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Meet Jih-E Peng

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jih-E Peng.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jih-E. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started in the film industry roughly ten years ago, having transitioned from photography as an assistant. I was lucky enough that I got to work as an electrician, which gave me the ability to learn continuous lighting and watch other DPs at work. While shooting a spate of low budget short films, I was given the opportunity to attend the American Film Institute’s MFA program in cinematography, which I was thrilled to do. Since then, I’ve shot a variety of films (features and shorts), documentaries, music videos, and commercials.

Has it been a smooth road?
Freelancing is never a smooth road, unfortunately! Many of the lessons I’ve learned – whether about the craft, the industry, or myself – were hard-won. I think the biggest struggle was – and continues to be – learning how to focus on my journey alone in my career.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I think what I’m probably most proud of as a cinematographer is a piece that one of my best friends and strongest collaborators, Guy Pooles, and I made together. It’s a short film called THE LIGHT AND THE LITTLE GIRL and the entire process of making the film was wonderful and challenging in the best ways. I’m always interested in telling stories that have emotional truth to them, and both Guy and I really connected on the same wavelength with this one.

My selected credits include THE LIGHT AND THE LITTLE GIRL (Toronto International Film Festival, BAM, BFI Future Film, Short of the Week), TOURISTS (Montclair Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, CAAM Film Festival), GOING PLACES (pilot selected for the 2017 Sundance New Voices Lab), and FAMILY GATHERING, starring Sharon Omi (Modern Family, Chicago Hope), Ken Narasaki (The Young and the Restless, Hawaii Five-O), and Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls). Nonfiction credits include a feature-length film entitled THE LIGHT OF THE SETTING SUN (in post-production, a finalist for the SFFILM/Catapult Doc Development Fund and nominated for Sundance Docs in Development), and New York Times documentary ‘I Just Simply Did What He Wanted’ (front page of the Times 2018, 2019 Winner World Press Photo Awards). Commercial and music video credits include work for Lake Street Dive, Roseanne Cash, Ally Bank, Thom Browne, Hewlett-Packard, Marriott, Advil, and more.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
It’s interesting as I entered the industry really when shooting digitally was just beginning. We’re definitely now in an entirely new world from where it was say 15 years ago. I’m curious to see how streaming plays out in the next 5-10 years, but some of the things that technology has afforded us that I’m excited about our new solutions to problems and an innovative use the format in terms of aspect ratio and other huge creative visual decisions. I’m leaning into it!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jih-E Peng, Alex Lombardi

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