The Works of
Alan (Ran) Zheng

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About Me

My name is Alan Zheng

I am an independent filmmaker originally from China and currently based in Minnesota. In my work, I have been mostly exploring themes relating to generational differences, influence of technologies, and relationship to hometown in the age of Globalization / Anthropocene. Coming from a background of both scientific methods and essayistic filmmaking, I try to have science and poetic approaches intertwine in my work.

My Experiences

Independent Filmmaker

My short film, Home, was selected as a finalist for best short documentary at Festival Internacional de Cine con Medios Alternativos. I have also worked as an additional colorist on Ways of being Home, a film selected at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Film Festival. Comfortable with video technologies, I worked as a Digital Imaging Technician on my peers’ thesis film set. With a deep understanding of various codecs, ranging from Cinema DNG to H265, I am comfortable wrangling, coloring, and transcoding all kinds of footage.

Teaching Experience

As the sole instructor, I led two-week sessions about standardized exams (TOEFL, SAT) in classes ranging from 3-5 students. Designed curriculum for each class: researched, compiled, and distributed classroom materials, implemented classroom activities and facilitated in-class discussions. Provided individualized constructive feedback to each student in class and after class to ensure student understanding of subjects.

Research in Cognitive Psychology

Working under Prof. Mija Van Der Wege, I conducted research on illusory truth effects in social media. Develop research projects with lab members, collect data both on campus and on Qualtrics, compile and analyze data collected, and produce papers about the project in APA format.

Freelance Photographer & Videographer

Direct and edit videos for clients. Work closely with multiple clients; provide various rough cuts throughout workflow.  Recent client work is “Temporal Patterns”, a series of time-lapse and slideshow videos made to help showcase clients’ ceramic art installation at conferences.


Diaries about Home

Compilation of essay films pondering about relationship to home

Gannan Memoirs

Essay vignettes that investigate the life of Tibetan nomads from an outsider’s view

A Letter to You: Two-thousand Years in the Future

An Ode to time and light, photo series


Email is the easiest way of getting in touch with me. You can reach me at I will try and get back to you within 24 hours of contact.