Jesse Dana is a two time Emmy winning cinematographer with a decade of experience shooting in environments ranging from large sound stages to San Quentin Prison.
He began his path toward filmmaking at a very young age developing his sense of composition and narrative within the frame by studying drawing, photography, and graphic design. While still in high school, Jesse was awarded an Ellen Tauscher Congressional Award for photographic achievement.
Shortly after high school Jesse began to explore filmmaking; working as a director on his own films and then as a cinematographer. Jesse filmed his first feature length film in 2001; he and the director worked with an improv troupe over the course of a year crafting the film. After the movie wrapped Jesse returned to school, and in 2005 he graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Cinema Studies from San Francisco State University. Jesse worked on set throughout his time at SFSU, shooting and lighting student shorts as well as corporate work.
Since finishing college Jesse is now a full-time freelance cinematographer. He has lensed four more narrative features and is co-producing and shooting a feature documentary about the transition home after a life sentence in prison called Life After Life. Jesse has been behind the lens on over 30 regional, national, and web based commercials as well as 40+ music videos. His work has been featured on MTV, Fuse, BET, World Star Hip Hop, Pitchfork, AOL, Spinner, Wiretap Music, The Tripwire, Pop Matters, FensePost, Laughing Squid, Wired, Lovely Junkie and IHEARTCOMIX.
Name: Jesse Dana
Lives in: San Francisco, California
Occupation: Camera Operator, Cinematographer and Director of Photography