My name is Josh Woo, I’m an award-winning cinematographer & director based in Chicago. I’ve been established here in Chicago for a few years now and am always getting inspired to create more projects with all the creative people here!
When did you pick up a camera for the first time?
I think I’ve always had a camera since I was a kid, probably since I was like 7 when the smaller digital cameras came into play. My parents got me my first real DSLR (an old-school Nikon, I still have it with me) when I was around 17, that was definitely a life-changing camera! Made me get into photography and eventually cinematography.
How has it been establishing yourself as a cinematographer here in Chicago?
Honestly, it’s been really good, I love Chicagoans, everyone here is looking out for each other. When I first started out in film school, everyone was extremely nice and got me started on sets here. Because of that, I was able to learn so quickly and got to develop myself as an established cinematographer here. There are a lot of clients/creatives who are looking for great footage, and I’ll be there. In turn, I’m sending the swing back and helping as many people who want to get into film now! It’s like a swing, someone gives you a push and once you’re up, you push the swing back.
Rumor is you’re shooting a feature film currently. How’s that going?
Yes, I am! It’s a comedy-drama based in Chicago. We’re in the second week right now, it’s definitely more meticulous and requires a lot of planning compared to smaller projects. I am enjoying it though! We’re shooting Multicam, so having to plan all my shots (around 700 shots) was definitely a fun challenge.
Have you officially broke out of the indie market?
I am currently shooting a TV series that I’m not allowed say who it’s for right now, so yes I would say so! Although, indies have a certain feel to them that I still love you know? It’s all the creative juices coming together with little to nothing and no creative barriers to stop you. A good mixture of both.
After shooting over 100 sets already, what has been your favorite you’ve been a part of?
That’s definitely a tough question. I would have to say it would be my first set that I was ever on and learned the most from, it was a feature film called Thrill Ride. They brought in a whole amusement park into a studio, that was when I was like, whoa this is filmmaking!
You run NEON 35 Media, which is an award-winning media & video production studio. How has it been running your own studio?
It’s been fantastic, having creative control over content is a blessing. Working with clients and creatives via Neon 35 has been an amazing ride, we’re looking at expanding soon so keep your eyes peeled!
Who is one person you would love to work with within your industry?
Great question. It would be phenomenal to get to work with Roger Deakins, my favorite cinematographer. He shot the latest Blade Runner, and in my humble opinion, the best looking film of the decade! Haha, others will disagree, but hey.