ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Q-and-A with 'Unknown' director Nate Maydole

Budgeteer: How did you get involved with the project? Did the Vainios approach you? Maydole: Previous to starting "Walking Into the Unknown" I was working with Native American independent film producer Lorraine Norrgard, from Cloquet. Arne had [t...

"Walking into the Unknown"
"Walking into the Unknown" traces the intimate journey of a middle-aged American Indian male (physician Dr. Arne Vainio) through the health care system as he gains a deeper understanding of himself and the health risks he faces. Submitted art

Budgeteer: How did you get involved with the project? Did the Vainios approach you?

Maydole: Previous to starting "Walking Into the Unknown" I was working with Native American independent film producer Lorraine Norrgard, from Cloquet. Arne had [talked to] her and her husband, Phil Norrgard, about his background and some articles he was in the process of writing. Lorraine thought it would be a great film project, so she introduced me to Arne to see if we would be a good fit. Arne and I started to have dialogue on how to shape the documentary and, once we received funding, we started to line up the shoots.

Was this your first big project after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth?

Yes, this was my first big film project after college. During the production of the film I worked full time as the creative director for the Minneapolis company 50 Entertainment. With that job I created other short films and music videos while "Walking Into the Unknown" was in production.

Did you ever feel like your cameras were getting too invasive during some of the more private procedures?

ADVERTISEMENT

We decided pretty early on that we wanted to make nothing a mystery. We wanted to show people how easy procedures are; I felt that it was important to capture all of the details and so did Arne. Throughout the whole process, it felt normal to get invasive since Arne was so willing to be a "subject." It really showed how much character Arne has and how important the message of the project is.

How involved was Arne with the final cut -- as in, when you were editing one of the aforementioned "private" scenes, did you consult with him to see how much he wanted to show?

Arne was very easygoing throughout the whole process. Both Arne, Ivy (Arne's wife and the film's producer) and the clinic had input into the final edit. All of the "private" content remained in place since we felt that it added value. We did have some talking points, but [during] the progression from the rough edit to the final there were only very minor adjustments.

What do you think people -- American Indian or not -- will take away from this film?

I hope that the film motivates people to seek medical attention when needed and give them encouragement to persuade family and friends to do the same. I also hope that it shows them how easy living healthy can be and which steps to take to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

How have initial reactions been to the film?

Overly positive. People have been embracing the film with open arms, and I think that has a lot to do with the lack of American Indian films on this topic.

What's next for you? Any projects in the pipeline?

ADVERTISEMENT

I've been working on another project for almost two years which will continue over the course of my life. You can check it out at www.natesword.com . Otherwise I'm just taking the time to enjoy the final product of this film and developing other ideas for future projects.

NEWS TO USE
The premiere of "Walking Into the Unknown" will be held at 7 p.m. March 23 at UMD's Marshall Performing Arts Center. Free and open to the public. Watch the film's trailer at www.walkingintotheunknown.com .

What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT