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DP Charlotte Bruus Christensen on the Challenges of Turning the Play ‘Fences’ Into a Movie

Denzel Washington directs Fences, a film based on a play by August Wilson which focuses on the complicated family life of a black sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Washington chose Danish cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen (Far From the Madding Crowd, Girl on a Train) to shoot the drama.

“It was hard,” Christensen tells MovieMaker Magazine about turning a play into a movie. “The ‘opening it up’ wasn’t just about opening it up in terms of space. Yes, we go into the house and we add the street on the other side, so there’s a few more locations then there are in the play, but it wasn’t about, ‘Now we’ve got to scope for more locations.’ The opening up was more about, ‘Now we can make a close up of the actor, the person, who’s got the backs of the audience. Now we can see the feelings of that person.’ That was opening up, because now you have an insight into the reactions of Troy Maxson by the close-ups of his face. I think also the opening up, for Denzel, was more about, ‘Now we can go inside and hear the person who’s overhearing conversations and their reaction.’ You know, Rose in the kitchen overhearing Troy. And so that was kind of opening up.”

Read the full story here.