Saddened to hear of the sudden passing of director Steve DiMarco who I worked with over two seasons of Dark Matter. A unique individual with a sense of style all his own, Steve was one of this industry’s quickest and most efficient shooters, never failing to make his days, often wrapping early (to the delight of the crew). He was also a thoughtful and kind-hearted individual who would, over lunch and between set-ups, swing on by my office for a casual chat.
I honestly didn’t know quite what to make of him on first meeting, this rebel punk in combat boots (and, if I remember correctly on that first day, a kilt), but we ended up forming an unlikely connection over a shared appreciation for The Prodigy, Ministry and, of course, good storytelling.
Steve’s first episode of Dark Matter was Season 2, Episode 3 “I’ve Seen the Other Side of You” that kicks off with one of the show’s most suspenseful openings: FIVE on the run from some unknown pursuers who, in the Tease’s closing seconds, are revealed to be her fellow crew members. I remember watching the director’s cut of the that scene – the CLOSE SHOTS, the QUICK CUTS, the unbearable escalating tension as she evades capture, seemingly escapes, only to be snagged at the very last moment. It’s a terrific scene, one that puts Steve’s skills on full display – and simply blew me away in the editing suite.
He came back to direct two episodes in the show’s third season, Episode 3 “Welcome to the Revolution”, and Episode 11 “The Dwarf Star Conspiracy”. The latter included a shot he pitched during prep week that I was, admittedly, dubious could be pulled off – a shot of an expanding blood pool whose widening compass captures the reflection of our main baddie (played by actress Kate Drummond). I was skeptical it would work, but Steve proved me wrong. Proved me wrong AND wrapped before lunch.
Sure, he was fast. But he was also very good.
We kept in touch via email after Dark Matter ended, meeting up for a sushi lunch back in January over which we discussed the state of the industry. He was finding it increasingly difficult to land steady work despite his great body of work. The pandemic only exacerbated the situation, but Steve remained upbeat in his messages, always checking in to see how I was doing. The last time I heard from Steve was back in November when we exchanged emails and he told me about some writing he was doing. It’s a shame he never got the opportunity to realize that work.
Steve DiMarco was one-of-a-kind. And he will be missed.