Film School: Colour Film vs Dark Skin

Institutionalised racism in even the very technology of film.

Estelle Caswell looks back at the original benchmark for early colour photography, and reveals the ways in which “the default towards lighter skin in technology still lingers” (via Vox):

Insecure director of photography Ava Berkofsky offers insights and tips about how to light darker skin tones (via Mic):

Moonlight cinematographer James Laxton and colorist Alex Bickel talk through, in wonderful detail, how they created the film’s striking look (via IndieWire).

Speaking of Moonlight, director Barry Jenkins has spoken at length about this, saying (assuming “emotion” is a mis-transcription of “emulsion”), “The history of camera [emulsion], 35mm [emulsion], is racist. It just is” (taken from this interview at Believer):

Try It Yourself

KyleKallgrenBHH discusses what he (laughingly, one hopes) refers to as “bisexual lighting”, and what needs to be considered when lighting for digital video:

Further Viewing

A collection of short videos on Hollywood’s troubled history with race: