Brandon Santiago is the founder and creative director of Monkey Toes Film. He was born in Denver, CO but moved to San Antonio, Texas 5 years later. After graduating Samuel Clemens High School, he enrolled in SWT State University and majored in Advertising and Business Administration. Three semesters before graduation, he took a short vacation to Sedona, Arizona. It was there while hiking the red rocks that he discovered one of Sedona’s famed vortex areas and had an interesting and uplifting experience – the grind of a college education was not for him, but traveling the open roads for his education were.
So not being one to argue with travel, Brandon traveled by way of boats, roads, rails and airways for what would be the next 10 years. After having lived in Honolulu, HI, New York, N.Y, Boston, MA, Providence, RI, San Francisco, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Reno, NV, New Orleans, LA, Jackson, MS, Mount Ida, AR, Ouachita National Forest, AR, Jackson, MS, Marietta & Kennesaw GA, Pittsburg, PA, Montgomery, Mexico City, MX, London, UK, Paris, FR, Amsterdam, NL, he felt his 10 year sojourn was coming to an end and decided to make one last move to Delta Junction, Alaska (population – 840), just south of the Arctic Circle. It was there that he would put it all together and figure out what he had learned, what it all meant and which way he was headed.
So it was in the dead of winter and with no sun to be found and with the help of new odd fuzzy little friend – a one-eared cat by the named moose that he had an epiphany. Out of all of the things in the world, when his spirits were down, watching films were the single quickest sure fire way of lifting them up again… and that if they did that for him, then surely they did it for many, many others and he definitely wanted to have a helping hand in doing that for others. Right then and there, he had finally found a way to “pay it forward” and on a large stage – FILM.
Brandon found himself heading out of his tiny cabin door and into the cabin door of a larger cabin - a Boeing 747. On that 4,000-mile flight, he realized he had no idea how to do whatever ‘it” was that he was about to do, but it didn’t matter to him. It also didn’t matter that he didn’t know the difference between a director and a director of photography, or a gaffer and a grip, or what a producer does. It didn’t matter. What he knew was that he was on fire at 40,000 feet in the air heading back to San Antonio with a goal – somehow, someway, he was going to be involved in the television and film industry.
Brandon burst onto the scene in 2001and within a year, he was co-producing and shooting his first ½ hour show called Texas Live (which would eventually be picked up by Com Cast) and he has never looked back. And if you ask him if he thinks he made it, he will say he has definitely found his calling in life. He will also share that over his course of travels, he found that there is no end but only a continuation of the journey and that that’s what it’s all about.