With Independence Day around the corner, I am in search of inspirational photos and video that will help me decide which adventure to pursue this weekend. Whatever I decide to do won’t be nearly as cool as hopping in a Delorean time machine, heading back to the late 1980’s and flying over the United States in a helicopter, filming epic aerial scenes all the way. But, if I can’t do it, at least I can watch the film “Above America” by Harrison Sanborn. Actually, the footage was captured by his father but recently remastered by the younger Sanborn.
Sanborn is a third-generation filmmaker, and his father’s craft inspired him greatly when he was younger. In an interview with National Geographic, Sanborn describes growing in a household full of passion for motion pictures.
I think that being raised around the cameras and aircraft influenced me greatly, just as his Dad inspired and influenced him to be behind the camera. He certainly supported my interests and taught my a great deal about photography and film, even before I’d decided that was what I wanted to pursue.
Sanborn describes that the filming happened on a long trip his father and business partner had taken. The business partner was a helicopter pilot, and he was responsible for ferrying a helicopter to the East Coast from California. They took the opprotunity to fly over some of America’s most picturesque locations, filming every second.
He really wanted to show the scale and natural grandeur of the country in a way that many people never get to experience.
The film is a beautiful look into what feels like a totally different place and time, even though the film is not even 30 years old. Perhaps this is best evident when the World Trade Center makes an impressive appearance. It’s a reminder that much has changed in the United States over the last three decades, but it is still as beautiful as ever.
You can see more from Sanborn on his website.
A couple of my favorite screenshots from the film “Above America”