Director of undergraduate studies for IT writes and produces award winning film

After going through a total of six years of table reads and revisions, the small 700 word article for a flash fiction magazine has evolved into a complete work.
Brian Maurer, MU director of undergraduate studies for IT, produced a film “In the Wake of Ire” that was released in 2017. Courtesy of College of Engineering

Eight years ago, Director of Undergraduate Studies for IT Brian Maurer was working for MU Extension and running a flash fiction magazine writing pieces that he never thought would become much of anything.

One of the pieces Maurer wrote for the magazine was “In The Wake of Ire.” He wrote the 700 word piece, put it in an envelope and left it alone. After going through six years of writing, table reads and revisions, “In The Wake of Ire” became a full length film.

“It was just a short story, it was never meant to be a feature film,” Maurer said.

After going through a total of six years of table reads and revisions, the short article for a flash fiction magazine became a completed work that would go on to show at various film festivals and win several awards.

This is the fifth film Maurer has been a producer for, and it is his third feature film in which he has been in a directorial role. Although he does not know where his interest for film stems from, his past has led him down this path.

“Years ago I was really into writing and design.” Maurer said “I really did not do much with it until about 10 years or so I started doing short films. I really enjoyed it I was really passionate about working with people and telling stories in a visual way,”

His passion and skill with visual storytelling intertwines with his work as a professor as he will often times have students work on projects with him outside of the classroom.

“I bring in elements of my writing so students can work with it. Students also often get the chance to intern of short films; Chip [Gubera] and I are involved in a film right now with students working on it,” Maurer said.

Maurer preaches the “Missouri Method” of trial by fire for his students. He enjoys having the ability to throw students directly into the pot of filmmaking due to his work outside of the classroom.

“It is one thing to sit in a room and read about being a director or read about doing light design, but if you throw someone into it, it is something totally different,” Maurer said.

Maurer’s two passions in life sometimes clash, though, as time management and loss of free time can become an issue.

“Because I enjoy the teaching process and designing a good class and being interactive with my students, I often have very little time to sit there and do something creative, that takes a lot of focus,” Maurer said. “I’ve got an almost two-year-old at home, there just is not a lot of extra time, not like there used to be.”

When Maurer wrote “In The Wake of Ire,” he was not teaching nearly as much as he currently does. Now, he has 150 students in all his classes and is now the director of undergraduate studies for the IT program.

“It is not like it interferes with it, it is just difficult for them to co-exist,” Maurer said about his two interests in life.

Maurer is currently back in the process of thinking and writing for the future. “The Wake of Ire” has been to nine festivals, winning six awards including best actor, best actress, best cinematography, critics choice award, programmers choice award, and Best American Spectrum Feature Film. Students should keep an eye out for a screening on campus which is in the works currently and will be announced soon.

Maurer has worked with Chip Gubera, an electrical engineering and computer science assistant professor for the MU College of Engineering. Maurer has been a cinematographer on films that Gubera has produced since they met.

“Brian is amazing to work with, he is hardworking, he is come in like gangbusters and done a lot for our program,” Gubera said. “He is very patient, he is firm and he has a way of explaining things to where people can learn.”

Edited by Morgan Smith |

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