‘The Hate U Give’: Visualizing How Amandla Stenberg’s Starr Is Trapped Between Two Worlds

IndieWire | 10/4/2018 | Staff
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In George Tillman, Jr.’s “The Hate U Give,” Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) leads a double life, straddling the predominantly black but violent neighborhood of Garden Heights, where she resides with her family, and the predominantly white Williamson School she attends, decoding her look and behavior to comfortably fit in.

For Romanian cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. (“The Master”), it made perfect sense to visually separate the two worlds before they collide when Starr witnesses a white cop shoot her best friend, and becomes a Black Lives Matter-inspired activist.

Hate - U - Give

“The Hate U Give”

“One of my first discussions with George was making these two worlds as different as possible, and it felt right to have the private school cooler and to give the Garden Heights neighborhood a warmer palette,” said Malaimare. “We were helped by the [Atlanta] locations, because most of the the schools we scouted had a similar look: a lot of grass outside and blue lockers. And the house we scouted [for the Carters] had orange and red curtains and those were filtering the sun so nicely by creating a really warm palette.”

Malaimare - Shot - Panavision - Milennium - DX

Malaimare shot with the Panavision Milennium DX and Panavision Primo 70 lenses, alternating between anamorphic widescreen for the Garden Heights scenes and spherical widescreen for the Williamson. “The skin tones are amazing,” he said. “The image is way more pleasant than a regular RED camera. In terms of camera movement, we wanted hand-held, Steadicam and dolly shots and we had to figure out for which scenes and which parts we would use them.

“And we came up with a rule that I think worked really well. We realized it’s so much about Starr’s character gravitating between two worlds that the camera movement should be dictated by her emotions…hand-held or Steadicam.”

Hate - U - Give

“The Hate U Give”

The powerful opening, in which Starr’s dad, Maverick (Russell Hornsby)...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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