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‘Take Me to the River’ DP on Taking Stylistic Cues from a Coloring Book

Cinematographer Thomas Scott Stanton talks to Filmmaker Magazine about shooting Matt Sobel’s Take Me to the River, the Sundance film about a gay teenager faced with secrets at a family reunion.

Says Stanton, “During the first conversation I had with Matt he said, ‘No back light or pretty pictures.’ Hearing that was a little terrifying at first, but after discussing further we realized that we both wanted to figure out a way to tell a story that was structurally a thriller but had the look of a child’s coloring book. We wanted the camera to be unobtrusive for the actors so we could capture the performances as honestly as possible. I think the fact that Matt had grown up going to these Nebraska family reunions every year added a real sense of familiarity and authenticity to the story. We talked about the juxtaposition of mood and style, not trying to make the audience feel one way or another. It was important to us visually to play against the uncomfortable nature of the subject matter. We wanted the audience to experience the film through Ryder’s eyes and allow the performances to unfold naturally.”

Read the full story here.