By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Recent Palisades Charter High School graduate Rose Sutton caught up with the Palisadian-Post after being named one of the two winners of the 2020 Pacific Palisades Teen Talent Contest, sharing how music ties into her work and inspired her to pursue filmmaking.
Sutton began editing videos in middle school, but it wasn’t until her freshman year of high school that she said she realized filmmaking was something she wanted to pursue further. Sutton recalled being inspired by pop artist Katy Perry, as well as television shows and characters before that.
“My passion for storytelling came from a lot of different things, but I would say primarily it was just me absorbing and taking in content that I saw from other artists,” Sutton said. “I’ve always been a creative at heart, and I’ve always wanted to tell stories and challenge myself. Film was the way I was able to do that and break barriers for myself.”
In her last two years at Pali High, she recalled being fortunate enough to take advanced film production courses with visual and performing arts teacher Nancy Fracchiolla, who she viewed as a mentor.
“A lot of the work that I was able to do, she helped me and gave me the chance and resources,” Sutton said. “I’m very passionate about film and I think she saw that … I was able to grow a lot through her critique and mentorship, it was definitely a big part of my high school experience.”
Before attending Pali High, Sutton was a student at a private Jewish high school. She said attending Pali allowed her to immerse herself into a more diverse environment and has helped identify who she is as a person.
This past June, Sutton worked in collaboration with Pali High’s Justice League, a culture unification club, to create a video on the Black Lives Matter movement and draw more awareness to it.
“I was really fortunate to take part in that because I was able to learn from other women and men in the Black community,” Sutton said about the project. “It was already a hard thing to do being that I’m not a Black woman, and that was something I had to sit and think about and think to myself, ‘How am I going I going to address this on a universal scale where people can really understand this struggle?’”
She added that she hopes to continue using her platform to create more videos in the future addressing political, cultural and social justice issues, as it thoroughly keeps her informed in the process.
“I’m really able to kind of dive into the topic and understand it in its entirety, whether that’s speaking to people who are affected by the issue or doing my own research,” she said.
Sutton has also created a number of original music videos—she recently won over the hearts of judges and community voters, winning the Teen Talent Contest in part for her music video, “Hunger,” set to the song by Florence and the Machine. The video explores the “hunger” or desire to experience something deeper in life.
“When it comes to music videos … it usually starts with me listening to a song I really love, it’s really music that inspires it,” Sutton said about her creative process. “There’s usually something about a song that I resonate with and see a storyline running through my head and extend from there.”
Sutton said her music video for “Hunger” is one of her favorite videos that she’s created, as well as one that she is most proud of. She said the video took different turns and hit a few setbacks before reaching its final form. From cutting down the script and having limited days to shoot, she said it was amazing to see how the final product turned out.
“The video I think is really important to me because it addresses love from a universal perspective, and I think that’s one of the reasons why a lot of people were drawn to it,” Sutton said.
Most recently she released a music video to the song “Move Your Body” by Sia, where she pieced together clips of individuals dancing to the song in their homes.
“Everyone had to maintain social distancing and remain quarantined, so [this] was a way to stay in touch with my art and keep my editing going despite the setbacks of COVID,” Sutton said.
Although Sutton has been credited as director, editor and cinematography, she said editing is where the magic happens and where her work becomes its own unique piece of art with visual effects and her edits.
“I would say that post-production process is where I become more inspired and my ideas take their most authentic turn,” she said. “Post-production can always make it become something more, which is exciting.”
She also has the most experience editing—she has been using Final Cut Pro for the last six years.
“It was really something I learned all on my own, and when I started to learn, I was super passionate about editing, which made me even more inclined to want to learn … and go through the process of looking up YouTube videos and just constantly pushing myself to edit all the time,” Sutton said.
Sutton is always looking to learn more and push herself further, she shared that she hopes to work on her role as director more in the future where she can take greater initiative and communicate with artists prior to post-production. She also hopes to work with different softwares like Adobe Premiere in the future.
As the Post talked with Sutton, she was in the process of moving to the East Coast and meeting the end of her second week of mandatory self-quarantine in New York City, where she will be attending New York University in the fall.
She is going to be studying at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, pursuing an interdisciplinary program in mixed visual and performing arts, which ranges from dance to film to musical theater and more.
Sutton initially wanted to apply as a film major, but found this program to be a better fit for her as she enjoys working with a wide range of performers and sees that she could be a developing performer in the near future.
“Through the college admissions process I was able to realize that film was not a major I wanted to pursue, that’s what drew me to this program,” Sutton said. “You’re learning film but you’re also learning all these other things, and I feel like having the best of both worlds as a visual and performing artist can really set you off in the future.”
Sutton started school on September 2 and enthusiastically signed up for plenty of classes—taking advantage of every opportunity—and is thrilled for all that can arise from being a part of this program.
Sutton signed off by sharing that although she didn’t reside in Pacific Palisades, it was a community she grew very fond of.
“A lot of my high school memories were there, not even just at Pali but the Village and stuff,” Sutton said. “I was able to visit Pali a few times before I left for New York, which was super special, just to say goodbye.”
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