Alumnus Applies Business Savvy, Creativity towards Successful Film Career
"I love working on projects that push boundaries and tell unique stories..." said Moran.
June 21, 2012
When Northwood University Florida Alumnus Roger Moran first embraced his love of story-telling through film production while back at his home town of Paterson, New Jersey, he knew he needed to learn the business end of the art.
So when he learned of the Northwood University (NU) Entertainment, Sport and Promotion Management (ESPM) and Marketing curriculums, he knew he was one step closer to gaining the skills necessary to launch a movie production business. Born with the desire to make a difference via the silver screen, the budding producer practiced his craft along with his childhood friend and now business partner Andres Sivori.
He recently reflected why he is drawn to the art. "If you can make your audience feel and think, then you're doing your job. This goes for any type of genre, whether it's a comedy or a drama. I love working on projects that push boundaries and tell unique stories. There are many films being produced each year and if you're not original, you will never stand out."
And so far Moran's plan has paid off. After graduating from NU in 2008, he and Sivori founded Mind/View Films and have already released five short films.
Already well recognized in New York and Los Angeles, the two have become widely known for their 2011 release of The Confession which premiered at the Tulsa International Film Festival and received nominations for best short film at many festivals across the United States. "The Idea for The Confession came from Andres who wrote and directed the dramatic comedy shot back in 2009. It is about a young Catholic Spanish boy from the heart of New Jersey who goes through life every single day holding on to a secret he cannot reveal to anyone. Finally wanting to reveal it, he goes to confession to ask a priest the best way of going about it. The film tackles important themes like faith and innocence. The boy questions love, religion, and what's right from wrong. ""This was a special story and I'm glad many viewers enjoyed it. We felt really lucky to have the film screened at major festivals in New York, Tulsa, Orlando, and many other cities," said Moran.
Now using his business management, finance and negotiating skills on a daily basis, Moran credits NU for providing him with the tools necessary to make his artistic visions become a reality. "Northwood University has always stressed the importance of healthy partnerships, sponsorships and investments, so I was fortunate to gain experience in these areas. For our new film Electric City, we decided to create an online campaign and partnered up with SmallCanBeBig, a non-profit organization based out of Boston which helps families that are on the brink of foreclosure and eviction. "This campaign helped us create awareness for the film but most importantly helped a family in need. We felt it was just the right thing to do because of the subject matter," said Moran of the piece which takes place in 1993 in Schenectady, NY and is about a thirteen-year-old boy fighting to keep his family intact, when they receive a final eviction notice.
"As an independent producer, I have to be able to communicate and pitch ideas. I have to be confident and passionate about the product and the idea. Northwood provided me with the experience of communicating to both large groups and individuals, and it also helped me to gain assurance. All of those countless class presentations allowed me to work on building my confidence level which is another big reason why I am where I am today," he laughed.
"As a modern entrepreneur who understands that he is the head marketer of his own brand, Roger has utilized and put into action all of the tools he gained while at Northwood University. By putting his business and marketing competencies into action and combining them with his passion for story-telling, he has gained success in a most competitive industry," said Dr. Dennis Bechtol, Chair of Northwood's ESPM program.
And Palm Beach County was once again recently on Moran's location list, as he and Sivori's latest release, Croquembouche premiered at the Palm Beach County Film Festival this past Spring. "The film takes place in 1948 and it's about Marion, who is stuck in a lifeless marriage and is hosting a private dinner for four with her husband. In the story we find out that one of the guests turns out to be a woman she had an affair with during the Second World War. Andres and I co-produced this film with the American Film Institute, which is now ranked #1 film school in the world. I became involved with this film because of the powerful story it entails and it's relevancy to today's society. We definitely had a great time on this production and felt really lucky to have been mentored by Kevin Jones (former VP of Production for Columbia Pictures and Paramount). The film is currently on its festival run, it premiered at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, then played at the Boston LGBT Film Festival and will be playing next at the Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles," said Moran.
Soon to assist with the Northwood University Los Angeles Alumni Chapter, Moran graduated from Northwood University Florida with a BBA in Marketing/Management and an AA in Sports and Entertainment Management. He teamed up with childhood friend Sivori, to create Mind/View Films in 2008 to develop Independent Feature Films and work with many creative filmmakers in the New York area. Since the inception of the company, he has produced five short films and is currently in pre-production for the feature film Electric City, which will be directed by Nick DeRuve. Also serving as the Project Coordinator at D&E Entertainment, Moran is overseeing distribution for documentaries regarding the Re:Generation Music Project (sponsored by the Grammys), the highly controversial film about Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, I am Bruce Lee (Spike TV), and the rerelease of the 1968 animated film The Beatles: Yellow Submarine (Apple Corps, EMI).
Based in Los Angeles and New York, Mind/View Films is dedicated to creating a strong impact in the ever-evolving American film-making industry, by ultimately providing feature and documentary films that will gain commercial and artistic attention to distributors and audiences across the world