USA // Spending her early childhood in Haiti, Vanessa lived in Guatemala before moving to the U.S. with her family at 13 years old. There she studied dance and education at New York City’s Hunter College and launched herself into an esteemed career as a professional dancer. It was in Los Angeles working with acclaimed commercial and music video directors on projects for Michael Jackson, Prince and Justin Timberlake, that Vanessa decided to pursue her life-long passion for filmmaking. She followed an instinct to merge lifestyle content and advertising, tapping into a new breed of branded storytelling. Vanessa quickly became a pioneer in that world- as a writer and director, pitching some of the first branded content shows to Nike and Sephora. In 2006, she became a key creative in the development of one of the earliest digital lifestyle networks.
Vanessa’s background in fashion and dance guides her work and lends it a kinetic energy. As a director, she loves producing work that is dynamic and high impact yet grounded in reality, with characters that defy the odds – by way of magic, perseverance, or straight up hustle. She cites Herb Ritts, Spike Jonze, Alfred Hitchcock, and the 80s era of iconic music videos as major sources of influence on her work.
In addition to pursuing new commercial opportunities with Rattling Stick, Vanessa enjoys working on feature films, music videos, and short films. She directed the recent “Ooh-La-La” music video for rap duo Run The Jewels, which was nominated for the 2020 MVPA, UKMVA, and the 2021 Libera awards. Her work has been featured by Conde Nast Entertainment, Fast Company Magazine, Popsugar and Rolling Stone. Currently in development on a feature length thriller, Vanessa is also a mentor to several young female filmmakers of color- as part of her advocacy for the advancement of black women’s voices in film and media.