Mia Moss, 18, is the youngest member of the Running Wild team, and in most ways she’s far beyond where any of the team was at her age. Recently, Mia chronicled the Behind the Scenes material during the filming of Duel at the Mound. She has just graduated high school and has a tremendous future ahead – and she’s not wasting any time on her way. I’ve interviewed her recently about where she has been and – more importantly – where she is going.
What’s your educational background /or Film training?
I don’t really have an educational background for film. I used to act and model when I was younger so I had a general idea of what went down on a set. I read a lot, I remember going to the library in the middle of my Junior year and just checking out a giant stack of filmmaking books. This was right after my first PA job where I realized just how much I loved production and wanted to know everything. If you count watching all the special features on my favorite movies (I’ve got lots) as educational then there you go. Being able to work with Running Wild has definitely been where I learned most of what I know. Travis has always been great about showing me the ropes and how to improve. RW has been a big source of inspiration as well.
We’ve heard first meets / impressions of Travis can be interesting… Tell me yours.
Ok well I didn’t get to really introduce myself to Travis. I had emailed him about helping out with any project to gain experience. He said he was down for that so he asked me to come out and help film the destruction derby he was in. I was a little intrigued by the fact that he handed me a camera on my first job with him but in all honesty I had a lot of fun. Travis comes off as someone who won’t take any crap but I think that’s a necesessity. People take him seriously and if you can take criticism (or teasing), in the end he has a lot that he can teach you.
What’s your first and / favorite film credit?
My first film credit was for a PA job on a student film. This was one of my favorites because it was the moment that I decided to just go for it. We were filming a restauraunt scene and it was particularly comical so the whole set was doing their best not to laugh. I just remember being so in awe watching the whole setup process and the camera work all to get this one scene and when the actors began to pull some great performances everyone was just grinning. It sounds cheesy but seeing it come to life was one of the best feelings. Those moments and the sense of camaraderie on set are what really got me.
Was there a particular movie or artist that inspired you to become a filmmaker?
There are tons of movies. I want to expand my film knowledge because I’m unfamiliar with so many directors. But I grew up watching a lot of Scorsese, Hughes, and Spielberg of course. However, Quentin Tarantino movies really caught my interest. I just really like his style and his unconventional approach. I’m also really attracted to movies that involve a child protagonist. I like movies like Hick and Winter’s Bone that are very honest in the way that they are written and portrayed. Theres something intriguing about someone so innocent as a child forced to overcome major obstacles, especially realistic ones.
A lot has happened for you lately – turning 18, graduating high school, shooting several films – how do you feel about everything going on lately in your life?
Most of its been really exciting, a little overwhelming but exciting. I feel like its all gone very fast but I also feel just so lucky that I’ve been able to learn as much as I did during my senior year. I’m ready to keep going of course and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. I’ve got a couple of projects coming up to look forward to but I’ll definitely miss the comfort of high school.
How do you Run Wild?
I don’t think I’m at that level (haha)!
What do you do when not making films?
I work and do normal things I guess. I like to play guitar and write, I write a lot. But generally I enjoy being around the people I love in my life.
Who is your biggest supporter? Tell me about them.
My family is behind me 100 percent. I’m extremely thankful for all of their support. I was initially a little surprised that they were okay with my pursuit of something so unstable but I really worked hard to show them that I was serious and willing to put in any effort needed. Now they talk me up and show my films all the time (which can be quite embarrassing) but I honestly do appreciate it. It’s great to know that my family members are not only my number one fans but my biggest source of support.
Where will you be in five years?
Hopefully making more films. I want to be able to have started plans for a bigger project by that point but I would love to be able to travel all over and just learn different styles of filmmaking. I would just be happy to still be working and writing.
What’s your most proud moment to date?
My most proud moment was during production of the first movie I ever made. I had gone to the media department in my school and handed the teacher my script (I wasn’t in his class so it was a little weird) but he liked it and set me up with one of his students who was absolutely wonderful. I got out of several periods during school to “work on a project” when really I was just planning with him. We got a couple kids from the theatre department and rehearsed a bit and finally spend a whole weekend filming it. I had been anticipating this for a long time but I did not anticipate just how much I would enjoy it. It was the coolest feeling seeing these characters come to life and hear the actors discuss motives I hadn’t even thought of for their characters. I was pretty giddy but had a lot of fun, we even made and smashed fake glass. One of the days we filmed was my 17th birthday but I didn’t care, I was just so proud of all of us because we really put a lot of thought and work into the short.
How do you see your role with Running Wild Films?
I don’t really know, I’ve helped out where help was needed I was able to direct recently for one of the shorts which was really neat. I guess I’ll just have to see where things go, I would love to continue to work with them.
What is upcoming for you?
I just got a crew job on a feature called “There and Back.” It’s a road-trip movie so we’re going to be traveling around Arizona for around 28 days filming. I’m really excited about it because its a small crew and I’m going to be working closely with the DP and sound. Also I want to fit a couple shorts into the rest of the summer before the fall semester of school starts.
Who has been most influential in your career?
There are so many things that influence me. I would say Travis definitely and Running Wild have had a major influence and has inspired me to work harder. Music is a big influence because listening to it inspires stories. Everyone I’ve ever worked with, all the interviews I’ve watched, the books I’ve read. I think about those things a lot. Like I said, I don’t know much and haven’t really skimmed the surface in terms of things to learn. An honest answer would be that most of my influence just comes from everyday things and people.