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‘Selma”s Look Takes Its Cues from Kodachrome

Selma cinematographer Bradford Young talks to The ASC about the look of Ava DuVernay’s Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic.

He explains, “Ava said to me, ‘I want this film to have a Kodachrome look to it.’ That was very generic. But then she went out and found a specific reference: Paul Fusco’s ‘RFK Funeral Train’ photos. That was the main inspiration for the whole look of the film. He shot all this amazing Kodachrome footage of people gathered on the tracks as the train went cross-country. Everything was very under, but then there’d be these pops of primary color. People were holding American flags, and the red in the flag was very rich. But the skin tones and foliage in the trees were all very subdued. [Colorist] Tom [Poole] had those photographs before we started shooting, so we made our viewing LUT lean toward that Kodachrome look.”

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