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‘The Eyes of My Mother’ DP on Creating a Modern Black-and-White Horror FIlm

Nicolas Pesce’s moody horror film The Eyes of My Mother tells the story of a lonely farm girl who becomes a murderer. The film was shot in stark black-and-white by cinematographer Zach Kuperstein.

“I think a huge part is that you can’t rely on color contrast,” Kuperstein says about lighting the black-and-white shoot. “It’s all about creating contrast in brightness; creating depth in the frame with the brightness. It’s actually a lot easier than doing color contrast. Color is one less variable to think about. It was much easier to light in some ways. We were also able to get away with using harder light more often. I’m into using a book light, or something very, very soft to light a scene or a face, but with this, I could get away with just doing a softbox— which is still soft, but not as soft as a book light.”

“We tried to make it not feel like an old movie and still have that modern slickness to it, although it’s in black and white,” he adds.

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