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All Featured Artists, 5th Edition

Danny Chandia

Director | Writer | Editor | VFX Artist |
Desert Cactus Films

Danny Chandia is a Las Vegas filmmaker known for his unique visual style. He picked up a camera at an early age and began making short films. By his senior year of high school, he was editing in Final Cut Pro. He majored in Broadcast Journalism at the Las Vegas Academy, and during this time- got his first job as an in-studio camera operator for the local PBS station, Channel 10. ​ After graduating, he began doing camera for the morning news at the local NBC affiliate KSNV, Channel 3. Around this time he also worked as an in-house videographer at the Thomas & Mack Center, making videos for the Jumbotron during live sporting events. This was also where he first started learning Adobe After Effects. ​ He then began shooting and editing for travel-based reality TV shows. This opportunity took him around the world- from Europe, to Africa, to Southeast Asia. His work on these shows has been seen on major international networks like Travel Channel UK and MTV Canada, as well as popular streaming services- Netflix and Amazon Prime. ​ He moved to downtown Las Vegas in 2013, and worked various freelance jobs while honing his skills as a writer, trying to get his first feature off the ground. Instead, he ended up shooting years worth of footage for a documentary about the tenants of the complex he was living in- Desert Cactus Apartments. In 2017, the property was sold and the scope of the piece expanded to include downtown as a whole. It’s now an ongoing project. ​ In 2018, he was invited to participate in the Las Vegas Film Festival: Music Video Lab, where filmmakers are matched up with musicians to make a video for $400. It came in $150 under-budget, and was completed in two weeks, with a two-person crew. ​ This two-person crew is now married. ​ Danny has recently started a production company with his wife and producer, Rachel Johnson, called Desert Cactus Films. Together, the pair have found their niche making music videos. By taking a DIY approach, they’ve been able to tell big stories on tight budgets. ​ Their latest video, “Violent Water”, garnered attention in film festivals across the country and won awards for Best Music Video and Best Visual Effects. ​ They’re now working on a fantasy short film called, “Margaret the Brave”. It utilizes all the techniques they’ve become known for, such as miniatures, stop-motion animation and matte paintings. The project is entering its final phase of VFX shooting this summer.

Follow Danny: Website

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