We had the good fortune of connecting with Deangelo Harding and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deangelo, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think taking risks is a huge part of whatever field you want to be in. For me, for instance, I took a huge risk starting a career in the film industry. I didn’t know what was going to happen, how far I would go, if I was going to be “successful.” A huge part of doing what you love sometimes overweighs the risks being taken. Then you ask yourself, “Is this project the best thing to take?” “What if it doesn’t go well?” “What if I fail?” All of these things play through my mind as I take on every project, but at the end of the day I take it on for the love of filmmaking and do the best that I can. So if you love what you do, take risks. Go above and beyond. Do the best you can. You miss every shot you don’t take.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love the art of filmmaking. I particularly gravitated toward cinematography because of the creative/technical aspects of it. I’m there for the director trying to make the project work. Sometimes when you plan a whole day, all your shots and notes go out the window and you have to adjust. I think that’s where I excel and can think quick on my feet to make those changes, even when it feels like the project is crumbling to others. I’m proud that I’ve learned to stay calm and collected to be able to make any changes necessary right there on the day. Getting to where I am now wasn’t easy, and I have a lot of people to thank for it. I started off assisting, pulling focus. It was years and years saying yes to any project regardless of pay, but for connections. As I was assisting I was trying to shoot my own projects on the side as validation as a cinematographer. Getting that “legitimate” body of work takes time and I hope that anyone that’s thinking of getting into this business understands that. Put your time in, don’t give up. Your big break is going to come. I’m still itching for that “big break”. I think it’s important to keep fueling the fire in an art like filmmaking. There are a lot of things, situations or people that want to put it out. Stay hungry! There are so many different ways to make a movie these days. All the cameras and different lighting are all so accessible to new filmmakers. Keep going!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Los Angeles where there could arguably be some of the best foods in California. If a buddy was visiting for a week, it would probably be a week long food tour sprinkled in with some bar hopping. We would for sure go to Highland Park where it’s a whole street full of food and bars. You could probably start a night at Block Party, a nice bar to try a different variety of beers, play some fun games in the back. I think sometimes they have a Wii hooked up to a huge projector, play yourself some Wii bowling to start the night. Then even walk two bars down to The York to grab some food and cocktails. Really fun bar for the Highland Park night scene. THEN before going to the next bar, walk across the street grab yourself some donuts at Donut Friend. Vegan friendly, very delicious. After a little snack head on over to one of my favorite bars, Blind Barber. Seemingly a barber shop out front, walk to the back it’s a full on bar with live music. That’s just one night. Rest of the week we’d probably see some of the sights. Showing my friends spots like The Grove. Hop on over to Din Tai Fung for the best dim sum. Awesome hiking spots to the Hollywood Sign. Shoot on over to Santa Monica beach a different day, walking around 3rd St. Promenade for some more food and drinks. Wow, what a time to be alive.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There a few people in my life that has driven my career to where it is today that definitely deserve a shoutout. John Frost – Cinematographer/Director John was the first person that hired me on my first movie as an assistant. I learned so much from that experience and owe him a lot for where I am today. I was a young kid, no experience, little pay, but I said yes to everything the production needed even if it meant I wore a couple hats. I think John saw that early on and still trusts me on big projects today! George Nienhuis – Director George is a very talented director with a camera rental business, and that’s where I really learned a lot of the camera gear, rigging cameras, learning lenses. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to stick around him and learn enough to shoot some of his projects today. Big shoutout to G! Wojtek Kielar – Cinematographer Woj is the best person to tell it like it is. I’ve taken so much of his advice that has changed the way I shoot, or think about running a set. One of the most smartest, talented guys I know! I’ve learned so much about the logistics of cinematography from this man. Tristan Nyby – Cinematographer I feel my style has formed being around Tristan on set. The way I like to shoot, light, choose gear comes a lot from all of these guys, but Tristan’s style has sort of rubbed onto me the most. Love being around him on set, continuously watching and learning. I’ve learned to put intent behind the shot.
Isiah Flores Juan Ramirez