At Work With.. Paul Cater Deaton, Producer / Director
The ‘At Work With…’ Interview Series is our way of bringing you behind-the-scenes with the names and businesses included in our Texas Production Directory (TPD). We want to showcase the creatives that cover all levels of production experience, backgrounds, and geographies around the state.
This week’s spotlight is on Paul Cater Deaton, Producer / Director based in Galveston and a Texan since 1953.
What’s the most memorable experience on a project or production that you’ve had and what made it so special?
I was slapped in the face by the tail of a 12-foot tiger shark while filming an underwater documentary, and still held the shot.
Have you had an industry mentor or colleague that has made an impact on you or helped you along your career path? If so who, and how did they impact you?
Five-time Emmy Award-winner, Stan Waterman, is the Obi-Wan to my Luke. Were it not for his encouragement, my life would have taken an entirely different direction.
What advice have you been given that continues to be helpful in your work?
This is actually advice that I give every time I give a presentation for students: Treat everyone with respect, be they intern or director, continue to practice your craft, keep up with the latest technologies and trends, and take a business course.
In your industry, collaboration is the key to success. How do you best foster collaboration with your colleagues from project to project?
Reliance on good local assets can make all the difference in any production. It is especially true in the world of underwater filmmaking. An accomplished, local spotter, for example, can show you extraordinary creatures that you may otherwise completely miss.
What tools and supplies can’t you live without in your job and why?
I virtually can not live without good, dependable SCUBA gear, and my cameras and lights can not live without reliable underwater housings.
What are some of the projects made in Texas that you feel reflect the diverse culture of the state?
Creating a television special on the origin of Juneteenth in Galveston provided an eye-opening, educational experience for a lot of people.
What’s the best part about working in Texas?
Almost any setting can be found in this state. Texas can function as a completely believable "stunt double" for practically any location in the world, from rustic to metropolitan, deep forest to arid desert, terrestrial to undersea - even interstellar. The rich coral reefs of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary can fill in for Caribbean or other underwater environments, and the outer space feel of Space Center Houston can transport you to the stars.
Interview has been edited for brevity.
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