Filmmaker Sylvie Lodish shines behind the camera

Mia Kessinger

After gobbling down a big bag of popcorn while watching their go-to movie, many viewers think to only praise the actors — after all, they are the ones who dominated the screen for the past two hours. While this is true, the people responsible for the intricate editing, filming, screenwriting and directing that goes on behind the scenes are just as worthy of the spotlight. One of these people is senior Sylvie Lodish, who is attending the University of Southern California (USC) for cinematic arts this fall in hopes of becoming a filmmaker.

Beginning music when she was only in kindergarten, Lodish’s love for the arts has continued through her dedication to screenwriting and filmmaking.

Playing instruments since she was in kindergarten, Lodish has always been engrossed by the arts. However, her passion for filmmaking did not arise until attending a summer camp in 2016 where she was introduced to cinematics and wrote her first short films. Since then, her interest in filmmaking has developed due to its collaborative and creative nature.

“[I love] the bonds you make when you make movies with people,” Lodish said. “I also love translating a story or an image from my brain onto the screen. I am pretty detail oriented, so I like being able to execute that [through] storytelling.”

Lodish also joined Redwood TV when she was a junior, where she helps to film episodes and edit with peers. Persisting through hard deadlines for Redwood TV has helped further propel Lodish, according to Redwood TV teacher Erik Berkowitz.

“[Lodish] is capable of [achieving] a long-term goal that has to be accomplished by a hard deadline, [which is difficult] because there are a lot of times where things don’t go the way you hoped. To keep a positive attitude and to have grit are [qualities] that any employer would love,” Berkowitz said.

Editing one of her films, Lodish focuses on composing her project.

Lodish’s enthusiasm for film led her to apply to colleges for cinematic arts, and she ultimately decided on USC — the top school in the country in that area of expertise according to Niche. However, developing the skills necessary to get into USC was not easy — Lodish had to adjust to the complexities of the entire filmmaking process. 

“There are a lot of post-production actions like editing and cutting down on footage that goes unseen. Even pre-production shot listing takes a while,” Lodish said. “[For my college application], I had to do two days of reshoots because I didn’t expect to have so many things to correct, but it was all part of the process and worth it in the end.”

Along with her filmmaking pursuits, Lodish plays drums, bass and guitar in Redwood’s advanced performance workshop (APW) class. According to senior Megan Bober, who has played alongside Lodish in APW since her sophomore year, Lodish’s diligent work ethic in both music and cinematic arts has contributed to her success.

“You would think things come easy to her because she is so talented at everything she does, but she has worked so hard to get to where she is. She is so dedicated, which I know will translate over to her work at USC,” Bober said.

Despite her experience from short film production outside of school and through Redwood TV, Lodish is mostly focused on improving her filmmaking skills at USC, where she will be surrounded and inspired by students with similar interests.

Attending USC in the fall, Lodish will continue to pursue cinematic arts in college. (Photo Courtesy of Sylvie Lodish)

“The goal in the back of my mind is to win an Oscar by the time I am 32, which might not be super realistic. [Ultimately], however, I just want to make films and learn from and share ideas with all the experienced staff and students at [USC]. I am super excited to go to a school where everyone is just as ambitious and focused on film as I am,” Lodish said.

According to Bober, even though winning an Oscar could be improbable, Lodish’s determination and perseverance could get her there one day. 

“We joke about her getting an Oscar all the time, and I know she is half kidding about it, but it is totally possible. Both her work ethic and her creativeness are outstanding,” Bober said. “Although she could easily scare people away with how insanely talented she is, her openness to new ideas makes her so approachable. She always takes different perspectives into account, whether that is for music or for filmmaking — it will get her so far in life.”