Video is a delicate medium. Too much of any one element and it quickly goes to ruin. Linger a bit too long on a scene and the pacing loses an audience. If there’s too much colour without rhyme or reason, then the production looks cheap. If the cinematography isn’t tuned properly, the proper mood is lost. Indeed, video requires a lot of balance, but it’s a balance which Rosanna Peng has been able to use to her advantage.

Rosanna is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, USA. Her work consists of fashion films and documentaries, but she’s most interested in creative pieces and pushing the boundaries. While she started in the Vancouver, Canada, area, Rosanna has moved Toronto and then to Los Angeles to continue her work.

Rosanna is always looking to push the boundaries of what directing and editing can do, and she does this through her style. Rosanna’s style can be summed up as one that contrasts.

“Whether it’s a contrast in moods or a contrast in aesthetics, I like to balance dualities. I like to start off with something peaceful and then add something that delivers shock value just to mix up the mood. Just something a little unexpected is something I gravitate towards.”

“I [also] do different types of films that are bracketed between fashion films and short documentaries, and then a lot of branded content. What I like to do is to mix worlds –a beautifully art-directed fashion film mixed up with a beautifully branded content piece which is obviously a commercial, but [something where] the consumer can actually appreciate a high level of direction.”

Growing up in Coquitlam, Canada, Rosanna found it rather unstimulating. You see, Coquitlam is a suburb of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. With an area of 2,700 square kilometers, the GVRD is quite spread out. Unlike urban hubs like London, Tokyo, or Los Angeles, the population of GVRD is only about 2.5 million people, making all the space a bit lonely sometimes.

“I didn’t really give it a chance, per se, but it definitely wasn’t fulfilling for me from an environment perspective to grow my craft in.”

Soon after graduating from Emily Carr University in Vancouver where she studied design, Rosanna moved to Toronto where she worked in a few different roles. To her, Toronto was something that embraced the diversity that she felt was missing in her hometown. Describing it as a breath of fresh air, Rosanna felt that there was a niche for everyone to do their thing, and that it was a place where she felt the diversity in cultures. It was also in Toronto where she started to make more of a name for herself.

“When I moved to Toronto, I worked with an agency called Free Agency and they were the agency that did Canon Canada’s branded content. I did a whole bunch of their videos and it made a bit of a wave in Toronto and defined what beautiful branded content should be, so people reference those videos a lot; it’s quite versatile. I would say that whole project is what put me on the map.”

“Whether it’s a contrast in moods or a contrast in aesthetics, I like to balance dualities”

While working through Toronto, there was still her youthful dream that she had to pursue. When she was younger in Vancouver, she watched the Academy Awards in Hollywood and from then, she had the dream of winning an Academy Award for her editing or directing. In her mind, Los Angeles was the only place to do video, making it her dream and goal city to be in. This was one of the main driving forces to move her out of Toronto.

Now living in Los Angeles, Rosanna works alone but she admits this can be tough for her, though. Spending about almost a week per edit, Rosanna’s day-to-day includes working out in the morning, as well as adding something fun in the evenings to keep her sane. While she likes working on the freedom of being her own boss, she does miss the camaraderie and teamwork that a studio lends. Still, she doesn’t feel she can work at a studio anymore because she wants to be able to work with more and more different people – something that might be difficult in a studio setting.

What does the future have in store for Rosanna?

“I’m always re-establishing my goals every month or so because it’s scary for me to have a defined goal and then work towards it. The intermediate goal is to make more music videos.”

Some of the top artists that Rosanna wants to work with include Rihanna and Sampha. In addition, one of the things that Rosanna’s working towards is collaborating with others. In the past, she was focused more on the editing, meaning a lot of “me, myself, and I”, but she welcomes collaborators and is looking forward to it. Collaborators helps her get out of her own mind, rather than resorting to the same tricks that she may have used in the past.

To keep up with Rosanna, follow her Instagram @rosizzle or check out her website www.rosannapeng.com