Type keyword(s) to search


Barry Jenkins essentially had to wing it by feeling his way through filming The Underground Railroad

  • "Rather than a straightforward, literal-minded transcription of the book, Jenkins and his collaborators worked intuitively all through the production, creating a historical dream and nightmare," says Matt Zoller Seitz, in a profile of Jenkins. "They made bold decisions on the fly, drawing on scripture, myths, legends, paintings, and their own instincts about how to visualize the emotional interiors of the main characters. Recently, Jenkins and I parsed those decisions over the course of two separate wide-ranging discussions, considering the advantages and limitations of longform storytelling, the use of subjective filmmaking techniques to get into characters’ heads, the interplay of image, sound, and music, and the pleasures and dangers of letting your unconscious guide you." Jenkins adds: "The biggest challenge was just prepping everything. You know, I spoke to (True Detective season one) director Cary Fukunaga, I spoke to (The Knick director) Steven Soderbergh, before going down to Georgia to start production. And they both said that it’s humanly impossible to keep that much information in your brain at once. And it’s humanly impossible to prep five, six episodes in advance. Cary said you can maybe get away with five, and he felt like even that was mentally fatiguing. He said, 'Imagine your brain is a hard drive. You run out of capacity.'" So he kind of had to wing it. "Yeah, after a certain point. It wasn’t until I was in the middle of it all that I realized exactly what Cary and Steven were talking about," says Jenkins.

    TOPICS: The Underground Railroad, Amazon Prime Video, Barry Jenkins