Trey Nelson on 'Lost in the Sun' and Josh Duhamel

Photo Credit: E1 Entertainment Distribution
November 5th, 2015

Director Trey Nelson has just made his first feature film, Lost in the Sun, and moviegoers all over the country will be able to see this wonderful film for themselves on November 6 when it’s released in theaters, VOD and iTunes. The young filmmaker is most famous for his work in television on shows like Brain Games but his new film, starring Josh Duhamel, will definitely gain some buzz. The drama revolves around a small time crook who takes a newly-orphaned young boy on a crime spree across Texas. Here is what Trey had to say about the new film Lost in the Sun.

Nick Leyland TMN: Hey Trey, excitement level's high, huh?

Trey Nelson: So this has been a long road. It's really satisfying. When you set out to make a feature, you don't really know what's gonna happen with it, you don't really know what kind of performances you're gonna get and your investors are terrified that they're gonna lose all their money, so [chuckle] I'm pretty psyched about it, we're getting it released.

TMN: You started writing this film 10 years ago, a lot has changed since then.

[chuckle]

Trey Nelson: It's true. It's called Lost in the Sun, but really thematically the film totally is supposed to be lost in a time and a place, and that's something that we really tried to stick with in terms of the production design. We shot this on a Sony F55 but we added a 35mm treatment to it at the end, so it's still tried to look really filmic. But that was something that was really important, to sort of make it timeless.

E1 Entertainment Distribution

(Trey Nelson, Josh Duhamel and Josh Wiggins in Lost in the Sun)

TMN: And plus I read you're from Texas, and I think where you filmed in Texas is pretty much lost in time anyway, right?

Trey Nelson: Yeah, we shot around Austin and tried to find the... It's funny, there's a lot of mid-century architecture in and around Texas, right? And there's small towns that were built on a promise after World War II, so there's a lot of this mid-century architecture that's decaying. And that was something that we wanted to try to capture and I think we did two things with that. I know we're talking about production design and the aesthetic of the film, but I think we did two things. I think we captured the timelessness of it, but I also think we still captured a tone that is unique but also familiar. The film tonally reminds me of a little bit of Paris, Texas, Which is definitely an influence.

TMN: Yeah, I was guessing that inspired the film a little bit in terms of the way that you wrote it.

Trey Nelson: Yeah, we shot it in the winter last year, so it snowed on us in Austin.

TMN: Really?

Trey Nelson: Snowed on us in Austin, so it was nice because it turned out to work out for us, 'cause we had a lot of grey days and we didn't have a lot of blue skies, which made it feel unique.

E1 Entertainment Distribution

(Josh Duhamel and Josh Wiggins in Lost in the Sun)

TMN: Is the technique you used, some film makers use this technique, and I want to know why you did it, and the audiences will know right away that you filmed the ending first. Not technically the ending, but what inspired you to do that? Was that always your intention?

Trey Nelson: In television terms, it's called a 'Cold open,' right? And I think it's a technique that's often used in television and we used it. We chose to use it in this film because I think it prolongs... It's the long burn of tension and without giving away too much, I think the audience can figure out what the truth is pretty quickly in this film. And it wasn't really about revealing, holding on to that truth, because that's not really the big "Aha" of the film. To me, the big "Aha" of the film is what comes after it reveals the truth, and what comes after is a rush of emotion that really to me is the core of the story, which is the unrealized potential of one human being.

Trey Nelson: That's what this film is about and that's the great tragedy of John's character, of Duhamel's character, is the unrealized potential of a human being. And to me that's the great tragedy of humanity, there's so many great human beings out there who have not realized their potential one way or another. And I used a technique at the end of the film, this point that you're talking about, which is often used in romantic comedies, where in a romantic comedy the protagonist will profess his or her love to a group of strangers. And that's the same technique that I used at the end of this movie, but we used it in a dramatic way.

TMN: I noticed when you were talking about the characters, you have John, who is a character that, in all honesty, you don't like this person. And he's almost on the one end of the spectrum, and on the other end of the spectrum, you have Louis, that you can't help but have your heart break for this person. And you put them together, and throughout the film they intertwine in different spots, and it was a very cool technique that I liked. Your attitude towards these characters shifts back and forth. Was that your intention?

Trey Nelson: You know, I think when you build a script and you start building a movie, you always have to ask yourself, "Whose story is this?" And I think what you're getting at is, whose story is this? And I think that's the tug of war that happens in this film, and I'll leave it up to the viewers to decide whose story this is, but I think that's the tug and push and pull of a script, and that's the balance that you have to try to maintain.

E1 Entertainment Distribution

(Josh Duhamel in Lost in the Sun)

TMN: I wanna ask you about is Josh, 'cause he's a pretty big star. I wanted to know, how did you handle working with someone of that caliber coming in on your film? Was he easy to work with? Was it a little bit more difficult?

Trey Nelson: You know, I didn't really know what to expect when we first started working together, but it became really quick to me that Josh is just a guy from North Dakota, and he to this day is a good friend, and that's how our relationship started. It started with a couple of guys talking about what this movie meant to them, and it stayed that way. It didn't become about egos. It didn't become about what I wanted. It didn't become about what he wanted. It became about what the film needed. And that's what we honored together. Josh Wiggins, too, we all honored this film and we all elevated the film above our own egos. Josh is fantastic in this film. He's amazing in this movie, and I want people to see this movie not only because of the story, but because people need to see the potential of Josh as an actor, because there's ironically an unrealized potential in him. And in this movie I think he's realizing his potential, but I really think that he can really expand his dramatic roles. He's a fantastic actor and even better person.

TMN:  What can audiences expect to get out of the film?

Trey Nelson: I think the trailer sets up the film to be an exciting thriller, and I think it's all of those things, but I also think this film will leave people... At the end, will leave people sitting in their seats for a hell of a lot longer than any superhero film that they've seen this summer.