"The Highwaymen" Look Book
By: Daniel Stilling, DFF - Director Of Photography
In this page, we will be outlining and showing ideas and feel for the film.
We have, with this story, an opportunity to make a movie that stands out, not only by the content of the fantastic script, but also with a memorable look.
A look that will turn heads and bring attention to the movie, while at the same time, serving the story and the voyages the characters embark through this world we create.
Our main tool will be to create contrast:
Contrast in -
to accentuate the periods this movie spans, and to create a beautiful bookend that will enhance the culmination of this beautiful story...
In the "contemporary world" part of the script, we meet Faithee, Blood and others. We will be filming this part of the story in B&W, with spherical lenses, mostly handheld and in a 1:85 aspect ratio. That gives it almost a "Cinema Verité" feel, a little more "Documantarian" if you will, but still remaining cinematic.
Here we follow Faithee in her quest to uncover the truth behind Blood, Alfred and The Highwaymen.
The contrast created by removing saturation on the contemporary portion of the movie, will fill our eyes with beautiful images of The Highwaymen the moment we go back in time, as they try to change their world for the better, full of color and art.
In the "Period piece" part of the script, the majority of the movie, we will be in full saturation, high contrast and rich images.
We will film this part of the movie with anamorphic lenses, for a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, creating a widescreen vista that enhances the beauty of the environment that our characters inhabit. It will also be classic filmmaking, with Dolly, Steadicam and crane moves, creating a poetic contrast with the "contemporary" part of the movie: Saturation X monochrome, beautiful moves X handheld, widescreen X square(ish) frame.
The Anamorphic look also creates a more magical world, that combined with the use of special filters, create an almost dreamy world that you wish you could stay in...
An anamorphic lens creates a special look by compressing the frame, and later decompressing in post (modern editing systems do it seamlessly), creating a dreamy, out of focus, slightly oval background (as these 3 examples show)
We will also make use of color temperature contrast to help the story: When things are not so great we will be using more blues and greens, cooler temperatures.
When things are going great we will be using reds, oranges, warm and fuzzy :)
We will also make use of Florida's beautiful vistas, that fueled the art of The Highwaymen, Morphing reality into art, always colorful, always warm and hopeful.
And in the end of the movie, when we are back in contemporary times, we are back in the world without saturation, B&W. But, as the mistakes of the past get fixed, and The Highwaymen finally get the recognition they have always deserved, the deepest wishes of Alfred Hair become reality, and his soul can finally rest in peace, in full color, as we transition back to color for the final closing moments of the film, making everything right with the universe...
To be shot on RED cameras, 6K resolution., global shutter,
Angenieux Optimo Style spherical zoom and Atlas Anamorphic lenses.
Since it's shot on RED, using RAW image data capture, all color information is metadata, allowing us to revisit any choice made during production, such as color/B&W, color temperature and so on, leaving us with all the choice possibilities in post.