Drive to the Border 

Drive to the Border 

Hey, so this week’s film “Drive to the Border” isn’t a “new” film per-say. I made it a while ago…but recent events inspired me to post it.

A couple weeks ago when Teal was in town we went to the Hollywood Bowl w/ Liisa & Clovis to see DJ Shadow perform with Cut Chemist. It was an ALL 7 INCH set. So they used nothing but already pressed, original records. No effects, no breakbeats, no computers – just records and skill. It was an amazing set – they drift in and out of classic funk, hiphop, soul mixing in hiphop “standards” with motown with music I’ve never heard before. And the Hollywood Bowl…in June…ahhhh – it’s one of the best things LA has to offer in the summer.

Teal & Liisa
Hollywood Bowl - 7 inches

Seeing DJ Shadow again remind me of the spec music video I made for his track “Why HipHop Sucks in ’96”

Since he used all “found music” I wanted to make a video using all “found footage.” At the time I was living in South Lake Tahoe, surrounded by snow…so I knew just the footage that I wanted to use too…

Back in film school I was working on making a motion picture logo for whiteout films. I went to a found footage house – basically a basement with a huge collection of old 16mm films that filmmaker Craig Baldwin had collected over the years. Educational films, movies, documentaries, natural films…he had it all.

Here’s the logo I made from found footage.

While I was looking for footage of a snow and people walking thru snow I came across a film called “Making Winter Driving Safer” It was made by AAA and the goal was to show people how to travel safe in the winter time.

The film was loooaded with a ton of badass footage of cars slipping, sliding, and running into snow banks.

I knew I had to use it for something and about a year later I came back and bought that film and every other piece of film that I could find that involved cars & snow.

The DJ Shadow video was the first piece I used the footage for…but I knew there was something else in the footage…I just couldn’t wrap my brain around what it was.


It wasn’t until several years later, I was sitting in a Starbucks in Seattle (go figure) and thinking about another project (what became “How to be a Ski Bum in 5 Easy Steps”) that I had the idea to turn the educational films into a trailer for a never-to-be-made feature film.

Since the best footage was from a 70’s traffic safety film I decided to make a funk inspired road movie. 

Here’s the entry from my sketch book

Drive to the Border - Notes2

I wanted to do everything in the style of the time, music, titles, voice over…I worked with Rus Archer to create the funk soundtrack. The titles were supposed to be done by a friend…but after waiting for weeks he told me he “was busy” (or something) so I made them myself with Photoshop, After Effects, and a font I found with some help from my graphic designer friend Joe. 

The voice over was recorded in a session at the place I was working as an assistant editor by one of the actors in the film I was working on – Michael Moon. During that afternoon we also recorded the VO for “Faith Memorial: ZMO” (which Rus also composed the music for) Heh, you can see that once I find people I like to work with…I work with them again and again.

Here’s 1 take from that session.

Hope you enjoy the piece.

 Watch it here.


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