Stephen (Steve) Sorenson on “The Extraterrestrial Highway”

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson, Alaska

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson graduated from the army film school that was then at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. (1969 for Still Photography & 1972 for Motion Picture.)

Afterward, Steve served as a motion-picture cameraman and still photographer in the United States Army Signal Corps. Some of his most notable military photography assignments were:

1)1969~71 Oakdale, PA. Provided photographic support for the army reserves and the ROTC in the Pittsburgh area.

2) 1971~72 Documenting the armistice meetings in Panmunjom Korea while being stared down by North Korean soldiers.

3) 1977~78 Still and motion-picture documentation of army weapons, explosives, equipment, and soldier testing at sub-zero temperatures under the beautiful Aurora Borealis at the Cold Regions Test Center, Fort Greely, Alaska without losing any ears, fingers, or toes.

4) 1972~77 & 1985~87 Making and editing 16mm medical training film productions to include film documentation of new surgical procedures and forensic autopsy cases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC. Additionally, motion picture documentation of preventive and protective procedures of chemical and biological exposure at Ft. Detrick, Maryland without contracting any ugly or nasty micro bugs or any weird zombie-like contagious pathogens.

5) 1978~82 Instructed Army, Air Force, and Marine students the science and craft of motion-picture photography, film editing, sound recording, sound element mixing, lighting ratios/design as well as scene blocking and action/dialog directing at the Lowry AFB, Denver, CO. while maintaining his army decorum.

Now living in scenic Overton, Nevada. A one gas station quiet rural town in a valley between some mesas near the north side of Lake Mead, 75 mins from the action in Las Vegas, and 130 minutes from the UFOs and them aliens in Area 51. Currently, Steve enjoys terrain photography, screenwriting, and playing low limit poker in Las Vegas.

Photography now for Steve, is the joy of capturing the beauty of nature. Shooting animals with one of his cameras is Steve’s way of hunting. Sunrises give him the excuse of crawling out of bed, and off he goes with a camera.

The living colors of growth and shapes of terrain diversity seem to beg to be photographed. It is an endless pursuit to find the perfect picture that he knows will take many lifetimes to find. Yet, the discoveries made along the way are the motivating currency he needs to continue onward.

NY Elite: Congratulations on being an ISC finalist. What does it mean for your work to be selected at the International Screenwriting Competition in New York?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: I feel this is a high achievement and a stepping stone of moving forward in filmmaking.

NY Elite: Can you tell us about the work that you participated with at ISC? What is the story about?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: A Nevadan Paiute Indian and her female drinking buddy from twelve-light-years away will neutralize the electricity on earth unless all nuclear weapons are immediately disassembled and buried.

The USA and Russia are standing toe to toe, staring eye to eye, and ready to exchange thousands of nukes. These two Super Powers did not count on a Nevadan Paiute Indian and her female drinking buddy to spoil their life-ending nuclear plans.

The extraterrestrial is rumored to be Klaatu’s granddaughter, she is a quarter-human who is bored with the simple task that the leader of her home planet has assigned her. Instead, she wants peace on Earth now and done her way.

In the climatic conclusion, she lands her flying saucer on a Las Vegas Strip intersection… What happens next — does NOT stay in Vegas.

NY Elite: Can you tell us yourself and your artistic talents?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: I learn filmmaking in film school and on the job in various assignments. To further my filmmaking skills, I learn screenwriting on my own and from classes at UNLV in Vegas. Also, from Professor Richard Walter’s visit to UNLV from UCLA.

NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: Springtime in Alaska, Firedancer, and The Extraterrestrial Highway. I wrote other scripts that I discarded because I consided those the learning curve.

NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: Instructing Army, Airforce, and Marine students the science and craft of filmmaking in gathering footage for: Historical Record, Investigated, Intelligents, Training, and Combat coverage. Film coverage of army weapons, equipment, and soldiers in sub-zero temperatures at the Cold Regions Test Center in Ft. Greely, Alaska. Making medical traing films at the Walter Reed Aemy Institue of Research. Also, the stare downs with North Korean soldiers helped me to become a better poker player.

NY Elite: What type of scripts do you want to write in your career?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: I want to write stories that will make the audience drip tears into their popcorn, spill their drinks while laughing their heads off, to SCREAM at the screen, and run to the lobby until their courage is regained to return to their seats.

I want action that moves their emotions.

NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: Show and DON’T tell me the character’s conflicts, huddles, etc. DON’T tell me their feelings, but SHOW me their struggles.

NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: The prequel to the Extraterrestrial Highway titled FIREDANCER (currently in final rewrite) about an army Lieutenant who resigns her commission to become a pro poker player because she thinks that will be safer than combat but when she wins all the money from a psycho she is back in a bloody battle to save her life.

This is the same woman, Dakoda, who stars along with her drinking buddy Carol in the Extraterrestrial Highway. In Firedancer, Dakoda’s trial and tribulations of her hand-to-hand combat with the enemy earns her the Purple Heart Award for combat wounds and the Silver Star Award for Heroism in combat. Ofcourse, mother nature awards her the brain scars of PTSD.

NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: Meet me at the poker table.

NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking/writing?

Stephen (Steve) Sorenson: First, learn to tell a story in pictures without using sound. Second, learn to tell a story using sound only. Mastering these two disciplines will more than satisfy the movie going audience and place you miles ahead of your competition. To further your skills learn the layers of the sound elements. Room tone, foley effects, music. Learn that music must fit the action to enhance emotion or mood.

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