Date: July 1, 2007
About: Lon Moeller II - Class of 1993
Quincy Grad Hits Big Time in L.A.
By Betty Anders
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Lon D. Moeller II has learned two important lessons on his way to success: It's good to learn a business from the ground up and don't be discouraged at being given a common job.
It's the common jobs that often enable workers to meet people who can help them network.
Moeller has spent seven years pursuing his dream of working in the show business industry, and it has panned out nicely. He recently was honored for his work creating promotion and marketing spots for the CW Network.
Moeller received seven Promax Awards at a ceremony June 15 in New York City. Five of the spots were written, produced and edited by Moeller for the CW television network; two were edited by him for the WB network.
Promax recognizes excellence in the international promotion and marketing area of the entertainment industry.
Moeller is a 1993 graduate of Quincy Senior High School. Although he went on to graduate from the University of Missouri-Columbia, he floundered a bit during those years trying to find a major for which he had passion. When he was nearly finished with a degree in hotel and restaurant management, it hit him. What he truly enjoyed was a good movie.
"My parents loved movies; I grew up loving movies. I thought 'I want to work in that industry somehow,' " Moeller said.
He convinced his parents to send him to a 12-week summer course at the New York Film Academy, where everyone in attendance ate, slept and breathed film.
"We had class all day and wrote and edited all night. We participated in rotations so we had experience in every job — directing, camera work, lighting, screening, writing, editing," Moeller said. "Going back to Mizzou to finish my degree was hard after that summer."
College friends convinced Moeller that people who were serious about this business had to be in Los Angeles, so he left for the coast. His first job was at Hollywood Video, a job he always wanted to have while in Quincy.
"I moved up to manager. I met a customer who was a director for music videos who knew people," Moeller said.
His first actual film industry job was as a runner.
"They needed a guy to make up gift boxes for his clients. I put them together, spray painted the designs on them and delivered them. It was about a two-week job," Moeller said.
Then Moeller was promoted to the "vault," where he labeled, categorized, logged and encoded tapes. He was considered for an assistant editor but lost the position to a man from Peoria.
"I decided to leave that company," Moeller said. "Before I left, the guy from Peoria advised me to take an editing course offered in Burbank. I took the course, then two months later, he called me and offered me a job as assistant editor."
Assistant editors do maintenance, organization, technical troubleshooting and much more. Moeller gained valuable knowledge in that job, which he did for two years.
He made his way to full editor with Harley's House, a production company specializing in trailers. There, Moeller contributed to trailers for productions such as "Blackhawk Down," "Tears of the Sun" and "Spiderman."
"Harley's House was growing, but in this business, people tend to keep you in the place for which you were hired. I knew I must change," he said.
"A friend of a friend got me to an interview at WB Kids, from which I was given a two week trial."
It worked out and Moeller stayed, learning yet another dimension of the business.
"Animation is a different beast, but stuff I do now is because of what I did then," he said.
Moeller was at WB Kids for 1 1/2 years when the network began downsizing. So he switched to the WB network, hired largely for his work on a "Smallville" spot.
"Then the merger of UPN and WB made everyone wonder about their future. My creative work from WB kept my job for me," Moeller said.
"I became staff with my own [editing] bay, my own show for the season, 'Supernatural.' I did the launch spots."
Moeller explained that producers are the people who make the choices and editors bring the style and look to the program. A person who does both is a "predator." That is what Moeller has become.
Moeller hears about young professionals who quickly make the leap to editor, and he thinks it's great, but he believes his progression through the business suited him better.
His promotional spots are getting attention from influential people in the business, and Moeller is happy to be in a position that allows him to exercise his own creativity.
He recently heard from Eric Kripke, creator of "Supernatural."
"That's about as cool as it gets," said Moeller with a big smile.