We are so proud to announce our first original series: The Maury Island Incident. The series depicts the summer of 1947 when Harold Dahl claimed he saw six UFOs near Maury Island, Washington. The next day, Dahl was visited by what many consider to be the first “Man in Black.” That summer, the FBI investigated “The Maury Island Incident” along with hundreds of other ‘flying disc’ cases.
IndieFlix was lucky enough to ask some very important questions to the creators of The Maury Island Incident. Get to know Director/Producer/Writer Scott Schaefer and Writer/Producer Steve Edmiston, the filmmakers behind our first ever original series.
Do you believe in life on other planets?
Scott: Most definitely! Considering how many there must truly be throughout not only our galaxy, but the entire universe – how could there NOT be life elsewhere?
Steve: Yes. Or perhaps more philosophically, I can’t imagine why I’d ever believe (based upon what little we know and our scientific limits) there couldn’t be life on other planets. And I’ve yet to come up with any reason to argue against the possibility of life on other planets.
Have you ever seen an alien?
Scott: No, but I have met many people who have, and I believe most of them.
Steve: Well, if you exclude Scott Schaefer, then no.
What’s your motto?
Scott: “What would ____ do?” This is inspired by my hero Director Billy Wilder. Whenever he was confused about how to direct a scene, Wilder would ask himself “What would Lubitsch do?” then direct the scene as he thought his hero, Ernest Lubitsch, would. I have used this motto when I need inspiration, and used it during The Maury Island Incident – i.e.: the scene in the diner where the Man In Black puts the hammer down on Harold Dahl was “What would David Lynch do?” and the scenes in the house where the phone rings (with slow dolly shots of it) were “What would Stanley Kubrick do?”
Steve: Always be nice to everybody. It’s our family motto. I’m trying to get better at that, I’m not always able to do that.
What is your evil twin like?
Scott: My evil twin has an evil goatee of course (similar to Writer/Producer Steve Edmiston’s!) and have a pet raven named Zeke that he can command to destroy his enemies as well as do aerial shots that circumvent any FAA regulations.
Steve: Not nice. To anybody. Hates dogs. Kind of like Gru from Despicable Me, but without the cute redeeming qualities or Steve Carell’s voice.
What’s your favorite thing that you own?
Scott: Aside from two adorable, yappy Chihuahuas, I am really getting into my new Lumix GH-3 camera, which I hope to use to shoot a companion documentary on The Maury Island Incident.
Steve: Super tough questions! I am a joint owner of a fantastic Springer Spaniel named Savannah who spends hours swimming in the frigid Puget Sound waters across from Maury Island and barking at the sky – very mysterious. Another thing I don’t own – but resides at our house – is the home-made original version of the board game Dread Pirate, which I created as a Christmas present for my two daughters, which then helped birth a game company in Seattle (Front Porch Classics), and which then went on to become the FamilyFun magazine Toy of the Year in 2003.
If you weren’t in the business of making movies, what would you do?
Scott: I have a “day job” now as a Journalist – I publish/edit a network of local blogs south of Seattle, including the award-winning B-Town Blog for Burien. I enjoy community journalism and helping these small cities out with local news, events, etc.
Steve: Along with making movies, I’m an entertainment/business lawyer, I’m actively involved in the toy and game business, and I do a fair bit of consulting with my firm Quadrant45. I think I still have an intact imagination, but the spot on the shelf for “what else would I do” seems to be taken.
What’s your favorite movie?
Scott: Sunset Blvd. by Billy Wilder is #1 for me, most likely because I love the setting in old Hollywood as well as the idea of a struggling, desperate Writer falling into a crazy world.
Steve: Today, right now, it’s Guardians of the Galaxy. I am Groot. Long term – huge fan of Lawrence of Arabia, seeing that film at the Cinerama, restored, was unbelievable. Movies that made me love movies – formative stuff - Jaws, Indiana Jones, Star Wars. Yeah, fan boy here. Pass the popcorn.
What gives you confidence?
Scott: In addition to having over 27 years of experience working in media, I utilize positive affirmations that I repeat to myself hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times a day. I also get inspiration from music, and find that Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue inspiring every time I hear it.
Steve: My family. My collaborators. My business partners and clients. It’s a big team.
What’s your favorite book?
Scott: Lately I’ve been reading the Cinema of Stanley Kubrick, another one of my directing heroes.
Steve: I read almost exclusively non-fiction. I highly recommend the FBI documents provided under the Freedom of Information Act and maintained online in – I’m not making this up – the “FBI Vault.” I thought Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, and Moneyball by Michael Lewis were incredibly inspiring. I like the idea of pairing hard work and out of the box thinking as a success metric.
Who’s your biggest role model?
Scott: Ever since I met him at a Directors Guild tribute in the early 1990′s, I’ve been inspired by Billy Wilder. He came into the US in 1933, not knowing a word of English, yet he rose through the ranks in Hollywood to become what I consider to be one of the greatest directors ever. He could do crime dramas, noir as well as slapstick – yet very smart – comedy.
Steve: I’m quite enthralled with the relentless entrepreneurs that meld creativity with business savvy, while never losing their compassion and humanity. When I encounter, or read about, an incredible business success story, but the individual is generally a raving lunatic or simply mean – I don’t find the success quite so impressive.
What’s the most important thing for new filmmakers to keep in mind?
Scott: Always hire the best people for your core team (D.P., Line Producer, A.D.) then bond closely with them and collaborate. If one of them has a great idea, LISTEN and try it. And don’t be a jerk! Feed and pay your crew well too, and ALWAYS throw some kind of wrap party!
Steve: Ha. I’m a writer. What do you think I’m going to say? It’s the story, of course.
Read more about The Maury Island Incident.