Dan's career as a cinematographer began in the independent film-friendly city of Austin, Texas. After working in Texas for almost eight years, Dan relocated to Los Angeles where he continued to work in the film industry while further enhancing his visual storytelling skills under the mentorship of ASC cinematographer and esteemed educator Bill Dill. Dan served as teaching assistant for Dill while earning an MFA in film production from Chapman University. With more than 150 shooting credits on feature films, commercials, television pilots, documentaries, music videos, and short films, Dan has worked with formats ranging from 35mm and 16mm to 4K, 2K and HD / HDSLR.
Growing up without a television has served as more than poetic irony for Parsons. He cites listening to radio dramas as his earliest experiences in visual storytelling. Music also played a critical role in his introduction to filmmaking. In 1998, while composing music for a feature film, Dan discovered cinematography. Overcome by the magic of the camera, Dan realized that cinematography was his means of actualizing the lighting, movement, and visual character development he had imagined as a child while listening to stories on the radio. To this day, Dan credits these auditory connections to filmmaking among his greatest assets as a visual storyteller.