Insecure’s cinematographer shares the way to correctly movie darkish pores and skin

Photograph: HBO

Again within the 1940s, Kodak examined the colour accuracy of its movie through the use of what it referred to as “Shirley playing cards,” every of which featured images of assorted fashions. Unsurprisingly, this being the ’40s, all of these fashions had been white, and the outcome was the idea that, in relation to filming the human physique, caucasian pores and skin is the baseline when it comes to lighting and colour.

For Ava Berkofsky, the director of cinematography for HBO’s Insecure, this sort of considering has hindered the best way filmmakers shoot darker pores and skin. In a brand new video for Mic exploring how Berkofsky movies Insecure’s performers, she shares how, after being taught to shoot darkish pores and skin utilizing blue and amber mild, she rapidly found that there’s “not one shade that lights all varieties of darkish pores and skin.”

As such, she’s adopted her personal technique for Insecure, which includes viewing darker pores and skin as “reflective.” As she explains it, darker pores and skin is greatest highlighted via a mix of make-up, an consideration to the setting’s floor areas, and, in some instances, the usage of a polarizer on the lens. It’s not as simple as drawing upon a number of particular colours.

Berkofsky’s technique is indicative of a bigger theme within the sequence, which goals to depict black tradition in ways in which its black creators really feel are genuine to their expertise. As Berkofsky goes to point out, that strategy extends not simply to the present’s tales and themes, but additionally to its technical facets.

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