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‘Get Out’ Visual Style Relies on Realism

In the comedic horror feature Get Out, a black photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) goes upstate with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her affluent suburban parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). Once they arrive, he finds a more sinister reason for the invitation. The film’s cinematographer, Toby Oliver, ACS, worked with director Jordan Peele to create a natural look that grounds the film’s world in reality. Peele explains, “The trick was to make sure that nothing so crazy happened so fast that [the audience] wouldn’t believe the characters would stay in this situation.”

Oliver paired an ARRI Alexa Mini with Angenieux zooms, which gave him flexibility while minimizing lens changes, he explains. To take the “digital edge” off the system, he used a Tiffen Glimmerglass diffusion filter and secondary color gels on lights to subtly accentuate warm and cool lighting.

“The warmth in the imagery at the estate was intended as a bit of a visual false security,” Oliver says, “but of course there is something very strange under the surface. I also played with color in the night scenes, both inside and outside the house, using special lighting gels and camera settings to bring a range of cyan, greenish and aqua tones into the ‘moonlight’ and ambiance rather than a straight up ‘blue’ versus ‘warm’ feel.”