The Office Vs The Open Road


Freshly popped from their cubicle culture escape hatch, Hunter Weeks and Josh Caldwell found themselves making a ‘road movie’ about their trajectory. On Segways. for more details (and feature film download). Over to Hunter :

Why’d you pick a 100 day trip across the country on a two wheeled gyroscope as a way to get out of your “soul-sucking cubicle jobs” ?
segway lobsterMaybe something about those cubicle jobs made us think it’d be a good idea to travel 4,000 miles on a scooter designed only for short distances at a time? In all seriousness, a college buddy who knew we were pondering a change in life came up with the idea and we thought it was pretty ludicrous at first. But after a week or two, it started to make sense to us. It was a perfect opportunity to really force our lives into a whole different direction and we figured it would make an interesting film.

How’d the 2 wheeled beasts hold up to such a flogging?
Beasts are exactly what they are. After we started planning this, I had a panic attack when I imagined going up and down the huge mountain passes in the Rocky Mountains. But it handled them fine. The wheels lasted the entire trip and it handled hopping many curbs and traveling miles and miles of wash-boarded dirt roads. The only time we ran into a problem was in Pennsylvania when so much rain caused a short circuit in the handle bars.

And yourselves? What’d you gain from the experience?
We could write a book. This film resides around a philosophy. We went from a lifestyle that seemed to really emphasize the importance of material things – having money and subsisting off of lattes and swanky urban cuisine. It was all about work and a drive to make more money and do more meaningless day-to-day work. So many people in our society are stuck in the muck. By forcing ourselves to really let go of this and doing our own ‘thing’ (making films), we created a whole new path and perspective on life. So many people seem to relate to this, but my guess is that most will stay stuck in the muck. We’re not and I can’t tell you how rewarding that is. You gotta go figure it out for yourself. I think this film will inspire a few people to live life differently.

And at the end of 100 days, did you begin to stop feeling like a dork when riding a Segway?
Haha. I think I’ll always feel like a dork riding a Segway. But people dig dorks.

Which of you is the more skilled rider?
Josh for sure. He spent the entire time riding on a Segway. He learned how to do wheelies and other goofy stunts.

Oddest reaction to the Segways along the way?
A drunk guy saw Josh riding on the side of the road and was trying to hitch a ride with him. He was looking at the batteries and thought it was a heating device. He insisted he could fix the heater and begged for a ride.

Independent film producers tend to be unburdened with giant marketing budgets, and inevitably tend to mirror inventive production with inventive distribution ideas – what are yours?
We’ve got some cool things going. We’ve got a download of the film, so anyone down under can check this thing out right NOW. And we’ve started an affiliate program where we give 33% of the sale to the seller. Rather than give this to some big ol’ distributor, we figured we’d let anyone take a cut. After people see the film, they are inspired, and often want to help get it out there, so why not share a little of the profits. Like I said earlier, we ain’t as concerned with the money, though it does help a little. Finally, we aligned ourselves with some cool companies in the States and they are all helping get the word out about this. I think most of these are pretty unique approaches in the film industry and they seem to be working for us.

And what’s the next film in your pipeline?
Next up is a documentary about Fantasy Football, an online game 20 million people play during the American Football season. But after that, we’re talking about doing a Western and I just read a bunch about Ned Kelly. I don’t think he’s gotten his fair share of good cinematic expression yet. Coooo-weee.

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