Danny Chandia is a Las Vegas filmmaker known for his striking visual style. His editing and camera work have been seen on major international networks like Travel Channel UK and MTV Canada, as well as popular streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime.
From a young age he showed a keen interest in the visual arts. At age 8, he began using his dad's video camera to make stop-motion movies with his toys. Pretty soon he was making amateur skate videos using kids in the neighborhood. The summer before high school, he started learning to edit in iMovie by cutting together still photos into musical montages.
He attended the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts and studied Broadcast Journalism. By senior year, he had gotten his first job as an in-studio camera operator at PBS. By graduation, he was editing in Final Cut Pro and making money as a one-man event videographer.
In the next few years, he went on to work for several local media companies. Sam Boyd Entertainment - shooting live sporting events and editing in-house video content for the Thomas & Mack Center, and the local NBC affiliate KSNV Channel 3 - doing in-studio camera and floor directing for the morning news.
At Age 20, he had the opportunity to work on a reality-based travel show called Wreck Trek. The concept was to drive three junkyard cars 10,000 miles from Berlin, Germany to Cape Town, South Africa. He began the trip logging footage on the road, but picked up camera duties halfway through. Along the way, he cut together "webisodes", which eventually convinced Travel Channel UK to buy the series. Danny edited the pilot, as well as the last five episodes of the season. After its syndicated television run in over 150 countries, Wreck Trek went on to streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime.
A few years later he reunited with the same producer in southeast Asia, to do camera for a trip driving Tuk Tuks through Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. The show was later sold to MTV Canada.
In 2018, Danny and his wife and producing partner Rachel Johnson, started Desert Cactus Films - specializing in music videos, short films, and documentaries.
FEATURED PROJECT: VIOLENT WATER
This music video was shot over the course of 3 months, on a budget of $1000 raised from a Kickstarter. It combines 23 actors and extras, wire and stop-motion puppets, and various miniatures and matte paintings to pay homage to the grandfather of special FX filmmaking; Georges Méliès.
"NOOSE" MUSIC VIDEO
Made as part of the Las Vegas Film Festival Music Video Lab; which pairs local filmmakers with local musicians.
With this split screen version, you can get a "Behind the Scenes" look at how the music video was made- from start to finish.
It took us exactly two weeks and cost a grand total of $298. Lots of trips to Savers, Michaels, Joanne's Fabrics, and one trip to Metro Pizza.