What drew you to Taylor's story?
Ben: Taylor and I have been friends since he transferred to Brooks High School his freshman year. I remember the days when he could barely chew bubble gum and roam the halls in his size 37 Nike Shox at the same time. So, it's been incredible to follow his football journey. He's become a great man and his belief in his dreams is absolutely inspiring. When Taylor got the call about his tryout, he immediately text a group chat of our closest friends. We all encouraged him to go for it and then he and I chatted about Inkwell following his journey.
Of course, I was all-in, but wasn't sure if the rest of the Inkwell boys would find the story as compelling as I did. Fortunately, Sam hopped on board immediately and we haven't looked back. Having him as a co-producer, co-writer, DP and associate editor has been amazing, Sam, Ben V and Tyler have been amazing to help get this project to ready for trailer release.
Why do you think people should care about a guy trying out for a football team?
Sam: What most people don't realize is that even though football players and athlete's are extremely talented and uniquely capable of playing their sport, that's just part of the full ingredient. The hard work and dedication that it takes to compete on the next level, to be become a professional, is remarkable. Hours of training and time in the gym. The personal sacrifices at home, the support of family and friends, it all adds up. Its also something that is rarely seen... Especially the impact it has on that athletes family. When someone watches this film, I hope it will shine some light on the sacrifices it takes to simply train and prepare for the next level.
Obviously, it's tough not to get attached to subjects when you spend time with them while filming a documentary. Did you feel nervous for Taylor before his big tryout? Or even after?
Sam: Once you become friends with someone, real legitimate friends, you always feel something for their successes and failures. I was definitely nervous and excited for Taylor on the day of his tryout. This story is about a good guy who is striving hard for his dream and his family... You can't help but root for him.
What was the best behind the scenes moment from this project? Maybe something us viewers won't se on screen.
Ben: Oh, man. There are so many memories from our two weeks with Taylor. My favorite has to be when we went him for the culmination of our film-- his tryout in Atlanta, GA. We were heading to the hotel and it was super late. We needed gas and stopped in this incredibly small town. This gas station, guys, holy cow. It was as if we'd stepped into a time machine that was caught between Mayberry and "Deliverance." Old school gas pumps, ancient signs from days past and a beat up truck next to us blaring mountain music. We were all pretty freaked out until we walked inside to pay and stumbled upon the greatest stash of Surge ever created. Seriously, cases of the stuff. The only thing we were going to die of that night was a sugar overdose. haha.