Dec 31, 2011

Natasha Leonnet on "Young Adult"

Young Adult was the first film I have ever worked on where the filmmakers did not ask me to make digitally acquired material look like film. Both the director Jason Reitman and the cinematographer Eric Steelberg were extremely clear that they wanted a "quiet aesthetic" with a subdued color palette and contrast curve. They felt that the grading should not impart its own subjectivity onto the images, but instead treat the feature as a documentary recording of the protagonist Mavis' story. The only instance where I was asked to break this rule was in the bedroom scene at the end of the film. Jason wanted me to reproduce a color correction from a shot of her waking up at the beginning of the movie to make the two scenes match. He felt that this was important to close the arc of the story.One of my favorite shots from Young Adult is in this scene. Mavis stands defocused in the background, as she zips up her dress. It has a dreamlike quality and texture that reminds me of William Eggleston's photography.


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