You may have seen her bounding through the Union filming students running in turkey costumes, research assistants, and even the grim reaper. She’s one of the elements that allow UNT to be the eventful, unique place that it is. She’s responsible for the 1155 Tiny Nest Series, the Union Research Log, the Union thanksgiving video, and was the main lead in our tricky trivia bit. We’d like to introduce you to Cat Keenan, the Union’s extremely talented student videographer.
What drew you to videography?
“It’s kind of a simplistic answer I guess, but I like making stuff. Being able to work with different people and equipment in order to make something that’s informative or entertaining, or both, has always seemed like a pretty sweet deal to me. When I was little I thought every videographer ended up the camera guy for somebody like April O’Neil from TMNT, too, so I figured if I didn’t end up a super villain somewhere I could be that.”
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
“Again, I like making stuff and I like making stuff with other people. Whether it’s crafts, writing, filming–when I get to make stuff, and when I get to work with creative and talented people, I have a blast. That’s why I love this job so much, the video crew has been full of people I very much admire and work well with and the rest of the Design Works staff is just as talented and fun.”
What are your strengths, in your own words?
“I’ve been told I’m pretty tenacious, or I just don’t know when to quit, but I feel like dedication and determination are good qualities to have. Though, my mom has always told me to go, ‘With a smile on your face and a song in your heart’, so I try my best to be positive or at least in good humor about most things, and to be conscientious and supportive of others.”
What is your favorite film project you’ve ever shot or worked on?
“That’s tough! I’ve really enjoyed most all of my projects, even if I would do some things differently if I went back to do them again. Design Works-wise, I think the most pretty project I’ve worked on is the dance video we made for the Union, the web series pilot really taught me a lot and will hopefully be bigger one day, and the Tiny Nest Series has given me the opportunity to meet so many people and do so much stylistic experimentation, I really treasure it.”
What staple songs are on your playlist?
“When I’m working I tend to listen to lo-fi or vaporware type stuff, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Cavetown, Jukebox the Ghost, and Hippo Campus lately–”South” has been a staple for me since high school. You can’t go wrong with classics either–I don’t know how anybody survived the 70’s or 80’s but I’m glad at least the music did.”
What is your spirit animal?
“I’ve had dragonflies as a mascot of mine since I was in preschool, and I used to answer the spirit animal question with, “Oh I’m a jellyfish, ‘cuz I have no brain and have no idea where I’m going.” Which isn’t untrue–but really it’s probably a flamingo. My mom has used flamingos in most all of her decorating since I was five, so they’ve wound up reminding me of her, and the idea that no matter where I end up at any time there can still be some whimsy and joy to be found. Sometimes you just haven’t lived until you’ve eaten cereal from a flamingo-stemmed wine glass two days in a row.”
What’s your favorite color?
“There’s so much to love about all of them! Today it’s sunset orange, though lavender is never a miss.”
What is your brain food?
“Cheap, tar-strength coffee. And chocolate.”
What are your goals for the future?
“To keep making stuff? I would love to work with NatGeo or PBS–preferably Sesame Street–someday, and to be able to make shows and movies and comics and games of my own. Media, especially media children and young people consume, is so deeply influential and has the opportunity to educate and support so many people. I feel like if I can keep that in mind while I’m working with others and making stuff, no matter where I end up I can have a positive effect.”