RICHARD: I had always been a movie junkie; it was the thing that dad and I did together. We watched Evil Dead 2 late one night while I was a freshman in high school and a light went on in my head. I decided that this was something I wanted to do.
I got onto the high school news team and was in charge of making “commercials” and then enrolled in an independent studies class to further explore the process.
For college, I enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin’s film production program. Sophomore year I met Kyle and subsequently his brother Cliff.
We had an instant working relationship, and have been working on each other’s projects ever since.
After graduating, Kyle told me he had a feature screenplay and that I was producing, and here I am.
Where did the idea come from? What was the writing process like?
RICHARD: Kyle had been writing a screenplay based on his own life about a young man discovering his passion and pursuing it with everything he had, while keeping a long distance relationship alive. He had laid out the film’s structure and thematic territory, but wanted a substitute for film-making. Something new and interesting. Something that people could get into. Something with an artistic process.
While he was writing, his brother was working at a cheese shop and would bring home all sorts of artisanal cheeses past their sell date. One particular cheese was made locally by a woman who had six goats and milked them every morning and sold cheese. That was her life. After a bit of research, it was plugged in and it worked.
Writing was a series of late nights after work, with the guys writing, taking notes, writing over each other, arguing, and then rewriting. Lather rinse repeat repeat repeat sorta thing, which left us with a pretty polished screenplay by the time we shot.
How did you find funding for the film?
RICHARD: Funding came from an appeal to our friends and family. They knew this was something we’d been working towards for a long time, so a lot of people invested to help us live our dream. Kyle, Cliff and myself ponied up our savings and loaded up my credit cards to fill the gaps.
What type of camera did you use to shoot the film and what did you like about it .... and hate about it?
RICHARD: We shot with the Panasonic HVX-200 with a Letus 35mm lens adapter. It was really familiar to all of us, as we had worked with the DVX all through school. The p2 card system was great for us. It was nice to not have to worry about changing or losing tapes. We had a few problems with the Letus. Early in the production it became a bit uncalibrated. Luckily we recognized it and had it fixed.
What was the smartest thing you did during production? The dumbest?
RICHARD: The smartest thing was probably listening to our DP about buying the 35mm lens adapter and hiring an accomplished sound recordist and listening to him on set. As a result, our images are fantastic with an incredible filmic look and our location sound is clean. We only had to ADR one small scene, which made posting that much easier.
Also, early on, we set an arbitrary start date, and worked backwards from there. Regardless of how things were going in preproduction, we held to that date, and eventually made it happen. It served as a really strong motivator to get things done.
The dumbest was running the production with less than skeleton crew. We really didn’t have the money or the resources to have a larger crew, but it really burdened us, particularly myself and our cinematographer. An extra set of hands or two would have everything run much smoother.
And, finally, what did you learn from making the film that you can take to other projects?
RICHARD: How crucial having an adequate preproduction period really is. It’s always stressful when things bleed over into production. Accomplish as much as possible early.
Now available on Hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/201361/artois-the-goat