Joshua "Petey" Petersen: Designer & Filmmaker

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Bio:

Joshua "Petey" Petersen is an NYC based Designer and Filmmaker. He is a member of United Scenic Artists. His work ranges from narrative film, television, and advertising, to animation, editing and visual effects. His work in film includes the Sundance Award-Winning features CROWN HEIGHTS (2017) and ADVANTAGEOUS (2015) and the upcoming punk-rock horror film BOOGEYMAN POP. Petey's commercial clients include Hermès, Geico, and Facebook, as well as international clients in Japan and Germany such as Denso, Google, and Adidas. With a background in architectural drafting for interior design, as well as screenwriting and film, Petey combines multiple disciplines to weave story and character through the visual medium. He holds a degree in Film & Visual Design from Marlboro College in Southern Vermont, and originally hails from Central Oregon.

What do I do best?

I find that my greatest asset is my memory. Recalling film references, design specifications, specific lines of dialogue… I refer to this quality in film as an ever-expanding toolbox. There are hundreds of solutions to each problem I’m faced with day to day, and there are hundreds of versions of those problems as well. It’s important to stay actively prepared to improvise using any number of brushstrokes. The vast library of useless information and trivial anecdotes stored in my brain is indispensable to this end.

What makes me the best version of myself?

My best self comes through working with the best people. I keep a very close-knit team with me at all times. They challenge me in many ways, and their loyalty is incredibly humbling. I give lots of room for input, and I never run a show with an iron fist. Being able to listen to suggestions or ideas, and explaining my personal approach, as opposed to shooting down inexperience, keeps the collaboration open, and also communicates my method to people who may not yet be “in my head.”

What are my aspirations?

To continue creating and building worlds is a thrilling idea. They seem to be getting bigger and more complex every minute, and that definitely keeps me going.

My Biggest Success?

Creating an environment where many people thrive. Personal success is just that: personal. Big success works for as many people as possible. What’s the fun if I can’t share it directly with those around me?

My Most Challenging Moment?

A career in the arts isn’t easy. The doubtful voices in your head that sow hesitation early on don’t go anywhere. They adapt, get louder, etc. They’re always a step ahead of you. Never feeling secure, and always chasing yourself upwards is a constant challenge. Sometimes those voices possess other people around you, and you wind up yelling at Producers and throwing coffee on PAs, mistaking them for the voices. Don’t do that. Those people are humans. Figure out how to deal with those voices internally and this won’t happen (as often.)

My Motto?

”Never let them see you sweat." It’s a double edged sword but it’s an adage I dispense often. I also consider the questions “Who’s driving this train?” and “Is this great or is it crazy-town?” as mottos because I seem to say them constantly.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Fred Rogers.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Hokkaido, Japan.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

Paper & Pencil. Laser tape measure. I have an obsession with tiny rulers / architectural scales. I have a lot of those. The Goldfold.

My Current Passions?

Working and Skiing.