Everybody Needs a Hobby: The DIY Piano-Bicycle

By Ivan Kander

There’s just something magical about a man who rides a giant tricycle while simultaneously tickling the ivories.

Gary Frank Skaggs and his melodious tricycle -- literally a piano built onto a bike, aptly named St. Frankenstein -- are the subject of Unwieldy Beast, a short documentary from San Francisco filmmaker Brandon Loper. The film is a short and sweet chronicle of an interesting man with an eccentric hobby. At a brisk six minutes, it’s a perfectly paced human-interest piece, as much about Skaggs as it is a pictorial travelogue of the city by the bay. Pedestrians smile in wonder as Skaggs plays (and rides on), pedaling ever so slowly, in and out of tune, through the streets. An indie production through and through, the film was shot on borrowed equipment over the course of two days.

Loper’s documentary eye doesn’t stop here. He’s currently in production on a feature-length film about coffee.

Fore more work by Brandon Loper, visit http://brandonloper.com/.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2013/05/everybody-needs-a-hobby-the-diy-piano-bicycle/275667/