Dan Santoni – Photographer, Visual Effects Artist, Art Director
Internationally renowned, Emmy Award winning artist Dan Santoni creates as a photographer, visual effects artist, and art director.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, his photography began to gain wide recognition in the early 90s. He also received editorial recognition in the Detroit News, the Detroit Metro Times, and other popular publications.
Dan became heavily involved in the underground music scene in the mid-80s, which greatly influenced his work.
In the early 90s, he was also involved in producing club events. These events included DJs, still and movie projections, multimedia sculptures, and artwork. They took place in venues such as the Majestic Theatre, The State Theatre, and 2036.
In 1994, Dan relocated to Los Angeles to continue his photography.
Delving into arts and entertainment photography, he has worked with celebrities such as: Zack Ward, Sandy King Carpenter, John Carpenter of Halloween and The Thing fame, Kelly Hu, Margaret Cho, Norwood Fisher of Fishbone, Coal Chamber, Skinny Puppy, Ohgr, David Vincent of Morbid Angel, KMFDM, Sybil Danning, Cleve Hall of SyFy Channel’s “Monster Man”, G Tom Mac, Dylan Vox, producer Scott Humphrey (Rob Zombie, Metallica, Motley Crue, The Cult), Scott Weiland (RIP), and many more. Read more about Dan’s Clients & Projects.
Dan has worked on two Academy Award winning films: The Golden Compass and Life Of Pi.
Dan also won an Emmy Award in 2015 for his work on Game of Thrones, Season 5 with Rhythm & Hues Studios, an Oscar-winning character animation, visual effects and design studio.
Dan’s photography has been featured in: Guitar Magazine, Revolver, Metal Hammer, Imago Magazine, Runway Magazine, Strings Magazine, Sound On Sound, Metal Edge, Mix Magazine, Outburn Magazine, Gothic Beauty Magazine, Rue Morgue.
His photography and art have been shown in galleries across the United States such as: Mr. Musichead Gallery, Rebecca Molayem Gallery in Beverly Hills, 2036, Urban Park, Dark’s Art Parlour, and Echo Gallery in Chicago.
On-Set Art Direction
His work in on-set art direction and 3D effects and CG animation can be seen in popular film, television, and music videos.
His credits include work on: Game of Thrones, Life of Pi, The Golden Compass, The Day After Tomorrow, Minority Report, The Incredible Hulk, Cabin in the Woods, A-Team, Land of the Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, as well as music videos for Sisqo, DJ Rap, and Ziggy Marley.
How Dan Works
Dan is well known for his conceptual portraiture. He accomplishes this by getting to know his subjects on an intellectual, psychological, and artistic level, thus enabling him to bring out each subject’s true personality, and character. This, combined with his attention to set lighting, color, and post production skills in film and photography, all come together to create a lavish world not easily attained by most photographers.
Whether working with still photographs, live action, or post production, Dan excels at handling projects from concept and pre-production, to shooting and bringing in raw footage, and finally producing a final composited and color corrected masterpiece.
Tools & Gear
CAMERAS: Nikon D600, Nikon D200, F100 Film camera, Bronika medium format camera, Yashika 2 1/4 camera
LIGHTS: Arri 600 lights (2), Arri 150 light (1), Lowell DP 1000 watt lights (2), smith victors (4) various
ACCESSORIES: Props, various gels, diffusion, stands, grip accessories
COMPUTER: Autodesk Maya, Houdini (Lighting), Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Illustrator (PC)
SKILLS: Photography, studio lighting (hot lights), on set art direction (HBO’s rivals, A&E’s Biography, low budget films), props master, photo retouching, AC/DC
EDUCATION: Wayne State University, BFA in Fine Arts and Photography.