American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 46

◗

Rising Up

Top: The crew readies a nighttime discussion by a bonfire between Nat Turner and other slaves.
Bottom: The crew frames Nat Turner and his army charging into action against a large militia.

with a calibrated NEC 2K projector.
"The grading process was layered
and iterative," says the DI colorist. "Elliot
and I started by focusing on the look of
significant individual shots, then
bloomed out from there, grading the
surrounding shots for continuity. When
we were satisfied with a sequence or a
reel, we'd put it down for a while, work on
another sequence, and then come back
with fresh eyes. As we got closer to the
finished look with visual effects in place,
we screened the entire film with Nate.
This was a great opportunity to assess the
overall presentation and to discover any
continuity issues. Sometimes you just
46

November 2016

have to watch the film at speed and with
sound." From that screening came additional shot-level notes. "There were two
final reviews with the filmmakers,"
Garibaldi says, "one when we were ready
for final delivery for the Sundance Film
Festival, and a final review at Dolby's
screening room after they created the
DCP with the final audio for the festival."
"The DI is the most critical part
of the production process for the cinematographer," Davis attests. "It is, in
reality, an extension of the shooting
process, and where the integrity of the
look is finalized. It is at this stage of the
American Cinematographer

production that cinematographers must
maintain their control."
During principal photography, the
need for speed governed numerous decisions. The first was the property chosen as
the Turner plantation - the production's
main location. It abutted a piece of land
where the crew could build the slave quarters, a corral, and the barn where Nat
Turner first preached. "For us as a little
movie, it worked out really well," Davis
says. "That whole area became like a
studio." Davis and production designer
Geoffrey Kirkland strategically placed
windows in the slave cabins and opened
slates in the barn walls to accommodate
outside lights. Inside the manor, they
jointly selected wall colors. "On a white
skin tone, I always keep my background
two to three stops darker, and I applied the
same principle to African Americans," says
Davis. "That is what I get from old master
Renaissance paintings. It allows the actors
to come forward. Otherwise, it's about the
wall and not the actor."
Fast and flexible lighting was paramount. "Literally, we were shooting a shot
every 10 or 15 minutes," Davis says.
"That's staging actors, getting the camera
there, lighting and rolling camera. So I had
to come up with the ability to light that
quickly."
A first step was controlling the sun
around the plantation. Production was in
May and June, when "the light in Georgia
stands up like at 12 noon pretty much all
the time," Davis says. Line producer Mark
Moran approved two 80' condors, one
straight and one articulating. "He understood the importance of controlling the
light, because that affected how quickly we
could shoot." During the day, those
condors became flyswatters with 20'x20'
frames of Light Grid, married on top to
make a 20'x40'.
At night, the condors each carried
the film's workhorse backlight: a Par-bar
array with 36 fixtures. "We could aim them
out in different directions - spots and
floods and things like that," says Davis.
Riffel adds, "The Par bars were great
because we could just stack however many
we wanted in a particular spot. It didn't
take the full array most of the time. The



American Cinematographer - November 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - November 2016

Contents
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Intro
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 1
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 2
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Contents
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 4
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 5
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 6
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 7
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 8
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 9
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 10
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 11
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 12
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 13
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 14
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 15
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 16
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 17
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 18
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 19
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 20
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 21
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 22
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 23
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 24
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 25
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 26
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 27
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 28
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 29
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 30
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 31
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 32
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 33
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 34
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 35
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 36
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 37
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 38
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 39
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 40
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 41
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 42
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 43
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 44
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 45
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 46
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 47
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 48
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 49
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 50
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 51
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 52
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 53
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 54
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 55
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 56
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 57
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 58
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 59
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 60
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 61
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 62
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 63
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 64
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 65
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 66
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 67
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 68
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 69
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 70
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 71
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 72
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 73
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 74
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 75
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 76
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 77
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 78
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 79
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 80
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 81
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 82
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 83
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 84
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 85
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 86
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 87
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - 88
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - November 2016 - Cover4
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