Shootin' The Shot



Who are you?
I am Josh Silfen, a cinematographer (or Director of Photography or DP) in New York and LA.

What have you shot?
I have shot some indie features that you probably haven't heard of, but you just might be able to find on DVD if you are a particularly enterprising film watcher. I've also shot some other stuff. For more on my work, check out my web site.

What is cinematography?

Cinematography is the art of motion picture photography. Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the subject.

So you're like, the guy that holds the camera?
Sure, why not.

Are you the greatest DP in the world?
This is a very subjective question, obviously. Ask a hundred different people "Is Josh Silfen the greatest DP in the world?" and you're likely to get a hundred different answers, ranging from "who?" and "what's a DP?" all the way to "I thought I told you to leave me alone" and "no." All I can tell you for sure is that my mother seems to think so, so you can take that for whatever it's worth.

Your work is truly an inspiration to me.
Thank you, but did you have a question?

Where did you go to film school?

I really like the look of _______ [Pick one: No Country for Old Men, Saving Private Ryan, Blade Runner, The Godfather, Citizen Kane]. Which sub-$5000 prosumer digital video camera and lights from Home Depot will make the "no-budget" movie I'm shooting in my apartment look like that?

Oh, and can you supply that camera, along with your services as a DP, to the production free of charge for every weekend for the next six months?

What if I provide you with a copy of the film, your name in the credits, and lukewarm pizza twice daily for the duration of the shoot?

Is it true that you will often suggest a dolly shot, even when it is not really appropriate, simply because you enjoy riding on the dolly?
No comment.