DEFINITION January 2018

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SHOOT STORY DARKEST HOUR

Retro Remake Reproducing historic events isn’t easy. Do you go the sepia route or do you widen your recreation palette?

WORDS JULIAN MITCHELL PICTURES FOCUS FEATURES

and smaller locations.

here have been countless movies and TV programmes celebrating Winston Churchill but Darkest Hour might be the one to get the

ABOVE Winston rode the Underground to ‘feel’ what the people wanted. RIGHT Bruno Delbonnel’s lighting design was classed as ‘old school’. BELOW LEFT There was intentional contrast between the bright summer and the darkness of the interiors.

“It was about the contrast between the war rooms and the Palaces upstairs. Also to be period with costumes and all that kind of thing. Then there was really just a lot of discussion how to portray a period film, some of the inevitable discussions were, should it be in 4:3, should it be sepia, should it be in black and white, what kind of things would make it feel ‘of the time’? It was felt that a lot of those options would detract from the performance, the idea was that this

closest to the real man. Director Joe Wright, DOP Bruno Delbonnel and Senior Technicolor colourist Peter Doyle had extensive talks about how they should create the look. Peter wanted to dissect the colour look culture of the time. “We were zero- ing on the actual tone of the film, based on it really focusing on Gary’s performance as Winston and him spending a lot of time in war rooms

was to be as visceral as possible - it should be like you are there. “Also, anything that gets in the way of the performance and the audience is a negative. We agreed on the philosophy that it should be colour, it should be 1.85 aspect ratio and we should reproduce the fantastic costumes and set. Following on from that it became clear that we actually needed to display a lot of detail, even if the downstairs was dirty with nicotine stains and smoke and the exteriors were blacked down in terms of soot. “That in turn prompted or motivated the idea that it should be a very sharp film and technically with very little diffusion. Having really zeroed in on a sharp film, colour and the ratio of 1.85 we just discussed, what did colour film look like in the Forties, we know the Thirties and Forties in terms of Newsreel but

THE COOKE S4 HAVE QUITE A LUSTRE TO THEM, QUITE A GLOW

DEFINITION JANUARY 2018

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