We had the good fortune of connecting with Dartagnon “Doc” Raines and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dartagnon “Doc”, how do you think about risk?
My whole career as a filmmaker started based on risks I took. In my early 20’s I was pursuing modeling and acting and I wasn’t really getting booked for any gigs that I was passionate about, I wasn’t making money, I was really struggling to figure out what to do with my life. Things got so rough that I decided I’d just join the military so I worked up the courage to go enlist. It was that exact day, the exact moment I pulled into the parking lot of the recruiting office that I got booked for a project that lead to me meeting the director which lead to me getting hired as a Production Assistant for Colin Tilley (a well known music video director)
Shortly after I was out one night with friends in Hollywood, drunk.. We were walking back to the car and stumbled upon a parked party bus. My friend walked on the bus and started talking to the driver and I followed behind him. It was this moment where taking a risk changed the course of my life. As soon as I stepped on the bus I looked to my left and spotted a small bag sitting on a seat. My mind was made, this bag was waiting for me, so I grabbed it and walked right back off the bus unseen by the driver. As soon as me and my friends got back to the car I opened the bag and what did I find? A camera, two lenses, battery charger, and memory card.
Fast forward 10 years later and I’m currently writing this from a hotel in London while on a business trip shooting a movie with my business partner and friend since grade school, Lakeith Stanfield.
One of my personal sayings is:
I took a lot of risks to live like this. – Dartagnon Raines
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I don’t know what sets me apart form others besides the fact that I am not others, I am myself. Im not gunna sit here and give you some BS story about how I’m this unicorn being.. I hate when people do that. Im just myself. I love smoothies, I play with my kids and I skateboard, I drink a lot of water.
I’m most proud of my greatest creations, my two sons.
I got to where I am in my career strictly from listening to myself, not giving up on my artistry, quitting every 9-5 job I had after a couple months so I could focus on my craft, living in my 89 Chevy K5 Blazer, creating something everyday, growing up in Victorville California, using my pain as fuel.
It was and still is the furthest thing from easy.
Lessons I’ve learned are:
Go for what you know.
God is real.
DO NOT GIVE UP ON WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.
Be sober, it’s way cooler.
Slip on Vans may be the best shoes to skate in.
Anything is possible, you just have to figure out how to make it happen.
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?
I think the best time ever is exploring and experiencing new things, so I’d just say lets go do something we’ve never done! I’d rather create a memory that we’ve both never experienced rather than do something I’ve already done. I feel like the memory will be more worth holding onto if it’s not just the same old “lets get something to eat or lets go get drinks or lets go shop here..” What about let’s just wander around and get lost, talk to random people and then try to find our way back home without using gps. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My God My two sons
My four sisters
My knee injury