The Movie Waffler Waffling With... MAYBE SOMEDAY's Michael McKiddy & Saige Ryan | The Movie Waffler

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Waffling With... MAYBE SOMEDAY's Michael McKiddy & Saige Ryan

We chatted with the leads of new time travel indie comedy Maybe Someday.



Interview by Benjamin Poole (@filmclubchs)




MICHAEL MCKIDDY



After some time as an actor (big fan of DeadHeads here), and spending time both in front of and behind the camera on the television show Paranormal Burbank, this, as I understand, is your first feature length screenplay. Could you elaborate on the difference between disciplines? What was it like sharing your vision with director Ryan Moulton; did it involve compromise?

First off, thanks for mentioning DeadHeads! So happy to hear you dig that movie; it's one I'll always hold dear to my heart (we're hoping to make a sequel one day!). To answer your first question though, TV and film are both similarly crazy in their own way, but are ultimately two very different beasts. They're both an equally insane amount of work, but with TV you have much more time to expand on storylines and character development, whereas with films you have to do your best to tell a full and compelling story in a shorter amount of time. I personally feel like both formats forget they have an audience more often than not. This is also something I struggled with though for sure; I've written dozens of screenplays but this was the first one I've had produced, which means even though the script was complete in my eyes, there were still going to be producers, investors, the director, etc, who all were going to have their own ideas and input. You have to be willing and ready for that. Ryan (director of Maybe Someday) was a great addition to the team and added a plethora of helpful and creative input to strengthen the script. I had to learn to put my ego aside and listen to what others on my team - like Ryan - were recommending. And I'm glad I did. It's hard to have your mind set on something and then hear 10 or more people say "this just doesn't work." But you have to be willing to say "okay, let's expand upon it and/or delete that idea entirely and figure out how to make it work then." Like I was saying, it's challenging in any creative format to grab your audience right away and create a main character within your story that people can relate to and root for. Compromise plays a big part in reaching a place where everyone involved in the project will be excited about it, which is the most important thing of all. The last thing you want is to be on a project with people who are bitter and divided on what's best for the story - which happens more often than not - and I think contributes to the abundance of bad movies and TV shows that are constantly being produced.

Looking at your IMDB entry, no one could accuse you of not being industrious! How far are you from loveable slacker Hal, the character you wrote and play in the film? Did you draw on any personality traits when writing him?

Thanks for saying that! I'm not fully happy in my life unless I'm working on putting together some kind of creative project. However, because of that, I tend to work on way too many projects at once and forget sometimes what sleep is. But it's how I stay sane. The character of Hal in Maybe Someday is a good guy deep down, but he's a humungous slacker. He's just someone who is very lost in life and at a point where he's approaching 30 and hasn't accomplished a single thing, never even had a job. He wants a family and a normal life, but hasn't made any real effort to obtain those things. He's ultimately afraid of failing, and has convinced himself he's not good enough. But he has these great qualities and skills that he's totally oblivious to. I personally obsess about the future a lot, something I'm working on doing less of, and that's definitely the main trait I share with Hal.
When I started coming up with the idea for the film back in 2012 I was a bit lost in my life too. Hollywood is a crazy place. I love it, have had amazing experiences there, but it can crush your soul if you let it. And unfortunately, I was starting to let it. I was working my butt off, networking and pushing non-stop to make things happen but then the projects that finally seemed to be going places would fall apart or never get released. And I was going out for auditions and then always losing out on parts to big named actors; it started to wear on me. I'd book a great acting job, then I'd turn around and would go a month or six months or a year without booking anything. I was starting to feel like "okay, am I ever going to be at a place where I'm regularly working in this town? Where I don't have to worry about what the next job is gonna be?" Unfortunately, if you want to be an actor - or work in the film business in general - that's a common concern you have to get used to. Even the most successful actors or writers or anyone I know in Hollywood almost always have that period in their career where nothing lucrative is happening. It's tough to stay afloat. Especially when the cost of living raises higher and higher every minute in Los Angeles. Then I had that dreaded fear of "what the hell am I gonna do if I can't work full time making my living in the film business? It's all I've ever known! I have no other skills!" I started panicking a lot, feeling hopeless. So I drew on those emotions when creating Hal. That terrible and dangerous feeling that no matter what you do in life it's never going to amount to what you want it to, so why even bother pursuing it? What I like about the film is that it shows the journey of why you should bother. Why it's worth it to go after what you want in life, and to believe in yourself always, through successes and failures both. We get to watch Hal do that, and to me, it's a fun - and hopefully inspiring - journey to watch.

