The Life of a Cinematographer: A Prologue

I have to start this off by thanking everyone out there for the encouragement to bring back this blog. Staring at the last entry date of almost 5 years ago, the task seems overwhelming. The same questions run through my head that have for the last 5 years: “Why would anyone want to listen to me? What value does my experience hold for others? There are plenty of other cinematographers out there that are doing so much more, so what can I contribute?” I posted about it on my Instagram, wondering if anyone cared. Here’s how you answered:


Aside from a few jokers (you know who you are), I have to say the response was overwhelming. So I’m going to dive in to this full force.

A recap

I started the year off shooting a short film with my longtime friend and collaborator, director Stuart Valberg (@stuartvalberg), and now new friend (and collaborator), producer Brandon Lescure (@brandonlescure). We shot a short film near Baltimore called “The Last Job”, on the Sony Venice and a prototype Rialto sensor extension unit, provided by Paul Healy (@sonysayspro) from Sony.

I’ll do an in-depth breakdown of the film, and hopefully I’ll be able to show you some really cool stuff we did that I can’t talk about just yet.

After we wrapped, I headed down to Mexico City for a week of vacation - my first in almost 2 years. It’s an incredible city, full of life, culture, great food, amazing people and inspiration.

I’ll be touching on work/life balance, and the importance of mental and physical health in future posts. This has become an ever-increasingly important topic for me. And yes, #everydayislegday.


Working with friends and family unfortunately doesn’t happen frequently, but in this next project I got to do both.

Reunited with director Mike Pecci (@mikepecci), we shot my brother and chef Philip Kruta of Brassica Kitchen (@brassicakitchen) in a spot for a knife manufacturer. This was a pure collaboration on all parts, with another friend and collaborator, Patrick Biesemans (@patrickbiesemans), contributing the creative.

I’ll be doing a breakdown as well once the project is released.

Mike and I also sat down and recorded a podcast for In Love With the Process (@inlovewiththeprocesspod) about cinematography, DP and director relationships, our philosophies on filmmaking, and a few comments about beer and ribs - just some of our favorite topics.

The future

With that said, my goals for this blog are still coming in to focus. I want this to be a place where discussions can begin. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the craft, updates and reviews of new equipment that I find interesting, technical breakdowns of how I light and shoot, the importance of networking, health, and other indirectly related activities, and hopefully some rib recipes.

I want to thank everyone that has so generously given their time, energy and knowledge over the years, and in bringing back this blog, I hope it can start to repay some of that debt.

I want to hear from you

As always, the conversation continues on my Instagram (@dkruta). Please feel free to send me any questions or comments. I love chatting about cinematography and I’m always interested to hear your thoughts.