Filmmaker Friday Featuring Filmmaker Josh Woo

An Insiders Perspective On The Creative World of Filmmaking

With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a filmmaker. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to filmmaker Josh Woo about his work. This is what he said:

Filmmaker Josh Woo on set

What inspires you?

Josh Woo: Films and art. Watching all kinds of films from across the world definitely gives me lots of inspiration. Art, particularly paintings, always give me creative ideas on how to mimic and create frames based on it.

What is your role on set?

Josh Woo: On set I am the Director of Photography, the person in charge of capturing the vision. Having worked in the industry for a few years now, I’ve been branching out into directing! 

Why did you choose this field?

Josh Woo: I wanted to get into movies because of some documentaries I saw when I was younger. I knew that films could create change so I pursued filmmaking. I had always been into photography, and I translated it to cinematography, which became my passion.

How does Filmtools help you?

Josh Woo: Filmtools has a very accessible online store for equipment and gear to purchase. Whenever I require certain gear for shoots, Filmtools is sure to have it.

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?

Josh Woo: I worked on a movie called Thrill Ride where they brought in an entire amusement park into the studios.

What did you study in school?

Josh Woo:I studied Digital Cinema Production in school, concentrating in Cinematography. I got the chance to try out other departments on set too in school, but cinematography was my calling.

Favorite food on Set?

Josh Woo: Fruit snacks, particularly Welch’s fruit snacks! Other brands are compromise.

Person in the industry that is on the top of his or her game in your role. 

Josh Woo: Roger Deakins is my favorite DP in the industry. His creative vision and technical skills are what I aspire to master.

If you had to impress someone with your work, what would be the most “well-known” content that you’ve worked on? 

Josh Woo: Here’s a piece I directed that’s currently on it’s festival runs.

 When you arrive at set, What’s the first thing you do?

Josh Woo: I head straight to get a cup of coffee. Coffee starts the day.

How did you break into this industry?

Josh Woo: It started with film school for me. I had zero prior connections to the film industry, I spent all my time and effort in film school to work on my craft and make connections. If you aren’t lucky, you have to work harder for it! Now that I’m a cinematographer in the industry, I try my best to help others who are trying to get in.

What challenges have you faced?

Josh Woo: As mentioned before, I had to work extra hard to get into the industry as I had no connections. A lot of my peers had film connections. I overcame that by strengthening my cinematography and treating everyone on set nice!

Current TV obsession?

Josh Woo: The second season of Stranger Things. I’ve rewatched it a few times now, it’s so good.

Do you binge-watch new shows or pace them out?

Josh Woo: A bit of both really, I watch three or four episodes per sitting.

What piece of gear do you have your eye on?

Josh Woo: I’m currently looking at getting a few Arri Skypanels! Definitely the best industry standard LED on the market.

Camera – Should you own or rent? 

Josh Woo: I think every DP should own a basic camera at least. In this day and age, especially in the indie market, owner-op DPs are more likely to get hired.

Lenses – Should you own or rent?

Josh Woo: Again, own some basic lenses. I personally rent with production for higher end lenses.

Do you have a piece of essential gear that you don’t leave without? 

Josh Woo:I have a Gerber multitool from Filmtools that I always bring to set!

What advice would you give to people interested in this industry?

Always be nice to everyone on set. Sometimes all you need is one opportunity, use that opportunity to be nice and respectful to everyone.

Where can people follow you on social?

Josh Woo: You can follow me on Instagram at @joshwoofilms



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