A Tale of Two Cities

September 17, 2018 Sep. 17, 2018

The Hate U Give has received high praise from the Toronto International Film Festival. Based on the powerful novel by Angie Thomas, the hard-hitting story concerns 16-year-old Starr Carter (Amanda Stenberg of The Hunger Games) as a young African American woman who lives between two very different environments — her own primarily minority neighborhood and the area of her academically-advanced high school, situated in a more white and affluent area. The differences between these worlds quickly becomes heart-wrenchingly complex after Starr witnesses her friend Khalil being shot by a police officer.

Directed by George Tillman Jr. (Faster, Power) and cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. (A Walk Among the Tombstones), the film makes strong use of its imagery to express some of what Thomas was able to do through her prose. Malaimare, says colorist Siggy Ferstl, “shot it with two distinct looks – a warmer, more comforting look for Starr’s home life and a more cool, almost cold, for the part of town where her school is located.”

Malaimare had the looks built into the dailies in order to help everyone involved in the production get on the same page and the filmmakers worked with Ferstl in his color grading theater to refine the look to make it feel more organic.

“It’s not like you just a warm or a cool look on top of the image and you’re done,” he explains. “We finessed everything, isolating different portions in every shot to bring more of a natural feel to everything. This was particularly true in the cooler colored section, where without a significant amount of finessing, skin tones can go too far in the magenta direction.”

Ferstl always enjoys working on projects that have something important to say, and especially when the filmmakers give considerable thought to the palette. Malaimare, he says, “did really wonderful work. The film has a very nice traditionally ‘cinematic’ richness but it’s also infused with a very modern visual sensibility.

“I’m very pleased to hear all the positive reviews coming out of Toronto!”



Amandla Stenberg stars in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE HATE U GIVE. Photo Credit: Erika Doss. Addtl. Info
TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.