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Life & Work with Rosemarie Kwong

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rosemarie Kwong.

Hi Rosemarie, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I had an interest in media ever since being a photographer in yearbook class, as well as an editor for the weekly news videos for my middle school back in 8th grade. My tech-savvy dad encouraged me to lean into this hobby by downloading editing software programs for me, such as Camtasia and Pinnacle Studios. He also constantly encouraged me to watch movies all the time and introduced me to YouTube at a young age. When I got to high school, I took film classes from sophomore to senior year. These classes are what formed the foundation of my passion. When I was 14, I DP’d my first ever film for film class, and it completely intrigued me. After that, I knew I wanted to pursue cinematography. For the rest of high school, I focused on shooting as much as possible and managed to get a few of the films I DP’d into the student section of film festivals such as the Newport Beach Film Festival, Burbank International Film Festival, and Calabasas Film Festival. After high school, I attended UCR and worked for University Communications as a student employee doing video/editing work for UCR’s official social media pages. This job is what cultivated my growth the most. I managed to make a few short films/personal projects on the side. I also spent a lot of time in college practicing photography. After graduating UCR, I got a job at FOX Sports San Diego as a Post-Production PA, which I began training for and preparing to move to San Diego. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, my job was suspended. I ended up moving back home to the San Fernando Valley and went straight into freelance, which is where I am now. Having focused on mainly music video and commercial work, I think I have found my niche.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. I have my mix of challenges, fears, failures, and victories. One of the biggest things I have always struggled with and am still working on today is self-doubt. It’s easy to compare myself to others in terms of skill and feel like I’m not good enough. However, I also believe that it’s important to be proud of how far you’ve come each year especially when looking back at your older projects. In 2020, I had to deal with the reality of COVID-19 suspending the job I worked so hard to get. However, weirdly enough, I don’t feel as bad anymore because getting to move back to LA to work on freelance projects has helped me to grow in cinematography/editing tremendously. I don’t know if I would have learned as much as I learned if the former happened.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in cinematography (DP work) and editing, although sometimes I also direct my own personal projects. I shoot/edit/direct commercial content, fashion content, music videos, documentary-style series, and films when I get the chance. I am most proud of the commercial I did for Ignite because it was the only time I singlehandedly directed, shot, and edited a project in one day when the turnover was the same day as the shoot. To be honest, I really didn’t think I could do it. But I ended up staying up until 5am editing and turned it in on time to be played on the screens at a club in Shanghai over the weekend. I believe what sets me apart from others is my ability to take a project from start to finish by myself on a low budget. Knowing what goes on in the editing process helped altered the way I shoot and taught me how to think ahead and plan more carefully. I feel like I’m just beginning my journey. Since I usually shoot clients that may not have a bigger budget, it taught me how to be resourceful and turn a video that costs $0 into a project that looks a lot more expensive. Learning photography on the side taught me how to direct and communicate with my subjects. Filmmaking is honestly about making magic.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
What I like best about Los Angeles is the opportunities, vibrance, and energy. I love being there because I’m surrounded by creatives; not only filmmakers but music artists, studio artists, actors, models, etc. It’s so much easier to find people to collaborate with. What I like least about Los Angeles is the parking.

Pricing:

  • Videography is $150/hr
  • Photography is $100/hr
  • Editing is $50/hr

Contact Info:

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