The amazing lighting on HBO’s Insecure

“More modern monochrome movies, like Spike Lee’s 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It, showed how black faces could look good even in shades of gray. “The main thing you had to worry about is the reflectivity of African-American skin,”

“When I was in film school, no one ever talked about lighting nonwhite people.” — Ava Berkofsky

Berkofsky said all of Insecure’s actors take light differently, but rather than putting light directly on them, she uses reflection instead. Similar to Dickerson’s use of moisturizer on the She’s Gotta Have Itcast, this adds a bit of shine. “Rather than pound someone’s face with light, [I] have the light reflect off them,” she said. “I always use a white or [canvas-like] muslin, so instead of adding more light, the skin can reflect it.”



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