Riley Moran: Young Filmmaker

Kennedy Gonzalez, Riley Moran and Isabella Philipidis at the Gasparilla  International Film Festival Photo Credit: Sydney Burns

Kennedy Gonzalez, Riley Moran and Isabella Philipidis at the Gasparilla International Film Festival
Photo Credit: Sydney Burns

I’m not sure how most 13 year olds spend their days, but I am certain that most of them are not making movies. However, when Riley Moran was assigned a book report for her middle school project, she decided to make the most of it. Instead of writing a book report, Riley produced a film! Not only did her film serve as a substitute for a school assignment, it ended up being screened at the Gasparilla International Film Festival!  Just how did that happen? Let’s find out:

TTN:  Riley, you are in 8th grade and only 13 years old, how did you wind up making a film?

RILEY:  We started a school project assignment. Instead of a book report we made a film. It was related to Alice In Wonderland, the Lewis Carroll novel. I made the project with two other friends, Isabella Philipidis and Kennedy Gonzalez. The three of us were director/editor/executive producer, but it included 14 kids altogether. We credited anyone who helped out at all. We had a friend help make props, people worked on the crew and that sort of thing.

TTN:  What was the name of the film, and what was it about?

RILEY:  The film is titled “The Other Side of the Door.” It is about a girl who is reading Alice in Wonderland, and you can see her visualizing the novel and Alice. Alice takes the book from her, then the girl who is reading the novel goes into Wonderland.

What did you use to make the film?

RILEY: I used my camera a Nikon D5100, a MacBook and iMovie.

TTN:  Have you made films before this? 

RILEY: I have made films before, but just for fun. I wrap my friends up into doing them. This is my fourth film.

TTN:  How would you describe the process of filmmaking?

RILEY:  Very humbling, I don’t think I will ever complain on a film set, it is definitely not easy. But then, seeing the project on the big screen was incredible!

TTN:  Do you appear in the film?

RILEY:  Yes, I appear as the Queen of Hearts (giggles).

 TTN:  How did your film get entered into the film festival?

RILEY:  My friend Kennedy helped with the project. We are technically too young for the film contest, but I’ve been waiting to enter. It turns out that Kennedy’s aunt was on the board of the film festival and sort of snuck us in. She didn’t think it would go anywhere, she just thought it would be fun to say that we entered it into a contest, but we ended up making the cut! The film was entered into “family films” under the youth program, for high school ages.

TTN:  That’s fantastic! What was it like at the film festival?

RILEY:  There was a premiere of our film and we got to invite our friends and family. There was a Q and A at the end. I also got to attend workshops they have for filmmakers and attend other movie premieres, which was a lot of fun.

TTN:  What are your goals for the future?

RILEY:  I love story telling! I just love anything that tells a story so I love to write and read, and I still love acting. Anything in the business I love. If I could, I would do a project about time, anything related to time fascinates me. Of course, I would need a budget of more than zero! I want to go to film school when I am older. Either USC or FSU in Florida.

Photo Credit: Kaylyn Ferguson

Photo Credit: Kaylyn Ferguson

Click here to learn more about Riley:

You can contact Riley here:



Leave a Reply