CREATOR EDITION: MARIA QUINTANA

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

Director of Photography / Concert photographer


I started working in Mexico, City for a TV Show as Camera PA. Later I worked as director of photography for Eugenio Derbez’s youtube channel, after that I got an offer to work on my first feature film as a still photographer and BTS for production film company in Mexico.

I decided to join this beautiful world of film industry and become a Director of Photography, when I got my first job as a still photographer in Mexico for the feature film "Que Pena Tu Vida". I worked so close to the camera department , that I fell in love with it forever. My major inspiration was Erwin Jaquez an amazingly talented director of photography. After a few more feature films working as a still photographer, I decided to come to LA to begin my studying.


In 2016 I landed in LA with a lot of fears, but also with a lot of dreams. I got my MFA Degree in Cinematography at the New York Film Academy. Even though I studied in LA, I never stopped working in México, where I worked with the Bh5 (production film company). With them I made my first two spot commercial, and this year I worked in their latest feature film "El Mesero" as second unit B-camera.


I've been working on several short films, I'm the official DP of “Tarah Who?” (LA punk band). With them I’ve already shot two music videos "Numb Killer" and "Hurt", the last one was part of the Recording Academy Grammys 2019 for best rock performance, and now is contending to get a pass to the Grammys 2020 as “The best rock performance”. With "Numb Killer" we won best monthly music video and Best Cinematography at the “Paris Underground Festival”. My film “FENCED”, which I have produced and did cinematography for has been screened at several films festivals around the world. You can catch the next screening in November, when “FENCED” will be presented as part of the official program of the “Aesthetica Film Festival” in London, a BAFTA qualifying festival.

Recently I started working with Alessandra Rosaldo for her youtube channel as Director of Photography and this month I was the Director of Photography for a TV spot commercial for Frozen II with Priyanka Chopra.


This industry is not easy, you have to work very hard and sometimes sacrifice time with family and friends, sleep, and a lot of your social life. But if you love the thing you do, it will absolutely be worth it. Working freelance is difficult, especially when you are just starting. While you are building your reel or portfolio, you get a lot of unpaid work, which can discourage and make it difficult, especially because you need to divide what little money you are earning for savings and other part to pay the bills. Building a name in the industry is something that requires hard work, responsibility, good attitude, professionalism and talent.


Is it necessary to go to a film school to study film? That's a tricky question to answer. I didn’t study film before I started, I got my bachelor in Communications, but for my MFA Degree I went to a film school. In that moment I felt that I needed to learn the tools and technical things about cameras more than just work on set. My perspective on this is that I much better study other things, maybe philosophy, art, etc. before going to a film school, because you can learn and discover other worlds that are going to help you later as a filmmaker. Maybe after that you can join a film school and get more knowledge about tools and the film world in general.


As a filmmaker you need to stick to your dreams and goals, and keep working very hard to achieve them. You need to accept that sometimes it isn’t easy, and that the film industry can be both good and bad to you, so you need to have your feet on the ground at all times and not let the ego invade you or control you. Don’t assume that you are the king or queen of the world, you have to always be kind, positive and have a good attitude.





Maria’s favorite short film is a 2007 film “Hotel Chevalier" directed by Wes Anderson (2007)












At the moment I'm working on the third music video for a new single by “Tarah Who?” as well as making a feature documentary about them. So, I'm really excited about that.


Connect with Maria on Social media:

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | VIMEO | IMDb

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