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Meet Katie Sanderson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Sanderson.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in Orlando, Florida and raised by two Disney cast members. My parents are musically gifted creatives who happen to be very funny people. I grew up going to church and jazz shows on the weekends. Not the typical childhood.

I enjoyed school and worked hard to get good grades. I was fortunate enough to go to a high school that put a lot of emphasis on the arts. I took four years of TV Production, where I fell in love with creating content. Shoutout to Mr. Carmody.

I graduated with a BFA in filmmaking from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. There, I was taught the basics of filmmaking and the intricacies of everything else it takes to work in production.

After graduating, I moved to Los Angeles where I am currently a freelance producer and first assistant director. I have worked for companies and distributors of all scales including Vanishing Angle, Paramount Pictures, and Netflix. Learning how these companies produce film and TV taught me how to identify what is needed at the core of a project to make it something worthwhile.

My goal is to redefine the quality of content being made at the independent level. I enjoy helping creatives make their projects come to life through effective strategy and thoughtful planning.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road, exactly. Learning any set of skills is never easy. I learn something new on every shoot. I think that’s just the name of the game. Being able to adapt when there are bumps in the road and course correcting so you don’t lose any time, money, or energy on said bumps.

Some of my biggest hurtles have been the things that propelled me the farthest. I think as artists, we all struggle at different points in our lives to not only find ourselves but to find the artist within us.

As a producer, it took me a long time to accept that there is an art to what I do. It is a craft that has to be cultivated. It takes work and can be an exhausting and emotional process. All that to say, there’s a beauty in it. There is an unexplainable joy that I feel when a problem is solved. When we can say, we saw the bump coming and could brace for impact just in time.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a producer, which basically means I can do a lot of very different jobs. The skillset it takes to be a producer is one that can be copied and pasted into several other departments and industries. I have produced narrative films, music videos, and commercials. I have also cast several films and short narrative pieces.

To break it down, a producer is basically the manager of a project. As people come in and focus on their departments, it is the producer’s job to oversee everything and make sure things are running smoothly. That being said, when there is a bump in the road, the producer is the person who usually handles it. This of course, varies depending on the scale of the project and the size of the team.

I usually produce indie films, which means very small crews. People will always be my priority. As sets get bigger and budgets expand, I feel like it is easier to get lost in the chaos. To me, that means developing personal relationships with every person I hire. It means getting work for the people who continue to show up not only for me but for the projects I’m passionate about.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success? How do you think about success?
Success is working on cool stuff with passionate people who just happen to be your friends. Success is getting all of the shots that you scheduled on a really hard day. Success is your mom getting to read about you in a VoyageLA article.

There are small victories and there are huge milestones. In this industry, it is important to celebrate every single one of them. Don’t burn yourself out chasing thing after thing.

I care about people and the art they create. I want to make an impact on the film community. I want to make an impact on the people I work with. Continuing on this career path is success to me.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Noland Vannoy, Adam Della Maggiora, Cameron McCormack

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