We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlin Scott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaitlin, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve always felt most myself and most in my element when I’m making art. Growing up, art was something that I found myself doing naturally, it honestly wasn’t a conscious choice. I would draw the things I saw around me, recreate images I saw in books, draw people I saw in magazines, etc. That led to taking a lot of art and photography classes, getting a design degree, and eventually being drawn to filmmaking as a visual medium. The art I get to make today all stems from my initial love for simply taking a pencil and a clean sheet of paper and creating something that didn’t exist before.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I honestly feel like I’m still a long way off from having a defined style in my work, but I do hope there’s a degree of honesty that my films are marked by. I’m really drawn to stories that explore honest familial or relational dynamics. Whether they’re ugly, offensive, romantic, expected, or unexpected, I think there’s plenty to be learned from each of them. Usually the films that challenge me to look at myself and my relationships in a new way end up being my favorites, so I’d love to make films that do that for other people.
The projects I’m most proud of have been the ones where I’ve been moved emotionally while filming. When I’m watching the monitor and I’m having to hold back tears during a scene, I feel very connected to what the audience might experience, and it makes me really excited. That and scenes where I’ve done my job in regards to blocking. When you put a lot of people in a scene, it can get sloppy pretty fast, so I always have so much more confidence coming out of a scene when the actors and their actions and the camera have all danced together well.
I also feel proud when I come out of a scene and it feels as if it could have only been crafted by the crew that was there, making it. It doesn’t feel formulaic or like it’s trying to be something or force anything on anyone, or rip off anyone else’s work. Instead, it’s more like the crew and the actors have found their rhythm together and it feels like something totally new is being created. Often times, things are moving too fast for you to recognize when it’s happening, but when you do get those moments it feels really special.
How’d I get to where I am today, professionally? Through an immense amount of other people’s generosity and wisdom. I think I’ve had a chip on my shoulder in the sense of wanting to prove that I belong in film since my background is in fashion, so I’ve tried to maintain the position of being teachable, while doing my own homework as much as possible. But I think my greatest teachers have been my peers in New York who have been really generous with their knowledge and suggestions and constructive criticism. I think it’s a good sign when you feel safe to ask as many questions as you need to, and in return, I try to have that same openness with my crew. I want to leave room for other people to feel like they’re part of the team and helping make the best version of the film possible, not just clocking in and clocking out.
The biggest lesson I’m learning right now, professionally, is actually pretty similar to what I’ve been focusing on personally, and that’s to find gratitude in every situation. Making a film is really difficult, there are so many long hours, there’s a lot of work that no one sees, conflicting personalities, and usually not enough time or money to get done what you need to get done. But despite all of that, being on set is my favorite place to be, and I do feel very grateful every time I get to do it, especially when I’m working with people I trust. Gratitude always shifts my perspective away from the tunnel vision that can often occur when things get stressful during production, and helps me focus on the big picture.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I recently moved to LA after living in NY for four years so my itinerary would be a bit bias towards activities that are right on the water or in the desert. You really can’t go wrong with hiking a trail in Malibu then going down the beach for a swim or spending the day out in Joshua Tree then watching the sunset. I’m very aware that’s a cliche answer, and I’m completely okay with that. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m grateful to both of my parents for always being very supportive of my artistic efforts. They were always very confident in my natural artistic ability, which inherently gave me a lot of confidence as well.
I also grew up watching my parents work and teach in theater. My mom directed many plays and has a huge appreciation for great blocking (an appreciation I’ve adopted as well), while my dad designed stage lighting. His knowledge about how to tell a story using different lighting elements has been really influential in my understanding of visual storytelling.
They also both love cinema, so conversations I had with each of them about different films certainly contributed to my initial interest in filmmaking.
Jen Trahan Bryson Lozano Rachel Hendrix