With a last name like Santana and an uncle named Carlos, you would think Paul would be a badass guitar player, but not so, not even close.
As a wee lad living next to an ASC Director of Photography, Paul found his way onto hundreds of sets. Craving more, he began taking summer courses in directing and editing at AFI. A few years later he graduated from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara California, where his thesis film won national honors. After school, Paul won awards and earned a living with his still photography, specializing in large format and infrared work. In 2003 LF magazine called his eye for composition and shading “truly poetic.”
Paul’s true film education began on sets… hundreds and hundreds of them from every corner of the globe! From PA to Visual Effects Supervisor, to DP and most in between, Paul was fortunate to build his set savvy working along side some of the true icons of our business. Paul feels one of his greatest strengths as a filmmaker lies in having been there and done that; Knowing how to get the most out of his crew, and knowing how to do so respectfully.
His commercial directorial debut for the American Cancer Society was recognized not only by Shoot Magazine’s New Director’s showcase but also from the AICP show. In 2007 it was recognized by NPR to be one of the most effective deterrent ads ever created against smoking.
In the subsequent years Paul’s work has taken him around the world and has been honored six more times by the AICP and has received more Telly’s and Addy’s than you can shake a stick at. Paul has directed spots for such brands as Nike, Coors, Samsung, Coca Cola, Bose, Toyota, Chevy, Canada Post, Coors Light, Bosch, Winter and Summer Olympics, Ford, and Canon to name a few.
A self-taught visual effects artist and editor, Paul is as comfortable in the post environment as he is on set. To say his skill set makes him ‘hands on’ would be an understatement. To say he is a ‘control freak,’ would just be mean.
Paul has a great passion for film and every aspect of the process from pitch to principle photography, to all the bells and whistles of post. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his lovely Canadian wife and two boys.BACK TO REEL+