Craft of Speed
A Mooneyes documentary by Humanist Films
For 30 years, Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama, two Japanese hot rodders, built Mooneyes, an iconic American speed equipment & custom accessories company, into an international brand, honoring legendary founder Dean Moon’s legacy and celebrating car & motorcycle culture. As Asian/Asian American pioneers in their industry, they battled against racism and xenophobia and ultimately created a global following. Now, Shige is attempting to grow the company despite declining interest in hot rods, and Chico is handcrafting a new modified street rod to try to break a land speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats.
I was introduced to Mooneyes by my father-in-law, who used to own a ’32 Ford Roadster, in bright yellow and equipped with Mooneyes speed parts. Later, I had the honor of meeting Chico Kodama, the President of Mooneyes USA, and I was inspired by his and Mooneyes owner Shige Suganuma’s incredible story. With their full support, my team and I are making a feature documentary about their lives and work. The film is an epic origin story of legendary Mooneyes founder Dean Moon and his worthy successors, Suganuma and Kodama. It spans from Moon’s creation of Mooneyes as an iconic American speed equipment & custom accessories company to Suganuma and Kodama’s growth of it into a coveted international brand. We’re deeply honored to be able to tell this important story to inspire new generations of hot rodders.—Ming Lai
Watch our interview with the filmmaker, Ming Lai.
Donate to help finish the film in it's post production phase.
Producer / Writer / Director/ Cinematographer / Editor / Colorist
Ming Lai is a filmmaker and photographer and Founder/CEO of Humanist Films, a film and photography production company based in Los Angeles. His narrative and documentary films explore the human condition, from social issues to arts and culture. His fine art and documentary photography express his artistic vision. He’s created TV commercials and videos for many international clients, including Coldwell Banker, Epson, Fujitsu, Marukome, and Yakult. With all of his projects, he strives to create enduring works of art that benefit humanity.