"The film came from two places," explains Neil, "the emotional dynamics of the characters and the source material. Wyatt had a deep appreciation for both. He's very passionate and doesn't make any apologies for that. Technically, he's incredibly sound and matches that with an incredible emotional intuition."
Troll wanted to sign on not just because he knew and worked with Neil peripherally for years beforehand, but because of his passion for the story.
"Chris really fought for it," says Troll. "His struggles bringing this project to the world was so beautiful to me that I wanted to fight even harder for him."
With a budget of $4 million and a script that called for three different states and a bunch of goats, they set out to begin production. Troll was able to take his key crew from Los Angeles with him on the road, and everyone else they hired locally along the way.
I had such a great time being able to create with [director] Chris [Neil]. Here was somebody that loved this baby so much, and I got to jump in to try and push it out with him."I had worked with my gaffer, Robert Olivia, my DIT, Brian Olinger, and my first assistant, Travis Daking before," explains Troll. "My feeling was that if I had my people, I could go wherever I had to go and do whatever I had to do to get the picture right. Had I not had them, there's not a chance we could have gotten the footage we got. There would have been no shorthand, and I would have spent all my time doing something else other than shooting the film."
—DP Wyatt Troll
—DP Wyatt Troll
"First and foremost, it's that creativeness that's so important, to be able to bounce ideas back and forth with," says Troll. "You're sculpting in light with your gaffer. There's blocking, the technical aspects to setting up a shot, the lenses, this and that, but really the first part is looking at the world I'm shooting, and I do that with my gaffer."
Secondly, Troll credits Neil with brilliant directing skills as to how they got the film they were all going for. "His devotion to the actors' performance is impeccable," he offers. "He gives them everything they need to make them comfortable and to get them in the right place. In a weird way, since he's relatively young, he's an old-school director. He has been around, and he has seen a lot of different things. There's a really great balance of allowing, yet being really tight and keeping with what ultimately he wanted the end result to be."