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Home > Brand Media News > Renowned Cinematographer Darsh Desai Shares Journey from Navsari Gujarat to LA and His Success in the Film Industry

Renowned Cinematographer Darsh Desai Shares Journey from Navsari, Gujarat, to LA and His Success in the Film Industry

Updated on: 16 February,2024 12:20 PM IST  |  MUMBAI
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OTT platforms have undoubtedly revolutionized the way content is consumed, offering a diverse array of films and shows accessible anytime, anywhere.

Renowned Cinematographer Darsh Desai Shares Journey from Navsari, Gujarat, to LA and His Success in the Film Industry

Cinematographer Darsh Desai

Meet Darsh Desai, a visionary cinematographer from Navsari, Gujarat, whose journey began with a passion for capturing life's moments through his lens. Transitioning from fashion and street photography, Darsh's innate creativity led him to carve a niche in Mumbai and Los Angeles' film industry. His portfolio showcases diverse projects, recognized in publications like Vogue and Exhibit Around for emotive storytelling. As co-founder of HRVST Films, Darsh shapes narratives from inception to completion, earning trust across the creative community. Rooted in cultural heritage, he connects with audiences profoundly. With an eye for detail and commitment to innovation, Darsh stands as a beacon of inspiration in cinematography.

Why did you choose to become a Cinematographer?

Cinematography has always been my passion since childhood. Growing up, I found solace and inspiration in the art of visual storytelling, thanks to my mom's early influence and exposure to films. While initially exploring photography, I eventually realized that cinematography offered me a deeper sense of creative fulfilment and purpose. The ability to capture emotions, narratives, and atmospheres through moving images resonated with me profoundly, making it a natural career choice.

What’s your source of inspiration? Whom do you idolize?

My greatest inspirations in cinematography are Sudeep Chatterjee and Greg Fraser, whose work consistently pushes boundaries and ignites creativity. Additionally, my mother has been a significant source of inspiration, instilling in me a love for storytelling and visual arts from a young age.

Kindly tell us about your previous and upcoming films

So far, I've collaborated with renowned brands such as Fenty, Nike, Puma, BMW, Adidas, and Tinder. I've also served as the cinematographer for over 14 films, with several of them being showcased at prestigious film festivals.

I recently wrapped up shooting a film titled "Spin The Bottle," a project that allowed me to explore the intricate nuances of different film formats. Incorporating 8mm, 16mm black and white, and digital formats, this project presented a unique challenge and opportunity to showcase my skills as a cinematographer. The film is currently in post-production and is slated for release in 2025.

Can you share an unforgettable incident in life that has helped you learn and grow in many ways?

Moving to Los Angeles marked a significant turning point in my life and career. It provided me with invaluable opportunities for growth, mentorship, and collaboration. Embracing the challenges and experiences in LA has not only honed my skills as a cinematographer but also broadened my perspective on storytelling and filmmaking as a whole.

What is the biggest challenge(s) one can face in this industry?

One of the greatest challenges in this industry is the continuous pursuit of knowledge and mastery of craft. The filmmaking process is multifaceted and ever-evolving, requiring adaptability, perseverance, and a willingness to learn. Additionally, breaking into the industry and gaining access to opportunities can be daunting, but dedication, networking, and a strong work ethic can pave the way for success.

What is your view on the changing dynamics of viewers getting more interested in watching OTT releases or do you think it’s still Single Screen or Multiplexes getting the maximum share?

OTT platforms have undoubtedly revolutionized the way content is consumed, offering a diverse array of films and shows accessible anytime, anywhere. While traditional cinemas continue to play a vital role in the cinematic experience, OTT releases have democratized filmmaking, providing filmmakers with unprecedented opportunities for storytelling and audience engagement. Ultimately, both mediums coexist and cater to different preferences, with each offering its unique advantages and appeal.

Your thoughts/experiences during the post-production, and promotion phase of the movie?

Post-production and promotion are integral stages in the filmmaking process, significantly shaping the final outcome and audience reception. As a cinematographer and co-founder of HRVST Films, I've gained valuable insights into the importance of effective post-production techniques and strategic marketing strategies. Collaborating closely with directors, editors, and marketing teams, I've witnessed firsthand how these phases can elevate a film's impact and reach.

Can you name some personalities who made you feel like a dream come true?

I am deeply grateful to the directors I've had the privilege of working with, including Ngoc Anh Nguyen, Trinity Mitchell, Paolo Cerrino, and Cielo Yanez, among others. Their unwavering trust, support, and openness to creative collaboration have made every project feel like a dream come true, reaffirming my passion for storytelling and visual artistry.

Define Success in your terms

Success, to me, is the ability to connect with audiences on a profound level through storytelling. It's about having the privilege to share stories that resonate with me personally and, in turn, resonate with others, sparking empathy, dialogue, and change.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I envision myself continuing to evolve as a cinematographer and storyteller, with a diverse portfolio of projects spanning different genres and mediums. I aspire to make my directorial debut in Indian cinema and further establish HRVST Films as a platform for innovative storytelling and creative collaboration.

How can one connect with you?

I can be reached via email, Instagram, or through HRVST Films. Additionally, I am represented by two production companies and have an agent who handles inquiries and opportunities related to my cinematography work. Whether through mutual connections or direct contact, I am always open to new collaborations and opportunities within the industry.

Instagram: @darshdesaii


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