August 31, 2007 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Seattle to Boston in 15 minutes. Katja Suletzki drove the full length of Interstate 90, the longest interstate highway in America, from Seattle to Boston. Thanks to a webcam, a modified version of Flix, and a laptop, the journey was recorded for posterity as a 15 minute film.
posted by dw (29 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Great link... thanks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:06 AM on August 31, 2007

She drives very fast.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:22 AM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is cool. On my last cross country trip I wished I had planned ahead so I could do this, but now looking at the final result, I realize that the country really does need an editor, too many long flat spots that I skipped over.

(see also)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:29 AM on August 31, 2007

Very impressive. If this had been done 30 or 40 years ago, it would have been written up in the film school books.
posted by McLir at 8:35 AM on August 31, 2007

Cool idea, but damn...I-90 looks like one boring-ass drive.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:44 AM on August 31, 2007

...the country really does need an editor, too many long flat spots that I skipped over.

What?? The long flat spots are the *highlight* of driving cross country. I've already seen McDonald's. What I've seen less often is a long, perfectly straight ribbon of road in front and behind me without a single car except my own. The horizon is a perfect circle and I'm the only human being inside it.
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

There's a music video by Michael Gondry where he does essentially the same thing, though in (if I recall) a five minute duration. Can't recall the name of the song or the artist, but it was posted to MeFi.
posted by xmutex at 9:01 AM on August 31, 2007

As a side note, why does anyone post stuff to LiveLeak? It is a horrible site, a horrible interface, and a shoddy player. Why not just go to YouTube?
posted by xmutex at 9:08 AM on August 31, 2007

I think the content on LiveLeak is often better than the YouTube content in that you don't need to sift so much.
posted by bz at 9:30 AM on August 31, 2007

Pretty interesting, I wish there had been a companion map that showed location progress corresponding to the film, I've driven it in sections from mid Ohio to Mid Montana some of those section more than a few times and would have liked to know when those sectioned synced up.

All interstates are boring, they get you to your destination, usually quickly, but where never intended to be interesting. I'd just as soon they where all ran underground.
posted by edgeways at 9:31 AM on August 31, 2007

The music video is I used LiveLeak for a few reasons... YouTubes 100MB 10 minute limit didn't work (was over 10 minutes). Also the .mov file was 1GB and the only way I could figure out how to get it below 100MB was to MP4 it. YouTube really screws up MP4's (at least coming from the Mac). The bigged reason we used LiveLeak was it was the only place I could find that allowed longer than 10 minutes.

If anyone's interested... my blog has info on how we did this:

I've done I-90 17 times from coast to coast ... it's a bit dull :)

Kat's blog is if anyone is interested
posted by wiseleyb at 9:32 AM on August 31, 2007

BTW: I'm hoping to drive to Seattle -> Alaska this fall - I'll do a time-lapse of that as well.
posted by wiseleyb at 9:34 AM on August 31, 2007

Flix is loads of fun if you like making time-lapse movies. I heard the Internets needed more pictures of people's cats, so I created this movie using Flix (self-link).
posted by rodo at 9:41 AM on August 31, 2007

The horizon is a perfect circle and I'm the only human being inside it.

That's a nice sentiment, but after about an hour I get other people and ground that's not flat. But maybe that's just cause I'm an East Coast person.
posted by smackfu at 9:55 AM on August 31, 2007

@rodo: nice cat video... the clock is a nice touch.

When Kat did this drive (solo) she also had two cats in the back seat (because she's a masochist that way)
posted by wiseleyb at 10:01 AM on August 31, 2007

wiseleyb: seattle to alaska = take at least 4 extra tires with you. the roads (if you can call them that) S U C K.
posted by CitizenD at 10:09 AM on August 31, 2007

I watched the whole thing expecting Chloe Sevigny to go down on her at the end.

Since I only listen to Metal on long road trips, I muted the sound, and put on Metallica's "The Call of Ktulu" from the Ride The Lightning album. The choppy nature of the time lapse makes for a perfect synch, no matter where you drop it in.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:25 PM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Cool idea, but damn...I-90 looks like one boring-ass drive.

I've driven it from Minneapolis (well, actually from Wisconsin where I-94 merges into I-90) to Boston. Indiana and Ohio are real boring, the rest isn't bad. A lot of upstate New York is pretty neat, especially in the winter (when I drove it).
posted by MillMan at 12:54 PM on August 31, 2007

This is the Mother of All Awesome.

Telepresence is certainly a 21st-century growth industry. With high-def, the gap between vision and video is/ will be significantly narrowed.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:06 PM on August 31, 2007

Very cool. For me, a map would have been neat, but even just a state name as borders were crossed would be cool.

wiselyb: Is this a true time-lapse, or is it edited? I guess I can go read your link, maybe I'll find out.

Finally, I am a bit outraged: You know that now the terrorists know how to drive from Seattle to Boston, don't you? Did you even think of that???
posted by maxwelton at 2:18 PM on August 31, 2007

Music's very pretty, but I kept thinking of Philip Glass' soundtrack for Koyyanisqatsi.

Bravo Zulu on the eighty pounds there, Suletzki.
posted by pax digita at 3:18 PM on August 31, 2007

Music rather reminded me of the Weather Channel, actually...
posted by tss at 3:24 PM on August 31, 2007

Also: someone with a Cessna needs to do this.
posted by tss at 3:26 PM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

A number of years ago, she would have had to stop in Wallace Idaho, the site of the last stop light on the Interstate Highway system. I know this because there was a commemorative sign to that effect there...

Also, congrats on avoiding any collisions with deer.
posted by Tube at 4:41 PM on August 31, 2007

Oh wow, so this post totally made me realize how much time I've spent on I-90. I've visited it in Boston, Buffalo, near Toledo, Chicago, and Rapid City. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I've visited I-90 at more distinct points than any other interstate.

Great post and great video!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:07 PM on August 31, 2007

cool video. I was impressed how quickly she drove through the North Cascades. The intro to the tune was not yet over and already she was driving alongside the Columbia
posted by seawallrunner at 5:47 PM on August 31, 2007

On I-90, I could barely make it from the 295 junction to Pittsfield, MA, without falling asleep. Impressive!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:10 PM on August 31, 2007

Route 20 is longer, and probably a lot less boring. Blah blah blah, interstates suck, you've heard it all before.

Give me a road with soul.
posted by Eideteker at 7:43 AM on September 1, 2007

I love this type of film, it makes me long for the open road. I have seen a few across the US, I'd like to see other countries. How about Alaska to Tierra del Feugo?

Of course, it also reminds me how tedious the open road is. Even compressed to 15 minutes.

About 20 years ago I had the idea of making a film called US-19. I had recently met a woman who had lived her whole life in places that road went through, despite having lived in in 7 cities and towns in PA, GA, FL, and NC. So I imagined her narrating a travel documentary, with lots of interviews about the history of US highways, and how bad the traffic is these days, and personal reminisces, and it all being tied together with split screen open road footage, from Erie, PA to St Petersburg, FL.

So we never had the equipment or the know-how, and we never had enough motivation to make it happen. Story of my life. *sigh*
posted by bitslayer at 9:32 AM on September 1, 2007

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