How I work
"The simplest way that I can describe it is that a movie is something you see, and cinema is something that’s made…. Cinema is a specificity of vision. It’s an approach in which everything matters." Steven Soderbergh
I believe in Soderbergh's notion of Cinema. I strive always to bring that specificity to my work, whether for myself of others. I think specificty is at the heart of the magic.
What can I do for you?
Collaborate! Whether, you have an idea for a project that needs a director, you are looking for someone to lens your film, or have a compelted project that needs some post-production magic, let's talk. From lo-no budget projects to tentpole studio films, I have a broad range of experience in leadership roles that I can bring to the table.
My heart is in directing, and that is the most collaborative role. I can take your script, script idea, music video idea, commerical pitch, and help you shape it into exactly what you are looking for. All positions on set are service oriented in some way, and directing is no different. For me, the key is knowing what you are in service to and always keeping that in the frame.
I approach work as Director of Photography, the same as the Director, as a service. Only as DP I stay focussed on composition, lighting, and capturing the sponteneity of life.
"Illusion won best cinematography at the Beverly Hills Film Festival in part due to Derek's talent to capture beautiful, vivid images that spoke to the heart and soul of the film. Filming Illusion Derek had the ability to translate my vision as the director through the most beautiful, exciting imagery - surprising in the most delightful way. His understanding of story made it very easy for me to create and take risks with ease. " Jessica Hester, Director "Illusion"
With Visual Effects, all bets are off. Welcome to the Rabbit Hole. Let your imagination fly. Here, I believe in invisible effects, in enhancing the world and the story, fixing what may be broken, polishing what is already golden, creating what wasn't there.
"You're top notch, Derek. Thank you for being so thorough in your work. It definitely helps the work flow." Edward Kinniry-Ostro, Producer "Hold Up Heart"
I grew up on the prep floor of Birns and Sawyer, a boutique camera rental company in Hollywood, and was introduced at a young age to the technology involved in making films. After leaving Hollywood for school, and spending a year in Paris, I graduated with honors from University of California, San Diego, where I studied with French “nouveau vague” filmmaker JP Gorin, a long-time collaborator with Jean Luc Goddard. I consider this time my Hollywood de-programming. After university I decided to return to Hollywood, where I worked to became an expert in digital cinema technology and post-production. By some wonderful chance, I have been fortunate to have worked with such filmmakers as David Fincher, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Ang Lee. Zodiac was my first feature film credit, and the greatest learning experience I could have hoped for. After serving on Fincher's digital camera crew, I took a job with Vince Pace who designed with James Cameron the 3D cameras used on Avatar. This kicked off a 6 year stint where I worked at breakneck speed in a leadership position on over a dozen 3D feature films, inlcuding Oscar Winning "Hugo" and "Life of Pi".