Local filmmaker makes big-screen debut

Local filmmaker makes big-screen debut
Local Dylan Anthony Moran readies for his writing, acting and directing debut of “Get Big.” Courtesy photo

RANCHO SANTA FE — A new coming-of-age comedy by a local filmmaker is scheduled to debut at select AMC Independent theaters starting Sept. 1. USC Film alum Dylan Anthony Moran wrote, directed and is one of the featured actors in “Get Big.”

Raised in Escondido, Moran, 24, now splits his time living in both Los Angeles and with his family in Rancho Santa Fe. Moran admits while in college, he set his sights on graduating and making a movie right away.

“I was desperately trying to get a screenplay finished while I was in college,” he said, adding that it didn’t feel authentic.

His initial direction of a film with action-packed car chases took a different turn. 

“It just didn’t feel real,” he said. “I remember going home one summer from college, and I was watching the movie ‘Clerks,’ and it’s just a really simple movie about a day in this guy’s life working in a convenience store. It was really entertaining.”

Then it clicked. Moran had the realization that his first movie should be simpler and more in line with his budget. “Get Big” cost $250,000 to produce and was filmed in 14 days on location in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to write about what my day-to-day life was like,” Moran said. “During that summer, it was about spending a lot of time with my high school friends and the guys that I grew up with.”

And that’s how it all started.

The screening had a mixed demographic, attendees ranged in age from 20s through 50s. According to Moran, everyone seemed to have the same response.

“It reminded them of what it was like to be 19 years old again, and just spending time with your friends,” he said. “It brought back a lot of memories for them.”

Moran’s father, Anthony, who is a resident of Rancho Santa Fe, shared that his son had the rare gift of knowing what he wanted to do since he was a young child.

“Dylan has worked hard and will find a way to tell his stories,” he said. “I am impressed with his movie. It is really difficult to create a quality feature-length film on a micro-budget.”

Moran credits the people he worked with, such as his actors and producer David Rudd, for accomplishing what they did with what little they had. He also said that anyone who watches “Get Big “wouldn’t even know it was a micro budget film — it looks that great.

“We didn’t have much to work with, but I think we made the most out of what we had,” Moran said. “I really do.”

“Get Big” is the story of best friends Alec and Nate, played by Tanner Stine and Moran respectively. 

“The movie is about them reconnecting after they haven’t seen each other for a long time because the main character, Nate, went off to college,” Moran said. “It’s about them reconnecting on this one day, and going to the wedding of an estranged friend of theirs that they went to high school with.” 

While “Get Big” is a comedy at heart, it’s also peppered with some dramatic moments.

“The movie is a chance for people to see something that’s really fresh,” said Moran, adding that the actors are very talented. “I think that a lot of them are going to be pretty famous one day.”

For more information on which AMC Independent theatres in Southern California will be releasing “Get Big” in September, visit www.GetBigMovie.com.

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