We had the good fortune of connecting with Daria Rountree and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Daria, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’ve always been passionate about storytelling but the films I was applying to work on weren’t usually ones I was passionate about. I wanted to make films that had an impact on people, really made them think and also help change peoples negative views of the lgbtq+ community through understanding we are all the same. I wanted to find people just as passionate as me about art, quality and our messages to work with. The universe put an incredibly talented writer, Jordan Campbell, in my life and thus, 90 Degree Films was born.

Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I first found my love of film when I was 5 years old. I went to visit my dad on set and first saw movie magic. I realized movies weren’t real and I wanted to be a part of that magic. Though my dad is in the industry it has been a struggle. I started acting at a young age and studied it up until 2017. I had wanted to be an actor but being gay made it very hard for me to find any roles that I fit so I gave it up and dedicated myself fully to filmmaking. I picked up a camera and started making films at age 12. I went to film school and started shooting smaller projects. I had a family friend who hired me on a show called Inside the Label on BET which I ended up shooting. Slowly I started making a name for myself working on different short films, music videos and web series, some of which won awards. Luckily I found my partner Jordan Campbell who was just as passionate about filmmaking as me. We started working on our own films and our most recent film, Virginia, Forever has won 10 awards and 13 Official Selections to date. This is definitely the work I am most proud of. I believe what’s gotten me to this point is my obsession for learning and also networking. I continue to study constantly which improves my craft and expands my abilities which then expand the possibilities for the stories I can tell. Whenever I meet someone who is an established Director, DP, or Cam Op I pick their brain. I also joined SOC and WIF which have events that I can learn at and network. “Its all about who you know” is a very true statement in this industry so networking is a must. Though I am not where I want to be in my career I am excited about where I am at. I get to be on set and make a living working in this industry and I couldn’t be more grateful. I used to think that when I got out of film school I should immediately start getting hired on big shows and movies but I realized that it’s a journey. It can take years to break into the industry but as long as you continue networking, making a name for yourself and working on your craft you will get there.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend who hadn’t been to LA before, I would take them to Griffith and show them the view from The Observatory. City Walk is another place I enjoy walking around. We would definitely have to go to a club in Weho. I have a favorite view spot in Burbank where you can see the city lights, Universal Studios lit up escalators and the Burbank airport where you can watch the planes take off and land. The Melrose trading post is a fun flea market to visit on Sundays. There are so many places to visit in LA we’d need a way longer trip than a weekend haha Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could not do this without my partner, Jordan Campbell. He is the genius who I can throw ideas at and he flushes them out and creates stories I am always so blown away by. We can sit for hours coming up with ideas for stories and talking about movies. We actually started a movie review show called Movie Blah Blah where we review films but they always end up accidentally being like a half hour or more because we get so into the discussions. His passion fuels my passion and our drive brings our ideas to life. From months of pre production, through production and him sitting with me for hours in post so I can bounce ideas off of, he is always there. He is the writer of our recent film, Virginia, Forever, where I won: Best Director, Cinematography, and Female Filmmaker. We also won multiple “Best Short” awards in different film fests. None of it would be possible without him and I am so grateful to have him by my side on this journey.

Website: www.DariaVisuals.com

Instagram: @DariarVisuals

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dariarountree/

Youtube: youtube.com/DariarVisuals

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