Episode 376 – Cinematographer Darin Moran


Darin Moran has been making movies for over 20 years. While he studied design & photography at The Academy of Art in San Francisco and film theory and cinematography at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, he dropped out of school after a few years to learn in the field by actually making films.

Exposed to a wide variety of processes and styles across multiple disciplines, Darin’s eclectic work experience with many talented cinematographers and directors informs his vision now as a DP. Specializing in working with natural light, Darin’s focus is creating powerful imagery using photography that’s hidden in the story rather than presented upfront. His recent work includes AGE OF SUMMER, BANANA SPLIT, and the streaming series THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER. RUN HIDE FIGHT is his sixth feature film as a Director of Photography.

In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Cinematographer Darin Moran about the path of becoming a Director of Photography, soft skills versus hard skills, the importance of relationships and diplomacy on set, how to be a leader on set and serve the story, mentors and how to find them; as well as his work on THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, MOON KNIGHT and the upcoming feature THE ESTATE.


Darin Moran’s Website: https://darinmoran.com

Darin Moran on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0602824/

Darin Moran on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/darin-moran-aa569432

Darin Moran in IG: https://www.instagram.com/dm1127/?hl=en



Hi, everyone!

Welcome to Episode 376. I’m sitting down with Director of Photography Darin Moran. We talk about his career and the exciting titles that he’s worked on: Hawkeye, Moon Knight, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Godzilla vs Kong, Chef, The Hunger Games and so many more! He’s received many awards as a DP. We also talk about his recent film The Estate which comes out this week.

We get into a lot of Darin’s perspective. We talk about:

  • Growing up as a skateboarder and how that translated into his career path;
  • The career path of becoming a Cinematographer; 
  • The value of on-set experience – and finding your style as a DP;
  • The soft skills versus the hard skills;
  • The importance of relationships and diplomacy on set;
  • His experience on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier;
  • The cameras used on The Falcon and Winter Soldier and Moon Knight;
  • The process of different directors and the Michael Bay experience;
  • Working with Jon Favreau on Chef;
  • How to be a leader on set and serve the story;
  • The importance of mentors – and how to find them;
  • Darin’s recommendations for a starter kit (cameras and lenses);
  • Advice for young filmmakers;
  • And finally, working on the upcoming feature The Estate on location in New Orleans.

Let’s dive in!



[00:58]  Have you ever sent in your reel and wondered why you didn’t get the callback or what the reason was you didn’t get the job? Over the past 20 years of working for studios like ILM, Blur Studio, Ubisoft, I’ve built hundreds of teams and hired hundreds of artists — and reviewed thousands of reels! That’s why I decided to write The Ultimate Demo Reel Guide from the perspective of someone who actually does the hiring. You can get this book for free right now at www.allanmckay.com/myreel!

[54:19] One of the biggest problems we face as artists is figuring out how much we’re worth. I’ve put together a website. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com! This is a chance for you to put in your level of experience, your discipline, your location — and it will give you an accurate idea what you and everyone else in your discipline should be charging. Check it out: www.VFXRates.com!


Okay, what did you think? I want to thank Darin for coming on the Podcast. I’d love to have him back for another Episode.

Next week, I’m speaking with Digital Effects and Asset Supervisor Christopher Zammit.

Until then –

Rock on! 


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