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Inspiring Cinematography with Pow Shilo

  • March 5, 2021
  • Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Inspiring Cinematography with Pow Shilo

Inspiration is the best source of motivation. When I land a new project, one of the first things I do to get the creative juices flowing is search for inspiration. This brings me to a variety of materials like photography books, paintings, classic films, and the work of my fellow peers. Of course, I have my own style and approach but by observing and allowing myself to be inspired by other artists, I feel that sense of motivation to push the envelope creatively and try new methods and techniques.  

Seize Inspiration from within Our Community… 

Members of the Hurlbut Academy community are constantly at work testing their skills and making their artistic visions a reality. One such member who’s based in Kinshasa, DR. Congo is director, cinematographer, and colorist Pow Shilo

Pow Shilo filmmaker - Hurlbut Academy
Filmmaker Pow Shilo

Pow wears a number of hats which is helpful coming up in today’s industry, especially when capturing a story that’s so personal and close to the heart. From developing the story to envisioning the way the camera moves to the coloring of the imagery in post-production, you experience Pow’s work exactly as he intended. This is best illustrated in Pow’s award-winning short film Lies of Eyes

Lies of Eyes is winner of both the European Cinematography Awards and New York Cinematography Awards and a Finalist of the Asian Cinematography Awards — all impressive feats. 

Brenda Mweya Tolande Lies of Eyes
Brenda Mweya Tolande, Lies of Eyes

Pow believes in authentic, emotional storytelling. What he delivers is a unique blend of stories that are both personally and culturally significant to him and speak for his soul.  

The Sky is the Limit for Pow Shilo

When discussing his film, Pow recognized a key feature of his success, “I had to step out of my comfort zone” and noting his optimism for the future, he says, “I’m looking forward to new projects to reveal to the world — some [with] local talents — and to tell their stories.” 

There’s a dreamy and romantic aesthetic to the way he visually communicated his film. I’m intrigued by Pow and his progression as an artist and pleasantly await his future work, particularly in the narrative world. Audiences are thirsty for more unique and original storytelling and varying perspectives. 

Jason Kurt Golomingi Lies of Eyes
Still from Lies of Eyes

Pow sees his membership in the Hurlbut Academy as a constant tool and resource to help complement his creative eye. “I have learned and discovered many tips and have profited from those in my career, especially when lighting night interiors…. These are the core elements in every project and I am so grateful for being a part of the Hurlbut Academy.”

Check out the trailer to Pow’s award-winning short film ‘Lies of Eyes’ below. 

One of the best indicators of a compelling shot is when you can experience a story just by looking at the image. That’s powerful. From the location to the set dec to the actor to the wardrobe to the direction to the lighting and cinematography, each individual still is a world unto itself. 

Additional Stills from Lies of Eyes

Skim the stills below and imagine for yourself the story that’s transpiring in the image. Note the location of the camera, the type of lighting, the body language of the talent, the composition of the shot. These are the ingredients necessary in peeling the story off the script page and crafting them into a visceral experience. 

Jason Kurt Golomingi Lies of Eyes
Jason Kurt Golomingi, Lies of Eyes


woman picnic Lies of Eyes
Brenda Mweya Tolande, Lies of Eyes


suffering depression Lies of Eyes
Brenda Mweya Tolande, Lies of Eyes


Man and earbuds - Lies of Eyes
Jason Kurt Golomingi, Lies of Eyes


woman serious emotional - Lies of Eyes
Brenda Mweya Tolande, Lies of Eyes


blood on hands - Lies of Eyes
Jason Kurt Golomingi, Lies of Eyes


orange car
Still from Lies of Eyes


man in sunglasses - Lies of Eyes
Jason Kurt Golomingi, Lies of Eyes


Are you in need of further inspiration? Show @PowShilo some love by giving him a follow on Instagram

What upcoming projects have caught your eye? We’d love to hear from you on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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