTom ColleyTaylor Gillespie,  John Kassab

Associate producers:  Ted MarcusTrevor MartinJonathan PaleyRoss Finkel
Film Editing: Thomas Niles