ABOVE: REED MORANO (CENTER) WITH JUNO TEMPLE (LEFT) AND OLIVIA WILDE. PHOTO COURTESY OF PATRICK MCMULLAN.
At 38 and with a slew of indies including Frozen River, Kill Your Darlings, and The Skeleton Twins on her résumé, Reed Morano is one of the youngest and most promising members of the American Society of Cinematographers. She is also among the ASC’s few female members: One of 14 out of almost 350.
Recently, however, Morano has turned her talents to writing and directing. Last week, her debut feature Meadowland screened at the Savannah Film Festival presented by SCAD. Starring Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson as a couple whose only son has gone missing, Morano’s directorial Meadowland is a devastating study of the loneliness of grief.
ANDY WARHOL: What did you eat for breakfast?
REED MORANO: A bagel with extra cream cheese and tomato.
WARHOL: What was your first job?
MORANO: I started a business with my cousins in Fire Island called “Wagoneers.” Since there are no cars on the island, we would hustle people at the ferry docks to bring their luggage to their houses in our wagons for a large fee.
WARHOL: How were you discovered?
MORANO: I don’t think I’ve been discovered yet.
WARHOL: Who was the nicest person you worked for?
MORANO: At the risk of insulting everyone else I’ve worked for, I would have to say my producer on Meadowland, Olivia Wilde. She trusts me and believes in me and that enables me to do my best work.
WARHOL: What are you working on now?
MORANO: I’m prepping my next film, a true story about a female marine in Afghanistan called Lioness starring Ellen Page.
WARHOL: Is there anything you regret not doing?
MORANO: In my 20s, I was too shy to reach out to successful DPs and directors for an internship or to shadow them. I see young people nowadays doing that all the time. I think that experience would have been cool.
WARHOL: What’s your favorite movie?
MORANO: Woah. I could never choose only one so can I say 11 off the top of my head? The Professional, The Shining, Punch Drunk Love, The Passenger, True Romance, Requiem for a Dream, Paris, Texas, Goodfellas, Night of the Hunter, A Woman Under the Influence, The Ice Storm and of course there are many more…
WARHOL: When do you get nervous?
MORANO: Whenever I’m in front of a camera.
WARHOL: Have you ever been to the White House?
MORANO: Nope, but I stood outside of it on a field trip in sixth grade.
WARHOL: What do you think about love?
MORANO: It’s what it’s all about.
WARHOL: Do you dream?
MORANO: My dreams are like fuzzy Charlie Kaufman movies, so I love going to sleep.
WARHOL: What are you reading?
MORANO: Like five different scripts. And some comics.
WARHOL: Do you feel frustrated with the way things are now between men and women?
MORANO: No, but I’ve also been lucky enough to have many of my biggest supporters in the industry be men. I know it’s not the same for everyone but I believe that dynamic is changing.
WARHOL: What do you think about American kids?
MORANO: They are very ambitious, which is wonderful, but I think they also need to recognize how important perseverance is and that success for the majority is not an overnight thing. It’s what you make of your whole life and that’s a long journey.
WARHOL: Do you get depressed if you don’t work?
MORANO: Yes, I definitely do. Although, I can recognize I work too much. My biggest wish is that I would have more time with my husband and my boys.
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