Filmmakers travel US 1

by | April 30, 2013 11:01 am

   Around 20 years ago, Conrad Zimmer took a trip with his mother to Florida for a family reunion. Instead of taking I-95 from Pennsylvania, they decided to take five days and drive down using back roads.

   “I’m sure at some point, we were on US 1,” he says. “I always thought it was cool that Route 1, which is only about ten miles from my house in Pennsylvania, snakes all the way up to Maine and down to Key West, Fla. I thought it would be cool some day to make that trip. We finally got it together and I thought, why not grab something funky, so I bought a VW van with my cousin, who is a mechanic. He fixed it up and we co-own it.”

  Zimmer and his friend, John Stone, are making the trip from Ft. Kent, Maine to Key West, Fla. in their yellow VW van. They began their trip last September, traveling from Maine to the Mason-Dixon Line. They resumed the trip recently and are in the middle of their planned 11 day trip to Key West.

   “We made it like a North-South kind of thing,” explained Zimmer. 

   They travel around 130-150 miles per day to give themselves time to check out things along the way.

   “t was a neat discovery. At first, it was all about the places, you know, where we were gonna go, and then you just meet people and it becomes more a human trip. You meet people and get their stories. It doesn’t make much of a difference where you are; people have dreams and goals. Tts nice to find that over and over again, no matter what town you’re in,” said Stone.

   Stone and Zimmber, who both attended film school and worked in reality television on shows such as Tanked, are filming their trip, documentary-style, and plan to make it into a web series.

   “At first, I was going to do a straightforward documentary, but I had so much stuff that we decided to do it as a web series,” explains Stone.

   “We’re focusing on whatever we find, kind of the ‘roadside America’ stuff,” explains Stone. They stopped in Swainsboro to visit the Pieces of Elvis Museum, located in Swainsboro Antiques, and do a little filming around Swainsboro’s downtown.

   “A lot of kitschy stuff like that is what we’ll throw in,” Stone says. “We stopped at Steven King’s house in Maine and have seen a lot of muffler men and that kind of thing.”

   “The iPhone makes things so much easier. Route 1 doesn’t always stick to where you think it would. It will all of a sudden disappear, so I’ll have to look on my phone to figure out where I’m going,” said Zimmer. “We got lost a few times up around Providence, RI. We’re sticking to Business 1, so we get to see the old hotels and stuff.”

   To follow Zimmer and Stone’s journey, visit their Facebook page at

  • Filmmakers travel US 1
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