"I love that there's no traffic here," Schain says. "I'm not much of an outdoorsman which I know draws a lot of people to Utah. But one of the things that is great is there's no traffic."
He stopped for a moment and added, "I moved here from L.A. so I guess there's no traffic relatively speaking. It's an easy place to get around. And the people are just so nice. I really love it here."
A compliment is a compliment.
And while his take on Utah isn't what makes him special, even though his name is famous among those in the film industry, Schain doesn't get recognized in grocery stores. He can go about his day-to-day business, even though he is much connected to the Disney juggernaut High School Musical and soon-to-be-released High School Musical 2.
"I'm a producer so I'm definitely behind the scenes of the projects I work on," Schain says. "My job is to put together a winning team to get the best possible results for the project."
If Schain's job is to put together a winning team, the Emmy Award winner produced the Indianapolis Colts of musicals.
And leading the way for Schain was numerous local anchored by Kenny Ortega, the award-winning genius choreographer who created the highly successful Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
"I knew what Utah had to offer in its pool of talented dancers and actors with the perfect locations for shooting the film would make for a successful start," Schain says. "Then by adding Kenny (Ortega) I knew we were in good shape."
In good shape was right. The original High School Musical produced staggering numbers with nearly 8 million viewers when it premiered in the U.S. in January 2006 and another 900,000 in its Disney UK premiere. The soundtrack was the best selling CD of 2006. It also garnered several awards including two Emmy Awards for Schain.
"I don't think anyone could have imagined what would have happened with the first High School Musical movie," Schain said. "The way it has become so popular and this pop culture phenomenon is really exciting."
For parents, High School Musical was a godsend and High School Musical 2 can't come out soon enough.
"High School Musical is wonderful because it's wholesome, clean, and has such fun songs," says Jennifer Talbert of Sandy. "It's one of those movies you can be watching with your children and then if you need to leave the room you can do so without worrying about that one scene or what might be coming."
"I love it because of the dancing," says her daughter, Maggie, 10. "I know all of the songs and dances."
"She does, believe me," Jennifer says.
Jennifer's only complaint? If High School Musical is on, the TV is on and the songs are being sung louder by the kids than the show. But that's not so bad, really."
And the High School Musical franchise is as much Utah as the Donny & Marie Show. Filmed on location in St. George and Salt Lake City at East High School.
As for its success, Ortega believes no one need seek any further than its producer.
"Don Schain is a director's producer all the way," Ortega says. "He is one of the most conscientious producers I've yet to work with. When you work with Don the money ends up on the screen and when you are working with a television budget this is crucial. He supports the creative process and the needs of the director from pre-production through principal photography."
Ortega explained that Schain worked tirelessly to find the perfect rehearsal facility where Ortega could use his talents in creating the dancing sequences for movies.
"This enabled multiple rehearsals to coincide with me being able to supervise them," Ortega said. "Without this kind of support the film would not have had the high level of production it enjoys. Don has a devout and loyal design and technical family that have so served both of our films. Don realizes the value of creating a warm and enjoyable working environment." Another important aspect of Schain's success is his ability to work with children, something other producers don't always enjoy.
"We have many children involved with High School Musical." Ortega says. "Don has created a set that also serves their family members. His career experience as a director, writer and producer has been invaluable for all of us. I love him as a producer, a man and creative partner."
Schain's contribution to the Utah film industry stretches far beyond his ability to produce great films. As the current president of the Motion Picture Association of Utah, Schain has worked closely with Gov. Jon Huntsman on bringing more film making to Utah.
"Governor Huntsman has been a big help in moving the film incentive program forward," Schain says. "This incentive program the legislature and Governor are supporting will help bring more movie making to Utah."
Be that as it may, it still starts with Schain, whose vision for the future of film making is similar to the vision he had for the original High School Musical.
"Utah is just a great place to make movies, and I'm excited to be part of the growth in that area for the state."
And now that the release of High School Musical 2 gets closer, Schain admits to feeling excited and, yes, a bit nervous.
Now with its millions of fans waiting anxiously for the release of its follow-up, the anxiety of its success is not lost on Schain.
"With the first High School Musical we knew we had a good script and good music and dancing, but when we were done filming and editing it was 'well that was nice, let's see what happens.'
"Now the pressure is on," Schain says. "We're all feeling the pressure. We all feel very good about the production as a whole. We all feel the sequel will blow the first one out of the water, but we have to now sit back and wait to see what the audiences think because they're our ultimate critics."