It is with great sorrow that I must report the death of one of my favorite cinematographers Darren Rydstrom. He died in a tragic helicopter crash in California while shooting footage for a reality series for the Discovery Channel. Two other people also died in the crash.
I first worked with Darren on "Holyman Undercover." My writing partner Tim Ratajczak and I flew out to the set to watch the work. It was a great experience and it was great meeting Darren. Our paths next crossed on "In The Blink of an Eye," a film Tim Ratajczak and I were originally slated to write. We were fired off the film as writers, but I ended up editing it. Darren did a great job shooting the film in tight corners with limited time and budget. Next I worked with Darren on my film "The Encounter." Neither Tim or I went out to the set this time, but we knew the shoot was in good hands, and, if I'm not mistaken, "The Encounter" is now the most profitable film released by PureFlix Entertainment.
Next Darren worked on my film "Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End," and its sequel, which was made at the same time. Once again, I didn't go to the set but I was confident the film would look great! My last dealings with Darren involved the Tim Ratajczak-penned Biblical epic "The Book of Esther." I edited the film. I thought Darren did some of his best work on the film. We exchanged a few calls during the edit as I searched for some footage. We didn't have an weighty conversations. Never thought one of them would be the last. That just goes to show you. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed to any of us.
Below is a picture of Darren and actor/director/producer/writer David A.R. White from the set of "Holyman Undercover." David was always quick to share the credit. Anytime I complimented David on a camera setup or camera move on "Holyman Undercover" or "The Encounter," David would always say it was Darren's idea.
We'll miss you, Darren.
Here are some trailers for films Darren worked on: