Generation Now

The Kids Are All Right: Danny Brown

His hometown provides plenty of visual inspiration for his filmmaking and photography.

By Catherine Lutz and Barbara Platts Photography by Karl Wolfgang May 30, 2018 Published in the Summer 2018 issue of Aspen Sojourner


Image: Karl Wolfgang

Cinematographer and Artist 

Aspen High Class of 2000

As a cinematographer, Brown has shot an eclectic mix of projects for more than a decade, including recent ones like “The Aspen Way” video campaign for Aspen Skiing Company and a Jeep commercial for the 2017 X Games. He also focuses on personal artistic endeavors like nature time lapses and meditation videos. The latter recently turned into a paying gig when Brown was hired to spend a month in late 2017 shooting meditation films in Tasmania.

“I chose film because I thought it was the most powerful medium,” says the 35-year-old of his career. “I want to create something that helps inspire people.”

At the University of Colorado in Boulder, Brown studied digital art, cinema, and photography. When he finished school, he spent a couple more years in the college town, designing websites and time lapses for clients, then adding in commercial videos and documentaries.

Around 2006, Brown decided to return to Aspen. He held varied jobs at first, rolling sushi for a winter, filming events, and working for a digital art company. Over the years, he procured more clients of his own, and his repertoire grew. “It was a struggle at times,” he admits, “but I think it’s a lot easier if you have connections from growing up here.”

For Brown, one of Aspen’s main draws is the skiing, but he also appreciates the small community. An only child, he enjoys spending time with his parents—who moved here in the late ’60s and early ’70s—as well as with close friends. He also met his wife, Wesley, a fellow native, here. He struck up a conversation with her on the back patio of the Cantina restaurant in summer 2009. In 2013, they married.

When he’s not working, Brown often tinkers with technology; he’s currently building computers and learning to better use various software programs. Reinforcing his decision to return home is the ever-present great outdoors; it’s not only where he recreates, but it also serves as his muse. “It’s always inspiring to be able to shoot around Aspen,” says Brown. “It never gets old.”

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