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It takes real talent to make a film look distinct. Sure, there are a variety of tools at a filmmaker’s disposal, and various combinations of cameras and lenses and lights that can create differing images, but more often than not—especially in the wake of the advent of digital photography—a lot of films have started to look rather same-y. Which is why the YA adaptation The Sun Is Also a Star (which is in theaters now) is such a breath of fresh air. Not only is the film shot in anamorphic, but the image carries with it this lived-in texture that is at once cinematic and grounded, making this timely love story all the more realistic.
When I saw that first trailer for The Sun Is Also a Star, I immediately took notice of who shot the film, and I jumped at the chance to speak with cinematographer Autumn Durald Arkapaw about her work on the movie. While I was excited to discuss Durald Arkapaw’s unique approach to this New York-set story, and the challenges she faced shooting a city that is as iconic as it is ubiquitous in the world of film, I was delighted to find Durald Arkapaw also had plenty of insightful thoughts about the state of cinematography today, how she goes about making an image feel distinct, and what it’s like working as a woman in an overwhelmingly male-dominated field.
Image - Warner - Bros
Image via Warner Bros.
For those unfamiliar, The Sun Is Also a Star is based on the book of the same name by Nicola Yoon and stars Yara Shahidi (Black-ish) as a Jamaica-born woman named Natasha who meets and falls in love with a college-bound romantic named Daniel (Charles Melton) in the course of a single day. However, as her family faces deportation and with hours left on her last...
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