Jacob Sillman hails from Sudbury, MA. Growing up, Jacob watched hundreds of films and TV shows, ranging from esoteric foreign films to the latest action movie. He quickly picked up a camera and began filming short videos with his friends and family on weekends, copying many of the techniques he saw onscreen. Jacob went on to study Film and Television Production at NYU, focusing on cinematography and directing. He gravitated towards the visual element of filmmaking and shot as many films as he could, experimenting with camera movement and framing. Jacob continued this focus on the visual craft of filmmaking, studying 35mm filmmaking at the famed FAMU film school in Prague. He filmed several projects in that format, learning how to be exacting and precise with his camera setups. Jacob graduated in 2012 with a B.F.A. in Film and TV Production. Jacob's thesis film, The Pale of Settlement, won numerous awards in international film festivals and nabbed an online distribution deal.
While at NYU, Jacob co-founded the production company Whiteboard Pictures with Producer Jonathan Yaniv, making commercials and branded content for companies such as GE, LG, Sundance, Google and Shutterstock. At Whiteboard, Jacob focused heavily on documentary style productions, directing and shooting many projects with non-actors. He developed a skillset working with real people, eliciting the best performance possible from them, capturing them as authentically and organically as possible while also staging shot sequences/scenarios that had the most captivating visuals possible. Jacob brings a unique lens to his projects, combining the meticulous craftsmanship of narrative camera setups and framing techniques with the raw and arresting power of documentary filmmaking. In particular, Jacob has a keen eye for wide shots that elevate a space and make them look larger than life, heavily employing that style of framing to his documentary projects to give them a narrative feel.
In addition to his commercial work, Jacob has developed and produced an online docu-series called “Cyborg Nation” which he sold to Wired and is currently in production on an upcoming unscripted documentary project about the current state of politics in America called "Divided We Stand".