You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Mr. Turner’: D.P. Dick Pope Approximates 19th Century Painter’s Palette

Mr. Turner,” Mike Leigh’s cinematic portrait of the innovative British painter J.M.W. Turner, takes place in the early 19th century. And while Dick Pope’s cinematography is stunningly beautiful in its naturally lit vistas, you also sense the rot beneath the surface.

“Nothing is too shiny,” Pope says. “We got down and dirty with fingernails and general level of hygiene. Period films can look too glossy, and it’s a mistake, really — a trap to fall into.”

Pope and company were blessed with weather that produced the kind of skies Turner was known for, from tumultuous to languid, drenched in fiery yellows, mauve and salmon pink. “We filmed the landscape in such a way that it gave you the idea of why he wanted to paint it,” the d.p. explains. “That was more important than trying to approximate his canvasses.”

Pope shot digitally using an Arri Alexa, but with vintage lenses to give the images texture. “It doesn’t in any way look electronic,” he says. “The lenses (soften) the digital, and give it more of a period feel.”

The one license Pope took was colorization that drew from Turner’s palette. “(Turner) used quite a lot of yellow in his highlights on the landscapes, and quite a lot of teal and blue-green in the shadow areas,” Pope says. “We added those colors to the shadows and the highlights. It affects the landscape but it doesn’t affect the skin tone. It gave the feeling of his work without trying to emulate his work.”

More Artisans

  • Home Again Trinidad and Tobago

    Trinidad and Tobago Attracts Producers by Adding Hefty Cash Incentive to Visual Lures

    A dual-island Caribbean nation that fits fulfills the all visual requirements of a tropical paradise, Trinidad and Tobago offers a striking variety of shooting locales ranging from azure waters, white sands, thick jungle, sprawling savannahs and – on the urban side – bustling cities. Though the islands have predominantly housed local films, they are now [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

  • Les Miserables BBC

    BBC's 'Les Miserables' Recreates the Dark World of Victor Hugo's Novel

    Director Tom Shankland didn’t want his “Les Miserables” to be anything like the stage-musical version of Victor Hugo’s sweeping historical novel, nor like the 2012 Tom Hooper feature-film musical.  For the BBC limited series — a drama starring Olivia Colman, Lily Collins, David Oyelowo and Dominic West, which aired the first of its six episodes in [...]

  • Marsai Martin Little Movie

    How the 'Little' Production Team Created Look of Marsai Martin-Regina Hall Comedy

    What if you could return to a time in your childhood and relive your life from that point knowing what you know now? That’s the fantasy at the core of Universal’s “Little,” released April 12, in which Regina Hall’s Jordan Sanders, a character overwhelmed by the pressures of adulthood, gets the chance to relive the [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 BTS

    How 'Game of Thrones'' Locations Have Expanded With the Series

    When the eighth and final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” debuts on April 14, the show’s millions of followers will once again be transported to the exotic lands and sweeping landscapes where the saga is set. From King’s Landing to The Wall, stunning locations have been woven into the fabric of “Thrones” since its [...]

  • In The Dark CW

    How 'In the Dark' Trained a Regular Dog to Act as a Guide Dog

    There used to be an adage in show business about never working with animals or children, but for Violetta Hessing, there’s nothing more fulfilling than finding a dog that wants to be on set and training it to deliver just as much emotion as its human scene partners. Hessing owns and is the head trainer [...]

  • Ryan Higa Youtube Star

    YouTube Star Ryan Higa Shows the Way to Maintain Independence With DIY Studio

    Hollywood creatives have always dreamed of having total control of their work. For most of them, it has been just that: a dream.  But that doesn’t hold true for a new breed of content creators: YouTube influencers. These individuals, with no corporate boss to answer to, and whose work is growing in scope and impact, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content