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MJ Schilling

When I was five years old, my great-grandfather brought me into his living and

sat me down. He then strung up a 3’x3 projection screen and pulled out a Kodak 8mm

projector. I watched him with wonder as he fed the film through the movement, onto

the take up reel, and flipped the ‘forward’ switch. It was simply a family film he shot in

the 50’s, but I was mesmerized. That was my introduction to the power of an image.

After that I knew using a camera to tell a story is what my soul was meant to do in this


I spent my adolescence running around with my Canon AE-1 in hand at all

times, never letting the dream of telling visual stories fade away. After Highschool, I

went and earned a BFA in Film & Television Production from the Academy of Art

University in San Francisco. While attending and post-graduation, I have been working

tirelessly in the industry in the lighting department. I was even mentored by Chris

‘Chicken Legs’ Strong, who is an industry legend, and long time David Fincher

collaborator. My extensive background in lighting has led me to working with clients like Fox, Amazon, Netflix, shows such as 'American Horror Story', and the film '6 Balloons'. I was inducted into the International Cinema Lighting Society (ICLS) in 2022.


I’m continually on the hunt for more interesting, collaborative, and character driven works that aim to make a difference. I want to continue to contribute my voice in aiding other artists get their opportunity to be seen. 


I am a member of the 2023 class of American Society of Cinematographers Vision Program, currently working out of Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

(213) 361-6914
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