Jun 30, 2017

EFILM'sMitch Paulson Looks at All Eyez

Of all the important and successful films EFILM's Paulson has colored, the Tupac Shakur story All Eyez on Me , was among the most personally gratifying. Paulson, a suburban kid from Minnesota, isn’t someone you’d look at and think that he was that into hip-hop, but he's been a hardcore fan of the music, particularly Shakur's since the early '90s. "I grew up listening to Tupac, ever since his first album, 2pacalypse Now ” he says. “He was always my favorite, nobody else really compared to him.” 

Directed by celebrated music video director Benny Boom (who has worked with such top acts as Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, P. Diddy and Snoop Dogg) and shot in an exciting fluid style by Peter Menzies, ACS, the film stars Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as the late rapper and explores his life from childhood to his untimely death.

Paulson worked with Menzies and Boom on looks that delicately suggest the story's different eras. "There are subtle changes that we did in each era of his life. It starts off grimy and dirtier when he’s in NY as a kid, all the way to bright, vibrant colors once he’s signed to Death Row records in LA,” Paulson says. The film incorporates archival footage to help present a powerful portrait of its subject. "We didn't want to go too far with that material. The look of the old tapes, probably a lot of it was VHS or 16mm, is part of the feel of the film. We just let them be closer to what they wanted to be and not force them into something else. The grittiness of some of the footage helped portray parts of his life, which weren’t all clean and perfect looking”

The project came to fruition in great part through the work of friends and the estate of Shakur, particularly former Death Row producer L.T. Hutton, which further elevated the overall experience for the colorist. "Being in the room with people who worked with Tupac and knew the guy personally," says Paulson, "was crazy. I'd almost say it was surreal at times. Definitely something I will never forget.” 


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