“He painted a masterpiece inside his mind. The right colors for moments he tried to find, but daubed summits too dim.”
The opening lines of narration for the teaser trailer of Derrick Lytle’s newly released short film “Attrition: A Trail Running Film” are coupled with distinctively southwestern scenes — from a time-lapse of the Milky Way behind Delicate Arch in Utah, to a trail runner navigating by headlamp at the blue hour on saguaro-lined singletrack.
The trailer’s poetic montage of color, sound, and of course, trail running, hints at a documentary that takes a creative and nontraditional look at the sport — and the passage of life. It also promises to deliver some stunning visuals, filmed on the ground with a RED camera and in the air via drone.
When iRunFar interviewed Lytle in July of this year following the release of his film “The Hardrock 100 Endurance Run in Slow Motion,” Lytle mentioned he had another self-funded trail running film in the works. “It’s a running film, but it’s also very metaphorical. [I’m hoping] to push boundaries and the creative side of media in trail running,” Lytle told us.
“Attrition: A Trail Running Film” officially came out on November 2. Lytle billed the short composition as a film about running through the stages of life. Filming took place over a year in various locations around Nevada, Utah, California, Arizona, and Colorado. It features athletes including Levi Hawks, Cody Reed, Drew Frehs, Jake Jackson, Jimmy Elam, Kyle Curtin, Charlie Ware, Michael McKnight, Nicole Bitter, Zach Bitter, and iRunFar’s own Meghan Hicks, as well as the words of athlete and poet Jennilyn Tockstein.
The American Southwest isn’t necessarily new territory for Lytle. The avid runner co-founded and now runs The Juniper Lab, an independent film agency that focuses on stories about adventure, nature, and politics in the southwestern United States.
Lytle, who started trail running in Utah and Arizona, has expressed interest in creating more environmentally and politically geared stories through the lens of trail running. “Attrition” seems to follow that course.