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Meet Rain Zheng

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rain Zheng.

Hi Rain, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
The first thing you should know about me is that I can write a 90-page screenplay to send to producers and agents, but I can barely write one decent paragraph about myself. Cut to the chase. My name is Xiaolin Zheng. I go by the name Rain. I was an overly serious offbeat town boy growing up in a small southern Chinese town. Now I am a film worker here in Los Angeles. I write, direct, develop content. I do still photography for productions. I photographed Guy Pearce, Clown from Slipkot. I also work in production. I’ve PMed music video for musicians like Incubus.

Recently I got the opportunity to PM a Jimmy Kimmel music segment for Tyga and ASAP Ferg for their song Dennis Rodman. Born as the fish outta water, I’ve tried writing poetry as a young kid, got to publish some of those and received an opportunity to go to Beijing because of that. That was probably my first time seeing a big city. I don’t remember much except the overwhelming feeling that I have to become big and important some day. Girls were expected and are expected to belong to someone where I came from, someone’s girlfriend, wife, mother. And I will get as far away from these places as possible. And that’s been my primary drive, I think. It brought me to college as the girl who sings on stage and never had a boyfriend only male pals, the girl in film and television department operates big cameras, the girl who wrote a web series and got on local newspapers. It brought me to the States, doing MFA program in directing. It got me start exploring the painful business that is screenwriting in my second language. It brought me to LA, exploring one of the toughest business to break in.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
This actually brought up a little piece of buried memory. When I say buried, I didn’t mean I deliberately bury it because it’s so painful or anything. It’s just something that faded as time went by. After I got the grad school acceptance letter and was getting ready to come to the US. One of my distant relatives came to my house and asked me(not a direct quote) when I become a director who will take care of my kids. I was single, I was not pregnant. But there was that question. The “this is a man’s job” “Girls don’t do things like that” “what would you know about it, you’re just a girl” experience is probably the most common struggle for all the driven young girls and young women out there.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Using the Hollywood business talk, I am a part of the new generation who’s from a diverse background and has a statement to make, new ideas to share in the old while male-dominated world. I wear many hats because I can’t stop. I get an actual anxiety attack if I stop. I enjoy juggling the logistic of producing, putting things together, making the crazy and impossible possible. I write and rewrite and pitch projects written by other writers that I think has a unique and important voice. I love taking photographs just like painters love to paint.

What makes you happy?
Conquering logistical challenges because feeling a sense of accomplishment is always good. I’m happy when I feel pleased with the first page of my script or when I export it out as a pdf because writing is just so god damn painful and difficult. I feel happy when the reader tells me my point came through in my writing too. I’m happy when I see I have taken a gorgeous shot. I’m happy when I’m with my team, my mentor, my friends, working, doing crazy things non-stop. It’s a way of life for me. I don’t know how to stop. I’m with a bunch of people who doesn’t know how to stop. We are a family. We are better because we have each other. I think that’s something worth being happy for.

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