Student Snapshot – Dom Riley

Dom Riley
MFA Class of 2023

Introduce yourself briefly and tell me a little bit about your background. Are you an MFA or BFA?
Hi! I’m Dom, an MFA 2 Screenwriting student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I graduated from Louisiana State with a double major in Creative Writing and Psychology, a minor in Film, and an ever-strong love for storytelling in visual mediums.

Who is your favorite Filmmaker and What is your favorite movie?
My favorite film is Into the Spiderverse, and my favorite filmmaker is Barry Jenkins.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a one-hour horror pilot about a black neighborhood terrorized by an ice-cream man turned Pied Piper. Think: Hood IT or Roll Bounce meets The Candyman.

What does your typical day look like?
I spend the first half of the day in class or running errands. Then the second half is spent working on projects (writing, rewriting, or planning). I stretch and detox from all that screentime in the evening, then do it all again the next day!

What has been the best part of film school so far?
Meeting people who have similar levels of passion as me. There’s something inspiring and motivating to see other people go after their goals just as fiercely as I do.

Which faculty member has made the greatest impression on you and how?
SO many in SO many great ways. If I had to choose one, it would be Kyle. As an aspiring TV writer, having classes with a professional TV writer is such a blessing and I’ve learned so much about the industry and how a real writer’s room works from him.

What do you think someone applying to the program should know about the FSU Film School?
It takes no prisoners. Self-Care is a requirement, not an after thought. You’re going to learn so much during your time here that it forces you to learn how to be intentional with self-maintenance. Learning how to weather storms here really prepares you for tackling life with a lot more resillience.

Favorite Film School Moment?
We once filmed at a church and communicated all of our needs like a church choir singing hymns.

It’s late, you’re at the Film School working on something you need to finish before tomorrow: where are you and who are you with?
I’m 100% hiding in the writer’s room with other writers from my cohort. There may be a few tangents to watch RuPaul along the way.