Rubber Tramps

American Culture, Art, Environment, Nature
Max Koetter
56 minutes


"Max Koetter takes us on a leisurely, beautifully paced journey through an alternate reality and panoply of characters as diverse as you could imagine." -Earthblog


"Rubber Tramps" takes a glimpse into the lives of a few brave people who have discarded today's standards of society to live life as they see fit - artists, poets, activists, dead-heads, society drop-outs and other non-conformists who make their converted school buses, vans and cars their homes. Filmmaker Max Koetter explored the coastline highways from California through parts of Oregon to document the unique lifestyles of these vehicular dwellers, capturing the essence of this intriguing sub-culture. Featuring the late author and counterculture icon Ken Kesey ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest").


Max Koetter

Max Koetter graduated from Syracuse University of New York in the winter of 1997 with a degree in Fine Arts. Max is an accomplished ceramist and sculptor. After a well-received showing of his final thesis, he decided to take off on the road to discover America. Max set out in January of 1998 for the open road.

Max's sense of adventure, traveling across America in his van, created the inspiration for "Rubber Tramps." While on his travels, he met many people who had abandoned the 'normal' lifestyle for a life of freedom on the road. Over two years since the film's conception, Max originally planned to take photographs and accompany them with writings to create a book. After learning about the accessibility of digital video, Max became determined to create a film about this sub-culture. Arriving in Los Angeles in the fall of 1998, Max set out to meet the other filmmakers who would help set his creative vision in motion. He met the other members of the team, and they formed Just Passing Through Productions.

Max spent a year-and-a-half editing the 100 hours of footage accumulated during the production of "Rubber Tramps." Max compared the work of an editor to that of a sculptor. Working meticulously, Max logged the 100 hours of footage himself. Sculpting each character individually, and then bringing them together to create the whole, Max's editing breaks the mold of your typical feature-length documentary, and takes the viewer on an artistic journey.


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