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Meet Kat Santana

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kat Santana.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started my senior year of high school when I took a media course that taught us the basics in composition and editing. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after high school but when speaking to my media teacher about applying to college he said, “If you don’t study film, I don’t know what’d you do.” So I went to film school at CSULB for three years and tried to get on set as much as possible to learn the ropes and figure out where I fit in the department. I’m very grateful to 22 West Media for giving me the opportunity to make short-form content that made me brave enough to later be the cinematographer for junior and senior short films. I’m especially grateful for my cinematography professor who mentored me immensely and gave constructive criticism when I needed it the most. These days when I’m not working my part-time photography job, I’m on set in the camera department for freelance projects.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m not the most social person. It takes a little bit for me to warm up to people and feel comfortable in new spaces. For a while getting on set was hard for me because I’m incredibly shy. If it wasn’t for my outgoing friends who took me under their wing, I probably wouldn’t have the knowledge I have now.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a cinematographer and concert photographer. My style consists of some kind of movement- whether it’s a camera whip pan to a character in a short film or getting a picture of someone mid-stage dive- I try not to have static shots unless necessary. I’m proud of my senior short film, It Will Swallow You Whole, which showcases many different types of camera movements that helped guide the story visually. Some of those shots were created on the fly, too and turned out way better than I imagined.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe in divine timing more than luck. I met the right people at the right time that gave me the opportunities that led me to where I am now.

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