Darsh Desai – A Cinematographer’s Journey from Gujarat to LA
Navsari/Los Angeles (Gujarat/ CA) [India/USA] February 8: Darsh Desai, a cinematographer currently based in Los Angeles, has traversed a remarkable path from his roots in Navsari, Gujarat, to making a mark in the international film industry. With a background in fashion and street photography, Darsh’s journey into cinematography has been driven by a lifelong passion for the craft.
Born and raised in a small town, Darsh’s early exposure to films, thanks to his mother, laid the foundation for what would become his life’s calling. His transition from photography to cinematography was gradual, fueled by an exploration phase in the former. However, over time, cinematography became an obsession for Darsh, making him feel alive, peaceful, and creatively fulfilled.
Sudeep Chatterjee and Greg Fraiser serve as Darsh’s inspirations, admired for their consistent creativity. However, Darsh also draws inspiration from his mother, recognizing her influence on his artistic journey.
Having worked with renowned and emerging artists in the music industry, Darsh has directed and served as a director of photography (DP) on numerous music videos. His commercial portfolio includes collaborations with major brands such as Fenty, Nike, Puma, BMW, Adidas, and Tinder. In the film realm, Darsh has been the cinematographer for over 14 films, with several making appearances in film festivals.
One of his recent projects, “Spin The Bottle,” is a testament to Darsh’s versatility. Shot across three different film formats – 8mm, 16mm Black and White, and Digital – the film is currently in post-production, with a scheduled release in 2025.
Reflecting on his journey, Darsh emphasizes the transformative impact of moving to Los Angeles. This shift in location honed his focus on cinematography, exposing him to a wealth of experiences and mentors in the industry. The transition has been rewarding, with Darsh expressing gratitude for the generosity and patience of those he has encountered.
Darsh’s involvement in HRVST, a production company he co-founded, has provided him with valuable insights into the intricate processes of filmmaking. He recognizes the significance of post-production and marketing, noting that only 10% of a film’s impact comes from the actual production.
Acknowledging the discerning nature of audiences, Darsh emphasizes the importance of storytelling and the evolving preferences of viewers in different regions. While he believes in the enduring value of cinema theaters, he acknowledges the role of OTT platforms in meeting the demand for diverse content.
Looking ahead, Darsh envisions making his directing debut in Indian Cinema within the next five years. Despite his ambitions, he remains process-oriented, finding satisfaction in the present state of his work. Darsh Desai’s journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of passion, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of artistic fulfillment in the dynamic world of cinematography.