Alum becomes first assistant camera and pursues becoming an aspiring cinematographer
Daniel Orona is from Temecula, CA and graduated from CSUMB in 2016 with a degree in Cinematic Arts & Technology. Orona credits his professors (Luis Camara, Steven Levinson, Irwin Swirnoff, Dan Janos, and Karen Davis) from CSUMB for helping him get to where he is today. “Their passion, honesty, and at times quirkiness really makes you feel comfortable to express your ideas and yourself openly. At times, they challenged me but it was always to keep me honest and felt they gave me the encouragement I needed to bring out the best in me,” he says. Orona also enjoyed a smaller classroom setting where he was able to interact more with his peers and where the lectures were more personable and intimate. Orona states, “You really get to know your professors and they get to know you. It's a great atmosphere when you're learning and finding your own expression creatively.”
His most cherished memory while attending CSUMB took place during the last night of his capstone shoot where he and his team had to set up to film next to the highway. When they arrived, they quickly set up the lighting and began shooting the short film. Shortly after, highway patrol showed up but Orona kept working as if he did not see them. However, an officer pulled him to the side and Orona informed them that they had their permits to film and was finishing up and about to pack up their equipment. Orona mentions, “Needless to say we got the shot and what a rush it was!”
After graduating from CSUMB, Orona started working as a photographer/videographer with a company in Orange County that had been building and growing fairly quickly. He was with the company for about four years and realized that if he wanted to really do something in the film/television industry, he had to make the move. Orona is now a first assistant camera and an aspiring cinematographer. He is known to carry around 3 or 4 cameras with him and is always shooting photographs while on set. Orona delivers his strong work ethic and professionalism to every project he works on and is always striving to improve himself and his skills.
Read more about Daniel Orona in the Voyage LA.