“The Maury Island Incident” – a short film that was shot locally in the Burien area last summer (and which plays tonight at a fundraiser at the Tin Theater) – has been turned into a 6-part original series and will premiere on Seattle-based IndieFlix, an independent film streaming service on Aug. 19, 2014.
Based on declassified FBI documents, the film tells the incredible, tragic, and forgotten story of Harold Dahl, who on June 21, 1947, alleged a UFO sighting over Puget Sound, Washington. This sparked ‘the summer of the saucers,’ the modern era of UFO obsession, the first appearance of a ‘Man in Black’ as well as a governmental battle over UFO sighting jurisdiction reaching directly to FBI Executive Director J. Edgar Hoover.
The Aug. 19 date coincides with an FBI document sent to Executive Director J. Edgar Hoover, explaining how Dahl’s original claim that the sighting was a hoax was only said to avoid any further damage to his family. This historic document will also be released on Aug. 19 by filmmakers as a downloadable PDF on the official website www.mauryislandincident.com.
“IndieFlix viewers will not only learn new information about a lost, historic UFO case, they’ll also find out just how interested J. Edgar Hoover was with these ‘flying disc’ occurrences,” Producer/Director Scott Schaefer said. “And we will also be releasing some fascinating declassified FBI documents that show his personal interest in UFOs, specifically The Maury Island Incident.”
Initially shot as a short in the south Puget Sound area, with local talent and crew, The Maury Island Incident has been a labor of love for Producer/Writer Edmiston and Producer/Director Schaefer, and Washington FilmWorks, which gave out an Innovation Lab Award to this production. The Lab is a groundbreaking new program offering funding assistance to Washington filmmakers and filmmakers using emerging technologies. In its comments, the jury said this of the film:
“Equal parts mystery and documentary, The Maury Island Incident exposes a fascinating hidden history: the first recorded UFO incidents in the US didn’t occur in Roswell, but in Washington. This captivating project brings a spooky Seattle area legend to light and sets the stage for ongoing storytelling on the subject.”
Thanks to the help and support of Washington Filmworks’ Innovation Lab, Edmiston and Schaefer got the opportunity to turn their content into a series.
“We simply did not foresee the heightened tension that could be created with re-shaping our content into a serialized structure, and the Innovation Lab pushed us to that discovery,” Edmiston said. “From that moment, we began seeking an ideal partnership for development and distribution of the serial content and of course, IndieFlix was at the top of our wish list.”
Founded by filmmakers in 2005, IndieFlix is a membership-based streaming service that has become one of the most meaningful global online platforms in the industry. IndieFlix gives film lovers access to thousands of high quality independent shorts, features, documentaries and series from around the world via Roku, Xbox and all Internet connected devices including smartphones and tablets. IndieFlix’s mission is to champion filmmakers, launch careers, rethink traditional approaches to distribution, and celebrate the artistry and impact of independent film. IndieFlix’s unique royalty payment system pays filmmakers for every minute watched.
Edmiston adds: “We are excited to collaborate with IndieFlix, a company with an incredible track record of innovation. Of course, we love the fact that IndieFlix puts filmmakers first in almost every way imaginable. But even more, we have been impressed by the level of creativity and enthusiasm shown by the IndieFlix team as part of planning The Maury Island Incident series launch.”
Launching The Maury Island Incident as their first Original Series adds IndieFlix to the mix of online channels offering original content.
“We are so thrilled to have The Maury Island Incident as our first Original Series.” says CEO and co-founder, Scilla Andreen. “The show is so reminiscent of The X-Files and will be such a great new offering for our customers.”
If you’ve not yet seen this film – TONIGHT, FRIDAY, AUG. 1 – is your next chance as it will be playing at the Tin Theater (923 SW 152nd Street) in Olde Burien, with tickets still available for the 11 p.m. showing – buy them online here.
Here’s the trailer:
Scilla Andreen CEO / Co-Founder Indieflix:
Scilla Andreen is an award-winning filmmaker, Emmy-nominated costume designer, disruptor and pioneer in the independent film space. Leading the charge to empower content creators, IndieFlix has become one of the most meaningful global online streaming platforms in the industry thanks to their latest innovation: the RPM model (Royalty Pool Minutes) which jettisons antiquated and complicated payment systems in favor of refreshing and transparent simplicity: for every minute watched, a filmmaker gets paid.
Steve Edmiston Producer / Writer The Maury Island Incident:
Steve Edmiston works as an independent feature film screenwriter and producer. He is also an attorney with 25 years of experience practicing business, litigation, intellectual property, and entertainment law. Edmiston is a frequent teacher, advisor, and speaker on film and film industry issues. His most recent feature premiered on Lifetime. His films have screened at a variety of film festivals including: Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Seattle International Film Festival, Big Island Film Festival, Ashland and Port Townsend. Edmiston wrote and directed the award-winning short The Day My Parents Became Cool, which was shot entirely in the south Puget Sound area.
Scott Schaefer Director / Producer The Maury Island Incident:
Scott Schaefer is a three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (Bill Nye The Science Guy, PBS/Disney) with over 27 years’ experience in media, including over 20 as a Director and Producer, six of which were spent in the trenches of Hollywood.
His directing credits includes for the TV shows Penn & Teller:Bullsh*t! (Showtime) where he was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directing in a Reality Show (2005), Sightings (a UFO show for Paramount Pictures), The Arsenio Hall Show (Paramount), Totally Hidden Video (Fox), The Late Show (Fox), Fox On-Air Promotions, Almost Live! (KING-TV, where he won 6 Local Emmy Awards) and many others in-between.
Schaefer currently runs a network of six local blogs for an area south of Seattle called South King Media, which includes the award-winning B-Town Blog.
John White Executive Producer The Maury Island Incident:
The Maury Island Incident is John’s first motion picture project, and followed his extraordinarily successful career as an entrepreneur. In 1990, John invented his own pile driving machine in his garage, then founded American Piledriving Equipment (APE), the largest pile driving equipment company in the world. John’s machines operated exclusively on vegetable oil to prevent damage to water and soil. His other ventures include Crazy Horse Motorcycles LLC, which manufactures the 45 degree V-Twin engine featured on the TV show American Choppers. His unique engine is the powerplant featured in Microsoft’s Gears of War Trike built by Paul Jr. and featured in the video game.