Darrell Wonge’s Pivot from Pro-Baller to Pro Cinematographer
Shane and Lydia welcome pro-baller-turned-cinematographer Darrell Wonge to the Filmmakers Academy studio to discuss his career pivot and learn everything from his networking strategy to how he handles the stress of set life while managing his crew.
After suffering a career-ending injury, Darrell turned his efforts to cinematography. At first, he didn’t have the experience and knowledge but he was determined to become better. So, he approached it like basketball. Where at one time he would be in the gym four times a day for training, he employed that same regimen to his growth as a cinematographer.
He started his mornings watching photography tutorials, reading trade articles, practicing by lighting his wife. He also took accomplished photographers out to lunch to learn their approach. In fact, one of the videos Darrell turned to was Shane’s video How To Build a Cinematographer’s Look Book, demonstrating how he created the lookbook for the Netflix Original movie, Holidate.
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Darrell loves how filmmaking is very much a team sport akin to basketball. While helping his wife, who appeared on big commercial campaigns like L’Oreal and Pantene, Darrell honed his visual craft and learned about LUTs and color grading.
After launching into a successful commercial career as a director of photography, Darrell had to make a very difficult decision. Keep making commercials or pursue narrative. He chose the latter and the sky is literally the limit for Darrell. His career is now blossoming in the film industry. His upcoming series is called The Dessert. It’s presented by Bruce McCulloch of “The Kids in the Hall.”
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