And he didn’t do it for money. He did it because he loved the brand and the people who work here, In return we offered Mark creative freedom to make award-winning TV commercials. Only Mark could make you believe he’s travelled the world filming motorcycles without leaving Brisbane. Only Mark could make a Hollywood Sci Fi blockbuster on a budget that US film makers would spend on catering.
Starting out as a stills photographer, Mark worked with Yamaha for over 30 years. During that time he created, directed and produced over 20 TV commercials that helped people understand what Yamaha represents in Australia and New Zealand. A keen motorcyclist and road racer, Mark recognised that while bikes are the stars, people are the real focus. He showed how motorcycles make you feel rather than how they perform. Mark instinctively touched hearts before that was a Yamaha mantra.
We are deeply saddened that he is no longer with us. The world will be a poorer place without Mark. Our condolences go out to his family.
There will not be another Mark Toia.
“I learned a lot working with Mark, he always aimed at the stars and had an uncanny knack of creating epic heart-warming content. He rubbed shoulders with Hollywood elite, but that was not him. He was more at home shooting motorcycles in a remote corner of his native New Zealand with a small crew. A humble, down-to-earth guy with a gift for unspoken communication and part of the wider Yamaha family. We feel a great loss.”
“I first worked with Mark in 1998 on a YZ400F TVC shot in Brisbane. Just Mark, a helicopter pilot and myself. No big budget, no extras or hangers on, just the three of us. One year later, we are at it again, this time riding bikes in inner city office blocks, barrelling headfirst down stair wells and pulling up at random suburban driveways to get the footage required. Then, fast forward another 12 months and he is making me ride into a bottom of a dam, all in the name of art – “Flooded it mate!”
His ideas, his understanding of what the motorcycle lifestyle is and his ability to capture it in a single shoot or 30 second TV ad was unmatched and no matter how long the day, he made it fun, enjoyable and rewarding.
Even ads that he shot that weren’t motorcycle related were always recognisable as a Toia product. The footage, the quality of shot, the slo-mo and the angles were signature Toia moves that yelled at you through the TV.
A great guy, with an awesome talent that will be missed.”
“Over the years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had opportunities to work with and learn from Mark. He was a true master of his craft and a huge source of inspiration for me, professionally and creatively. The way he expressed his art through projects and films, the relationships he forged and the way he did it all with such a casual, down-to-earth attitude are all hallmarks of the legend that is Mark Toia. He always had time for a chat and was always only too happy to provide his wisdom. May his memory burn bright, and his legacy felt for a long time to come. A top bloke who will be sadly missed.”
Below are a sample of Mark's Yamaha adverts;
2004 Yamaha R6 Launch - https://vimeo.com/118478596
2002 Journey Man - https://vimeo.com/118480579
Yamaha Dirt Bike Range - https://vimeo.com/120060719
WR450F “Adventure” - https://vimeo.com/120060729
Yamaha R1 “All of the Above” - https://vimeo.com/120060730
2002 Yamaha “Rings” - https://vimeo.com/120068883
WR450F “Reunion” - https://vimeo.com/69475767
Yamaha MT09 TVC - https://vimeo.com/86507926