Modern Work is a podcast where people around the world talk about the work they do & how they got there.

Interview topics include careers, childhood hobbies, education, entrepreneurship, office culture, work-life balance, remote work, digital nomads, apps, tools, processes, workflow, strategy, and more. 

The host, Katherine Conaway, is a consultant, writer & traveler.

Arestia Rosenberg, Director + Executive Producer + Writer

Arestia Rosenberg, Director + Executive Producer + Writer

Listen to this episode via the audio file below, or on one of these platforms:

Arestia Rosenberg

Arestia_Rosenberg

Arestia Rosenberg has been a filmmaker and writer with 10+ years experience applying her unique background in production — both within the worlds of major motion pictures/television and advertising — and creative direction in media. She has one simple mission: to create passionate storytelling that makes a difference. Her video production and brand strategy work has received film-festival acclaim and media awards alike.

With a love for travel and a borderline obsessive tendency to connect people, Arestia constantly demonstrates her T-shaped prowess outside of work as well, having co-founded Boston Content, a community of content creatives, marketers and enthusiasts, finished traveling the world as a digital nomad with Remote Year, and is now making a short documentary about a hip-hop school in Cambodia for impoverished youth.

WEBSITES + SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS


Episode: Arestia Rosenberg, Director + Executive Producer + Writer

Show Notes

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Introduction

  • Arestia Rosenberg
  • Filmmaker, writer, strategist
  • Currently making a documentary about a hip hop school for at-risk kids in Cambodia (see more  info below & the fundraising campaign)
  • Grew up in Orange Country, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada 

Education

  • Studied at Boston University & degree in Film and Television
  • Read a lot of books as a kid & enchanted with story
  • Saw Phantom of the Opera at age 8 and realized something about that was what she wanted to do
  • In high school, directed a one-act play and fell in love with directing
  • Directing is the vision for the story, working with actors, and making the decisions
  • Wanted to study on the east coast and go to film school, so BU was a good choice
  • Film studies is more theoretical vs. production is about actually making films 
  • Domestic study abroad semester in Los Angeles & had 2 internships (Tyra Banks Show & Columbia Pictures)
  • Finding opportunities through connections - be vocal about what you want & get to know people 

Career

  • Decided to graduate a semester early after being an intern in LA
  • Moved to LA and applied for assistant gigs for months 
  • First job was as an assistant for a studio executive at Columbia Pictures
  • Second job was as an assistant at Happy Madison (Adam Sandler’s production company)
  • Moved to Boston to work on Mall Cop for Happy Madison, also wanted to get out of LA because she was considering leaving film but wasn’t sure what wasn’t working
  • Became freelance in Boston & worked on projects for Powderhouse Productions, Animal Planet Network, Happy Madison films
  • What being a producer involves: development & research & organization
  • Took a full-time job at an ad agency in Boston being a filmmaker / content creator, stayed for several years
  • Considered moving back to LA but got a job as a creative director of brand strategy at The Daily Beast in NYC
  • Member of Remote Year 3 Cousteau (March 2016 - February 2017), worked freelance as a writer & strategist
  • Back in Los Angeles as of fall 2017

Tiny Toones Documentary

  • Saw a hip hop dance performance while in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and learned that Tiny Toones was a school for impoverished youth
  • Went to the school to take a dance class, but the power was out so got a chance to learn more of the story from Shhort, the head of the school
  • KK was the founder, born in a Thai refugee camp during the Khmer Rouge (Cambodian Genocide), immigrated to LA, grew up in the projects, went to jail, was deported back to Cambodia (a country he’d never been to), and then a bunch of kids learned he was a break dancer & kept asking him to teach them how to dance - and he saw an opportunity to help them not end up like him
  • School exists solely on donations & not only teaches dance but also English and Khmer (local Cambodian language)
  • Story really inspired & resonated with her, over the months that followed, she decided to make a documentary to help them reach a broader audience & get more donations 
  • Filming in Cambodia in January 2018 and then will submit to film festivals once it’s finished 
  • Fundraising for the documentary on IndieGoGo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tiny-toones-documentary
    • Currently: $7,706 USD raised by 100 backers
    • Goal: $15,000
    • Closes December 23
    • See a video about the kids on the campaign page
  • Documentary team
    • Arestia Rosenberg, Director + Executive Producer
    • Daniel Junge, Executive Producer
    • Jay Heyman, Producer
    • Todd Brown, Producer
    • Chenda Yen, Local Fixer
    • Dos Piseth, Director of Photography
    • Eric Gulliver, Editor
    • Alex Formosa, Post Sound + Music

In Arestia’s words:

While I was traveling and during my time in Cambodia, I was introduced to Tiny Toones, a hip-hop and break dancing school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for at-risk and impoverished youth. I fell in love with these kids and what the school was doing, and the founder and head of school's stories really resonated with me. These two guys, KK and Short, were born in Thai refugee camps during the Khmer Rouge, emigrated legally to the US, got involved in gang violence and went to jail. When they got out, they were deported back to Cambodia, a country they had never been to and no longer knew anyone. To make a long story short, they ended up starting this school to help guide kids that were just like them, but give them a better ending. Now, 100 kids go to school there every day, with former students dancing internationally and coming back as teachers.

This story felt so powerful to me, that I couldn't not tell it. Plus, they could really use the help and awareness. The school exists solely on donations and money is running out. For the last few months, I have been chipping away, figuring out if its something I could physically pull off and put an amazing team together who have all jumped in enthusiastically to help. My background is in producing, and I have been doing that for many years while field producing (a kind of directing) and directing pro bono videos, but this is the first time I am putting it all on the line to make my own film...which is where you come in.

I launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money. Donations are really the most important so we can make this happen, but I appreciate social media support to help get the word out. Maybe the Tiny Toones story resonates with you, or you're a proponent of making sure everyone gets an education. Whatever your reason, I hope that you will please share this campaign with your network to help me fund this project, and if you're really inspired, please donate.

Thank you all immensely!

 

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Katy Fowler, Freelance Translator

Katy Fowler, Freelance Translator