Five years in the making, Twice Above the Atlantic is a coming-of-age documentary

celebrating the spirit of youth, the challenges of travel, and the pursuit of the great American road trip.


The film is being made entirely by Marcus Warner, from shooting on a Canon 550D in 2016 to editing, colour grading and sound design in 2021. The movie tells the story of a year spent as an exchange student in America, purchasing a 1978 Lincoln for journeying across the country, fixing it up, and embarking on a 10,000 mile road trip in the final 35 days. The soundtrack, written in collaboration with composer and guitarist Aiden Appleton, is being released on all digital platforms along with the film, and features the vocal talents of eight featuring artists that were discovered online: the idea being to make this album sound like a compilation inspired by music Marcus was listening to whilst on the road in 2016.



We announced the film by releasing the first single from the soundtrack, Pacific Coast Highway. 


Most of the album was written before the scenes were edited, with the intention of working as standalone songs (perhaps the greatest advantage of being both the director and composer). The journey down the Pacific Coast Highway is probably one of the most cinematic scenes of the movie, so scoring it was the perfect chance to write some music that most closely resembles our usual style.


For each song I wanted to create something similar to what I was listening at the time that reminded me of the place or the people I was with. I also felt that there should be multiple artists singing throughout to keep the mood fresh and pace of the film moving forward. So, Aiden and I sent some emails.



I'm a composer, songwriter and producer who has been writing music for a living since graduating uni in 2018. I'm a big fan of Celtic and Asian folk music which I tend to combine with modern hybrid orchestral trailer-type music (think Inception bwaas meets Galway Girl). Twice Above the Atlantic is completely new territory for me (both geographically and musically speaking) and has lead to the purchase of several instruments including a 12-string guitar and an Irish bouzouki...  neither of which I claim to be any good at.



Hailing from Hertfordshire, Aiden Appleton is a composer, songwriter and instrumentalist. His inspiration comes largely from historical mythologies from around the world, which he incorporates into both traditional and modern hybrid orchestral music. He is also an accomplished classical guitarist and builds his own instruments in his studio workshop, some of which have made their way onto Twice Above the Atlantic.

"It was as I stepped out of the tent and saw the Lincoln disappearing OVER the horizon that I realised I’d made a mistake. Everything we had was in the car."


As might be expected from setting off to go thousands of miles in 40-year-old car with a budget of $200, the road trip makes for a fairly interesting story to tell, and has already received some coverage from motoring magazines, most notably Classic & Sports Car. 


Setting off from New York in late May 2016, my soon-to-be lifelong friend Connor Read and I covered on average 300 miles a day, the first of which ended with a tent pitched in a quarry. The route took us through Chicago, across to Seattle and down the Pacific coast to San Francisco, before heading back east to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Colorado; through the deep south to Memphis, Nashville, and finally Philadelphia, before heading to NY to catch Connor's flight home - which was booked one day after the trip was scheduled to end. In that time about half of the nights had accommodation booked, usually the cheapest Airbnb or hostel in the vicinity - the rest we had to improvise. Breakdowns were numerous, we were pulled over, the car was stolen whilst camping in Monument Valley, and we heard the ring of gunshots in the night whilst staying in Chicago. The journey was disorganised, unhealthy to our stomachs and probably by all accounts quite dangerous. I wouldn't change a thing about it.



Aiden and I have worked together on this project with no representation whatsoever - in fact, that is the way that both of us have always worked; no publishers, agents or labels. In the world of music that I somewhat understand, I have maintained that the best method of making headway is not with managers, merch or social media posts, but by writing good music. 


Twice Above the Atlantic is entirely different. Filmmaking has always been a hobby for me, something that I have done as an addition to my music and for the fun of another creative pursuit that gives me a break from audio work for a while. This is the first time I have attempted a commercial endeavour with a movie I have made, and without the decades worth of experience that I have with music, it is quite a daunting task.

Aiden and I recorded nearly every instrument on the soundtrack from our home studios, including shoebox percussion and the most crucial instrument of all: Aiden's egg shaker. We were also fortunate enough to work with violinist David Lombardi, whose performance breathed life into the orchestral samples used throughout the album. 


With one exception, every artist that worked with us did so online over the phone or through emails, which proved to be a huge challenge. In order to avoid confusion, each track that we wrote was first recorded with temp vocals performed (poorly) by myself, to allow the featuring artists to easily match up the lyrics to the melodies that we wrote. 



Twice Above the Atlantic is the first feature-length film that I have ever made, and more importantly, the first that I believe is ready to be taken further than just YouTube and the 'online space'. It is a film that, almost unknowingly, I have spent my career so far working towards - and I'm aware of how melodramatic that sounds, but the reality is that I am unsure if I will ever have an experience quite like America ever again. The scale of the journey, the setting, and the timeframe in which this movie takes place is something that I won't ever be able to recreate; this is the reason this movie has been a work in progress for over five years.


It is my aim to make this movie the very best it can be and to set it up for as much success as possible (that I hope it deserves). I believe that this story is one that many people will enjoy and that with any luck, my lack of experience in this side of the industry won't be something that holds it back. If you are interested in helping Aiden and myself on this journey, or fancy giving us any tips on how to proceed with the commercial side of this film, we welcome any and all suggestions. Please email us at the address below, and thank you for taking the time to read this story.


With love,

Marcus & Aiden