When color grading Paper Towns, director Jake Schreier wanted the visual feel of the coming-of-age film about a mysterious girl's disappearance to walk the very fine line between a teen romance and a thriller. "We talked about David Fincher meets John Hughes," colorist Sean Coleman of Company 3 Santa Monica says. "There are light, comedic parts and also emotionally darker scenes. So it was nice to have time to try an approach, then maybe make it a little bit darker and more ominous, and then pull back a little to get it in the right place."
Cinematographer David Lanzenberg shot Paper Towns in ARRIRAW with ARRI Alexa cameras, lighting and exposing to give the images a more filmic feel, and Coleman graded to enhance that look. "Jake isn't interested in imposing a [single] visual style," Coleman explains. "He's open to anything that helps tell the story."