SIX years in the making, Twice Above the Atlantic is a coming-of-age documentary
celebrating the spirit of youth, challenges of travel, and pursuit of the great American road trip.
The film was made entirely by myself, from shooting on a Canon 550D in 2016 to editing, colour grading and sound design from the start of 2020 to mid-2022. The movie tells the story of my year as an exchange student in America, fixing up two malaise-era automobiles, and attempting to complete a 10,000 mile road trip in the final 36 days. As a musician, the soundtrack was a major focus of the project, inspired by the music I was listening to at the time, and released on all digital platforms as a forerunner to the film. Working entirely through the internet mid-pandemic, co-composer Aiden Appleton and myself found eight featuring artists to lend their vocal talents from the UK, the US, and Canada.
"It was QUITE CLEAR He'D HAD A MENTAL BREAKDOWN. AS THE POLICE PULLED HIM OVER HE PRETENDED TO BE ME, THEN HE PRETENDED THE CAR BELONGED TO HIS GRANDDAD..."
Attempting to cover 300 miles a day, in 40-year-old car, with a budget of $200 makes for a fairly interesting experience. Setting off from New York in late May 2016, my soon-to-be lifelong friend Connor Read and I headed through Chicago, across to Seattle and down the Pacific coast to San Francisco. From there we headed east again: through Las Vegas, Colorado via the Grand Canyon, then finally looping through Memphis, Nashville and Philadelphia. Connor's flight from New York back to the UK was one day after the journey was scheduled to end.
We could only afford accommodation for about half of it, the rest had to be improvised, which lead to sleeping arrangements such as a beach in Oregon, a Las Vegas parking lot, and a quarry in Ohio. Breakdowns were numerous, but so were the people met along the way who (for better or for worse) took a shine to us. I'd still like to express my gratitude to the man in Wisconsin who gifted us his GPS. If you're reading this, thank you - we couldn't have done it without you.