Natalie Streander is a writer and director based in Las Cruces, NM.
When did you graduate from CMI?
What was your area of emphasis at CMI?
LiveAction Filmmaking – DFM
Where are you and what are you doing now?
I am currently living in Las Cruces, NM. I am the co-owner of the video production company PsychDesert Productions. I am also pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing at New Mexico State University with the hopes of teaching creative/screenwriting classes at a University level.
What do you like most about what you’re doing?
I love that my film projects with PsychDesert allows for journeys to unique and unexpected places. With each project I am able to learn something new and gain varying perspectives in a number of disciplines. I also really enjoy working alongside those who I met through CMI. Having the ability to express my art through the filmmaking and writing mediums allows my job to never truly feel like a “job”.
What are some projects/jobs that you’ve worked on since graduating?
Since graduation, I’ve had the opportunity, through PsychDesert, to create music videos for local artists, as well as commercials/promotional videos for companies such as Electronic Caregiver, Assisted Outpatient Treatment, New Mexico State University’s Water Resource Research Institute, and a number of others. I’ve also been able to work on a number passion projects with my team.
What classes and learning experiences at CMI were the most valuable in building towards your current job?
All of my classes at CMI were very valuable to me and were especially helpful in getting me to where I am today. The classes I enjoyed the most included the multiple screenwriting classes I took with Amy Lanasa and Ross Marks, as well as the directing and portfolio classes I took with Ilana Lapid. I also had the opportunity to travel to Ireland during my time at CMI through a documentary class with Ilana. Creating an international documentary provided one of the most valuable learning experiences and connections with filmmakers that I still have today. It was through my trip to Ireland that PsychDesert was born. CMI allowed me the space to find my voice as an artist and the faculty there were very supportive throughout the entire process.
What are you doing when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working, I love to travel and spend time outdoors. I hope to make another trip to Europe in the near future. You could also find me eating ridiculous amounts of Pho and writing dark comedies.
What’s some advice you would give a CMI student (or maybe potential CMI student) about their time at CMI?
Advice I would give to a CMI student (or potential student) would be to try a little bit of everything early on during your time in CMI. I went into CMI with a strong desire to be an editor and came out of it as a passionate screenwriter. I did this by forcing myself out of my comfort zone. I signed up for a screenwriting class my second semester at CMI with the intention of proving to myself that editing would be the right path. Boy did I prove myself wrong. I fell in love with screenwriting and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Don’t be afraid to try new things, think outside of the box, and leap out of your comfort zone- you never know what you may discover in the process.
Where can people see your work?
You can find my work on our website www.PsychDesert.com or through our Facebook and Instagram: PsychDesert Productions.
Link to your website:
What’s next for you?
I plan to continue to grow PsychDesert, and the Southern NM film community, and graduate with my MFA. I hope to one day be able to teach students the valuable lessons CMI provided me and continue to fuel my passion of filmmaking alongside the incredible team I met because of CMI.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d like to thank Amy Lanasa, Ross Marks and Ilana Lapid for helping pave the way to my career as a filmmaker and artist.