It took Blue Springs South graduate Brian Maurer seven years to make it, but it’s finally here.
When he wrote the first two drafts of a movie script he was working on, he put them in a cabinet for three years before getting them back out. He later filmed his movie “In The Wake of Ire” in Glasgow, Missouri, which was based on a story Maurer had written for a fiction magazine.
Now, his movie has been accepted by four film festivals, including this weekend’s Kansas City Film Festival at the Cinemark Palace on the Plaza. His film is shown 9:20 p.m. this evening. Those who want to see “In The Wake of Ire” can buy a festival pass or a ticket just to see the film at kcfilmfest.org.
“It’s kind of early on in our festival run,” said Maurer, who teaches media technology at the University of Missouri. “Hopefully as we go on and get more and more acceptances, we can make a good good case for national distribution or video on demand. Who knows? Maybe someone will pick it up.”
“In The Wake of Ire” is headlined by Gregory Sporleder, who has been on television shows such as “Days of Our Lives,” “Criminal Minds,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “American Horror Story.” Whitney Morgan Cox, who has also appeared in “Criminal Minds,” is in the movie.
The film is about a character named Benjamin Lovell. The entertainment website IMDB says, “A man reunites with his estranged daughter after being separated for 20 years. She doesn't recognize him, and he fails to tell her the truth. They grow dangerously close, as his daughter falls for him during a time of her own loneliness.”
Benjamin tries to balance his relationship with his daughter, while keeping it a secret from his closest friends and business partner.
“It went through 13 different drafts over the course of six years,” Maurer said of the writing process. “It was a long journey.”
The lead actors and actresses are from Los Angeles – including Sporleder, who has also been in movies such as “The Rock” and “Black Hawk Down.” The others are mostly from Missouri.
“We paired some of the entries down and then held auditions,” Maurer said. “We had 1,700 women submit to be the lead actress. (The casting director) got it down to 50 or so and took a look at the auditions and worked our way down to our top picks and made offers.”
Filming the movie was a long process, but it turned out well for Maurer.
“I am absolutely happy with it,” Maurer said. “The actors performed wonderfully, and I feel really happy with their on-screen presence and performance. So far, the audiences have been reacting well to the story.”
So how did Mauer get to this point?
He said he didn’t get into filmmaking until he got his bachelor's degree at the University of Missouri in 2006. He learned as much as he could about it online. He started experimenting with it and made short films.
He shot his first feature film, “Lit,” in 2009. It was about a college professor who had to deal with unruly students and find a way to connect with them.
“It wasn’t something I’ve actually experienced, it was just a creative things,” Maurer said. “And sort of my overall opinion about the degree and what it was like. It was all self taught.”
In the near future, Maurer plans on shooting a film exclusively in Kansas City. The script is written, but he said he needs to find the funding to make it happen.
“It’s time for me to come home and try to shoot something there,” Maurer said. “You see the Chicago skyline or the New York skyline in movies. You don’t really see a lot of films shot in Kansas City.”