As an amateur chrononaut myself, I’m fascinated by the subject of time travelling, and, although theoretical physics presently bears very little support for the concept, there is nonetheless a growing academic interest in the consistent state approach to systems containing closed timelike curves or similar devices, applying models to the renowned thermodynamic quandary of Maxwell's demon, notwithstanding the 'third party paradox' for acausal systems (which Maybe Someday tangentially observes). I wonder if you could elaborate on any scientific research you completed for Maybe Someday's screenplay? Were you influenced by other time travel films?

This is the greatest question ever. I do totally love and am enamored by the idea of causal loops; films like Back to the Future - in my opinion, the best movie of all time - deal with that beautifully. It also makes a movie script about time travel a million times harder to write (laughs). I'm definitely a sci-fi nerd, and this is a discussion I could spend weeks with you talking about. I'm a huge Twilight Zone and Stephen King fan - like, no joke, I'm obsessed - so it's difficult for me not to incorporate some kind of supernatural or sci-fi element into everything I write. Obviously when I talk about "folding" in Maybe Someday, I completely took that from Stephen King. The Dark Tower series is one of the best ever in my opinion. The Talisman is also a part of that universe, and is a book that I adore, and it deals heavily with the idea of closing your eyes and opening them and being in another place or time. I always loved that idea. Not needing an actual time machine or whatever, just blinking and there you are, somewhere new. I was also influenced by movies like Somewhere In Time and indie movies that I love about time travel such as Safety Not Guaranteed, Looper, and Primer.

I’m always slightly resentful that I didn’t witness the 1980s blockbuster era first hand. I’d love to have been among the first to see E.T. or Star Wars! If you could go back in time to any era in cinema, then where would you go and why?

I'd love to go back to the '40s and experience Hollywood then, movie premieres and all. But I have to say, I'm an '80s child all the way, was lucky to be born in the summer of 1980; and I'm happy to say that I was able to literally see every single movie that was released in the theater from 1982 to 1990 in an actual movie theater shortly after they were released. The Empire Strikes Back was released two days after I was born, but my earliest memory might be seeing Return of the Jedi in the theater the weekend it came out, which  is awesome to remember. Extremely long answer short, if I had to pick one though I'd selfishly probably go back in time if I could to the '80s to experience that all over again. That seriously was a magical time for movies. There was an energy in the theatres back then that I'll always be nostalgic for. Changed my life.

If Maybe Someday were to be shown on a triple bill with two other films, what would these two other films be, where would Maybe Someday be in the running?

Oh wow, that's so tough to answer! If we're talking the bill I'd personally want to put together for it to be on it'd be with A Christmas Story and Back to the Future, just because those are my favorites - movies I can watch over and over again and never grow tired of - and they're movies that make you feel good, which Maybe Someday is too. Professionally though, based on themes or tone, it'd probably be paired up with Safety Not Guaranteed and then Back to the Future, with Maybe Someday playing first, then Safety Not Guaranteed, and then, of course, the King of all movies, Back to the Future. As long as it's paired with films that make audiences happy when they leave the theatre, then Maybe Someday will fit right in.


SAIGE RYAN



You’ve had a really interesting career Saige, featuring in several renowned television shows and also working with the likes of David O. Russell - I would imagine that you are much in demand! What attracted you to the script of Maybe Someday?

When the audition came up, one of the first scenes I got to read (trying not to give spoilers here) was an extremely emotional scene between Michael's character and I. It's a big blowout moment of the film. That scene just felt personal. I could feel every word I said to him, and I meant it. To me that's great writing. And I hope other people watching the film can feel that as well. Plus I'm a total sucker for sci-fi future stuff.

The role of Abigail is fairly complex - on one hand, she is a 16 year old kid, but she also has to take responsibility for her dad, sort of being a mother to her own father. How did you approach this role? How do you see the character of Abigail?

I see Abigail as a kid who wanted to be better, but gave up early. She has all this potential but she's seen a lot that made her grow up too quickly in all the wrong ways. I think maybe being a screw up like her dad makes her feel a little closer to him, or maybe it just helps her forget.

There is a nice platonic chemistry between you and Michael in the film, whose script you were, of course, working from. The interplay seems natural - how much room was there for improvisation and riffing on the script during filming?

I feel like Michael and I connected pretty much immediately when we read together. Before we could even get to the scene we were off rambling about our mutual love for Star Wars. As for improvisation, there were definitely moments where things just came out as they felt natural. Also a lot of "OH what if"s on set.

Your character of Abigail is a time traveller, but if you could go back in time to any era that ever existed, where would you go and why?

I gotta say, the future has always sounded much more appealing than the past to me. Can we go that way instead?

I enjoyed the film, but over to you now: in your own words, why should TMW readers take a chance on Maybe Someday?

I think because it's just the right balance of heartwarming, heavy, and comedic. It's got a fun twist on your typical dram-com.


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