Skye Borgman: Award-winning Director, Cinematographer & Adjunct Lecturer, USC Film School

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Skye Borgman is an award-winning director and cinematographer who films narrative and documentary films all over the world.   She has worked as a professional cinematographer for over 15 years.  She has shot over 50 films, traveled to over 60 countries and lived on three continents.  Her global experiences guide her vision, thought and approach to film making.  This gives her the unique ability to connect with all types of personalities.  She has filmed rock-stars, prime ministers, drug addicts, environmentalists, Academy award winners, Buddhist nuns and anarchist chocolate makers.  Skye’s love of adventure, respect for humanity and great passion for storytelling makes her an indispensable creative partner.

Skye's latest documentary, ABDUCTED IN PLAIN SIGHT has received 11 awards (so far) on the festival circuit and the film will be widely available in January 2019 on Netflix.  Other awards include the “Accolade Award of Excellence” and “Best Documentary Feature” for  "Junk Dreams" (Director/Cinematographer/Producer) and Best Cinematography awards for her work on “China Lake”, “Axe To Grind” "Schooled" and  "The Cellar Door".  Notable documentaries that Skye has filmed include:  “Well Now You’re Here, There is No Way Back”, a Big Hair Rock N’ Roll documentary on Quiet Riot.  “Nothing Like Chocolate” a poetic film about ethically produced chocolate.  “Mumia:  Long Distance Revolutionary”,  which chronicles the life of the former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.  "We Are Galapagos", an intimate portrait of the people of the Galapagos, and "Science For Monks", a film about Monks learning Science. With a keen sense of adventure, Skye brings excitement to everything that she films.  Her fusion of lighting, collaboration, and absolute fearlessness gives her filmmaking an evocative, honest and approachable style.

(Click to watch Trailer)

What do I do best?

I solve problems. Maybe that’s why I got into the film industry. I have always liked working problems and finding a solution to them.  Whether it be on set, building a house, figuring out software….you name it. I like being given a problem and finding a solution. I make my living as a filmmaker and a cinematographer.  I own a production company with my husband, Top Knot Films ( and we work on a variety of different projects ranging from hard-hitting documentaries to musical and promotional content for Disney.   I also teach cinematography at The University of Southern California.  Working in the film industry always provides a new and exciting set of problems and I can keep my calm, go through all of the ways of solving a certain problem and then get things done.  I love it.  There is very little that ruffles my feathers or intimidates me.   

What makes me the best version of myself?

I think my approach to work makes me the best version of myself.  I believe in being passionate and putting everything into what I love.

What are my aspirations?

I want to be successful by my own rules.  That doesn’t mean that I have the biggest job, or the most powerful job but that I work on creating films that really make a difference, can change the world and films that I can be proud of.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest success so far is definitely my latest film, ABDUCTED IN PLAIN SIGHT.   The twisting, turning story of the Broberg’s, a naïve, church-going Idaho family that fall under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor who will stop at nothing to be with their 12 year old daughter, Jan.  The Broberg’s give troubling, stunning and gut-wrenching interviews, revealing epic failures and untold personal dramas that point to the biggest tragedy of all – that theses crimes could have been prevented.   

It took us 4 years to make this film, including research, filming the interviews, and working with an editor to get the final film finished.  Then we spent the last year at film festivals, marketing the film and trying to get it to the widest possible audience before distribution in January 2019!  You can also see more about the film on our website

My Most Challenging Moment?  

My most challenging moment has been navigating distribution with ADBUCTED IN PLAIN SIGHT.  It’s a world I am discovering and it’s exciting and daunting and a totally different than production.  Fortunately we were able to get a great sales agent from CAA, who has been amazing in helping us chart these waters.  It is something new to learn, which I appreciate and can certainly take this new-found information into my future films.

My Motto?

How hard can it be?

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My Mom, My Dad, My Husband, My Dog.  I have learned so much from all of them.  From my mom – You just need to jeep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how hard that is, and move forward.  From my Dad – Travel anywhere , any way, any time.  My husband has taught me to think before I act (I still struggle with this) and my dog has taught me to love with abandon.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

This question is impossible. I have traveled to over 60 countries and loved all of them.  I am certain that I lived a previous life in Southeast Asia – probably Indonesia and I am equally certain that I will live my next life (or maybe the last half of this one!)  in South America.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I love a cardellini – for those of you who don’t know what that is….you probably don’t work in the film industry.  It is simply the best clamp in the world.  It’s small, you can put it anywhere and it’s really versatile.  I love it!

My Current Passions?

When I am not working on films, I love buying ugly houses and remodeling them.  I also love the mountains and the ocean – though I feel like I am spending my life behind a computer lately.  I am in development for my next project, which will be a true crime documentary series or a feature documentary.