Darryl E. Smith
Cinematographer (Los Angeles Unit)

   
Darryl’s professional Film/Video Career began at PBS station WGTE Television in Toledo Oh where he first gained national exposure by shooting the minor league baseball documentary “Life in the Minors”. He later moved in to advertising accepting a position as a Director of Photography for Visions/Koontz Advertising. His next step was to enter into the freelance arena were he thrived in the Toledo Ohio and Detroit Michigan markets amassing a client list including; Ford Motor Company, Owens ‘Corning Fiberglas, and Kmart (WHQ).
 
In 1992, a response to a letter that changed a career.
Though they had previously never met or spoken Darryl blindly wrote Director of Photography George Spiro Dibbie at Warner Bros. concerning a lighting technique he was using.  Mr. Dibbie returned the letter with a phone call, and after a great conversation Darryl was invited to visit him on the set of the television show “Growing Pains”.
 
Darryl flew to Los Angeles and spent two weeks on the set graciously absorbing the knowledge past on from Mr. Dibbie.  During the filming of the “Halloween Special” Darryl made a key suggestion of lighting of a vehicle at night (Being from Detroit you have to be able to light cars!) impressed Mr. Dibbie encouraged Darryl to continue his career in Los Angeles.  Just before saying their final goodbyes a member of the crew referred to Mr. Dibbie as President Dibbie.  Imagine Darryl’s surprise when he learned that the president of the camera union had been his mentor the past two weeks.
 
Deciding to leave a successful freelance career Darryl moved to Los Angeles in 1992.   After calling on producers, production, crewing companies, and working on non- paid productions as a DP/camera operator for more than two (2) months, Darryl landed his first LA based show “Totally Hidden Video”.
 
Since those important first days Darryl has gone on to work as a Director of Photography for clients including Disney, Dreamworks, MTV, BET, WB Donner, Warner Bros., NFL Network, NBC and a host of others.   Darryl is best known for High Definition 4K, 2K camera systems and workflows, and lighting celebrity faces, especially women, (Oprah (Got to use warm colors), Mariah Carey (hard light always to the right), Loni Anderson (No go on the low lights)). Darryl has been the DP for all 17 seasons on the internationally popular MTV hit show “Cribs”.  As busy as he has been shooting national commercials, and music videos for many artists including Prince, He has always given back to the production community by creating and instructing HD camera operator workshops for up and coming young talent as well as the Viacom Companies CBS, BET, MTV.  In October of 2001, at the request of his clientele he created and incorporated his own production company entitled Darryl E. Smith Productions, Inc., which provides professionally, trained crew personnel and equipment to the production community.
 
 
Directing
In the mid 1990’s Darryl directed a music video for a group of the famed Jackson Family and it was well received.  In the mid 2000’s He won a directors award for his short film “One Life to Give” in the Boston International Film Festival.  Grabbing the helm of the “Cribs” franchise he directed 11 episodes, and to strengthen his chops Darryl attends acting, scriptwriting, and directing workshops/classes. 
 
Directing gets a boost
After shooting the Playboy Halloween special for famed television director Rich Correll Darryl was offered a unique opportunity that advanced his directing career.  Director Rich Correll allowed Darryl to shadow him on the hit Disney sitcom “The Suite life of Zach and Cody” where he learned some of the most important tools for a Director “How to prep for the production”, Script Breakdown, Character Relationships, and Comedic Timing.
 
Now on Disney’s radar after directing seven (7) episodes of the Disney online series “Meals in Mayhem” his directing work is creating it’s own career path.  His Director of Photography career continues to thrive, and his love for both of the careers he is so much a part of, forges ahead with many more chapters to write. www.DESProd,com