Featured Filmmaker: Rosa Smith

By Sophie Williams Rosa Smith is an up-coming, wonderful actress and filmmaker, born under the name of Laura Elizabeth Smith but using Rosa as her professional identify. When she approached me to write this article, I jumped at the chance. She is both my cousin and one of my closet friends, a kind and passionate young woman who has helped me out of many tricky situations and given me lots of useful advice over the years. Her dedication to her career goals is an inspiration to both others and me, one of her most recent achievements being becoming one of the youngest members of CollabFeature. Rosa is currently juggling working on the CollabFeature project: A Billion to One, studying for her degree and setting up her own theatre company, which explores putting the first silent films onto the stage.

She has always been a fiercely determined person, forever telling people that she will become a successful actress (not wants to be, or might become one, because she has always said that if you will something to happen and completely believe in it, then it will come true). When I asked her what made her first want to get into acting she blurted out with no hesitation: "I wanted to change the world! Well, at least make it a better place... The first moment I knew I wanted to act was when I went to watch this one action film, in the cinema, when I was little. I remember feeling like I could achieve anything when I left the cinema, like I was a super hero, and I wanted to act so I could give others that feeling."

Recently she has further developed on her acting goals and has started to venture into the world of filmmaking and directing through the project A Billion to One and by arranging and directing a performance for the Camden Fringe. I inquired about what has triggered this new interest: "I’ve always wanted to be in the creative process as much as possible because I’ve watched pieces and thought about what I’d do different. Creating your own work also allows you to create your own characters, which gives me the opportunity to create a character exactly how I want them. A Billion to One has been a creative platform for me to do that."

Alongside acting and filmmaking, Rosa has a wide and varied range of hobbies which include: drawing, dancing, fashion, modeling, writing, swimming and cooking. She turns popular film characters into cartoons and also incorporates her artist skills into her character creation. "I often make props for my acting projects and I create drawings of scenes and characters I play. It helps me to visualize the character."

Effie Phantom

She is particularly interested in the film and TV industries and this is the path she wishes her career to take. I asked her who her role models were: "I have so many role models. I love Zooey Deschanel because she is quirky." She looked around in concentration, considering which of the many she has to talk about. "Recently Elizabeth Banks has become an inspiration to me for her portrayal of Effie in The Hunger Games, as she is exactly how I imagined Effie to be when reading the books… I love Tim Burton, and his style of dark comedy. It is great because he makes light of dark topics. One of my goals is to play a character in a Tim Burton film. Everyone who knows me thinks that this is my destiny as apparently I look like Helena Bonham Carter," she added with a chuckle.

As well as being a member of CollabFeature, Rosa is also studying for an acting degree at Arts University Bournemouth in the south of England. When asked how she is finding her studies she smiled and nervously giggled, "Good, it’s challenging, so challenging. You have to be tough to take the criticism." She had her trademark awkwardness as she said this but then quickly added with a cheerful tone of voice, "but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve met some amazing people and learnt so much too." I then moved on to question her about her plans for the future by asking her where she sees herself in 10 years’ time. A sparkle came into her eye as I quizzed her on this. "I’d love to be living in LA, and acting in films over there and maybe even have my own TV show. I know that sounds very cliché and 'wanna be actor like’ but I’ve always been extremely interested in and drawn to America, and their film industry… but to be honest I’m not picky where I am as long as I become a successful actress. I also see myself owning a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes and hopefully in ten years’ time I might look like an adult," she said laughing, referring to the many people that tell her she looks younger than her age.

She isn’t your stereotypical idea of an actress, being shy and quiet but also extremely smart and funny, often making witty remarks. She also has a big heart, a quality which she brings into her characters to make them loveable. As a person I’ve always found Rosa to be kind and loyal. Once you are her friend she will do anything for you. So keep your eye out for this up-coming, talented actress and filmmaker as she takes the world by storm!