A stranded soldier meanders his way through a vast wilderness, searching for water, shelter, and comrades. Alongside the many hardships of being lost deep in the woods for days, he endures various increasingly strange phenomena. The signs of an unforgiving war zone eventually give way to an unexpected but shockingly familiar source of the events.
Credits / Collaborators / Cast
Directed by Kevin Staake
Greenhorn: Leif Steinert
Dad: David Ebert
Mom: Alexandra Dickson
Son: Jacob Mackinnon
Daughter: Samantha Weber
Production Company: Pomp&Clout
Executive Producer: Ryan Staake
Producer: Doug Smith
Director of Photography: Bob Blankemeier
1st AC: Bryan Heffernan
2nd AC: Hallie Arias
Steadicam & Aerial Pilot: Nick Timmons
Aerial Camera Op: Josué Vicente Loayza
Art Director & Wardrobe: Alison Hepler
Sound Mixer: Ben Berger
Armorer: Chris Ingvordsen
Editor: Joe Siegel
Music Composer: David Chapdelaine
Sound Designer: Bobb Barito
Titles & Graphics: Aaron Vinton
Online Editor: Delaney Porter
Executive Producer: Helena Lee
Senior Producer: Natalia Wrobel
Creative VFX Director: Westley Sarokin
VFX Supervisor: Soheil Asghari
Executive Producer Color: Will Mok
Colorist: Mark Sanna
VFX Team: Hossein Chavoshi, Hamid Farei, Mahdi Momeni, Mohammad Ahmadvand, Pham Van Thong
Gene and Janice Trevail
Peter and Alison Smith
Sam Arthurs at the Specialists LTD
The story behind the film
Greenhorn is all about deception and misinterpretation. The goal was to very deliberately lead the viewer down the wrong path, highlighting the signs and sounds of a war zone. To date, no one has seen the twist coming, which feels like a well-earned pat on the back for the team that ultimately brought the vision to fruition.
(SPOILER ALERT AHEAD)
Beyond the surface level shock of the twist, what I want that switch to convey is that an abused and damaged natural planet can feel strikingly similar to a war zone, to the flora and fauna in particular. The main character himself becomes almost a part of the wildlife, struggling through loud, scary sounds, lack of water, ash filled air, poison dropped from the sky, all as a result of an ever-enclosing wildfire. He builds a much needed empathetic perspective during his time lost in the woods.
In hammering the message home, it was important to me that the source of the fire was frivolous, selfish, and ultimately unnecessary. I grew up in the Midwest and love fireworks as much as the next person, but when your creature comforts and patriotism are deemed more critical than the natural world you inhabit and the living things that share it with you, something is terribly wrong. The story also felt particularly timely as I think throughout this pandemic the dial has been turned up on both selfishness and selflessness. We’ve seen acts of extreme care and generosity while at the same time seeing savage acts of greed and self-preservation.
Greenhorn was made predominantly with selflessness. We filmed this over a week in the Catskills of upstate New York and in the suburbs of New Jersey. We had a talented, dedicated and brave cast and crew of about ten in total. Filming in a dense forest in the middle of July is anything but comfortable, and credit is due to everyone for enduring the heat, the bugs, the poison ivy, and all the while, the mask. We had a very disciplined set of mask wearers, who kept them in place even through the extreme discomfort of hours 10, 11 and 12. I’m grateful to them for the risk they accepted when diving into the production of Greenhorn.
Length in minutes: 10