"I hate my job. The latte I drink every morning doesn't give me enough energy to make it to lunch, let alone trudge through an entire day. My pay is adequate, but my life, as it is right now, stinks. I really need to hit the road."
We've all said these things to ourselves at some point, but how many Americans have actually left their secure employment, waved goodbye to friends and family and risked everything to chase down their dreams?
At least two. They did it with gusto, and they filmed it.
Colorado-transplanted Principia College buddies Hunter Weeks and Josh Caldwell are coming to The Flicks theater on Monday, Aug. 6, to unveil their documentary about a trip they made from Seattle to Boston on a Segway Human Transporter—at a blazing top speed of 10 mph.
10 mph follows the 3,000-mile ride on the futuristic-looking, one-person, two-wheeled motorized vehicle. Caldwell drove the Segway while rookie filmmaker Weeks followed in a Jeep copiloted by Weeks' twin sister Gannon, a volunteer collegiate assistant and Weeks' trusty companion, his dog Alby.
Sound a little crazy? Even this motley crew doubted themselves along the way, but with the project complete, they have an absolutely brilliant slow-motion look at the American landscape to show for it.
Media reviews excerpted on their Web site (10mph.com) use fancy verbiage to praise the duo for their inventive film and all of the beautiful shots Weeks has assembled. Any such lingo seems appropriate—they somehow captured every cross section of Americana as they ever-so-slowly wound their way from the home of the Space Needle to the city of Fenway Park.
Visiting Boise on their 22-city tour to present the film is quite fitting, since their trek featured stops in two Idaho locations: Lewiston and Riggins. A Northern Idaho cop happily assists the boys with a flat tire; on the advice of a motorist, they pay a visit to Skinnydipper Hot Springs, in Garden Valley, getting their first-ever dip in naturally heated pools; and in whitewater-heaven Riggins, they spend the night in a beached inflatable raft.
Though piloting a Segway seems a bit gimmicky, it does what the filmmakers probably intended: It attracts plenty of attention. But it also does something that may not have been intentional: The voyage of the battery-powered machine takes a backseat to the personalities of the filmmakers and the characters they meet along the way.
On their Web site they claim, "This film will make you quit your job. Well, maybe not right away, but you'll mull it over after you've watched it." Life is fast, Weeks acknowledges, but shot at a fraction of the speeds cars travel at every day, his story will help you realize that "life is actually kind of slow, and opportunity is there for the taking." Too true.
10 mph has enough content, road miles and heart to fill up its entire 93-minute runtime. It's not preachy like Michael Moore's work or as shocking as Morgan Spurlock's, though Moore does make a brief appearance, and Weeks and Caldwell pay tribute to Spurlock's Super Size Me. What this film does instead is accurately portray the story of a couple guys who dared to drop their security blankets to chase a dream. The lens picks up every ounce of their message: You live in the Land of Opportunity—you can do it, too.
10 mph's Boise unveiling represents your chance to gather, in an hour and a half, what others won't be able to find in reading a library's worth of self-help books: the inspiration to change your life.
Movie shows one night only; 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at The Flicks.