‘Precious’ director Lee Daniels fired DP with “no idea” about lighting Black skin

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“Whether we were going to take a financial hit because of it, I just closed it blindly”

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Precious Director Lee Daniels has revealed that he fired several “abusive” crew members on his film, including his director of photography, who could not properly light the dark skin.

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The filmmaker recently opened up about his 2009 drama with actor Gabourey Sidibe, saying that he “didn’t feel good” about shooting it in two weeks.

“I had a white line producer, a white Eddie, he also read [reviews that said my last film] shadow Boxer Worst film ever, and he had no respect for me, my vision, or whatever it was,” the filmmaker explained. Entertainment Weekly.


“They were New Yorkers who saw it as a job. I kept coming home like, This doesn’t look right, she doesn’t look well, the set looks weird. I felt like I was giving birth to an alien. Well, really, so I did something that now I don’t even know what to dare to do, but I fired everyone. I put it off.”

“I was too nervous to make sure it was beautifully lit. It didn’t feel right,” Danielle continued. “Even though we were going to take a financial hit because of it, I just blindly did it. Gave.”

Sidibe explained that the original director of photography had “no idea” about how to brighten her skin.

“Once we were shooting in a literal gutter under a bridge—not a ‘set’ gutter, like, gutter—with actual green mud on the ground,” she said.

“I had to lie down so they could light me on the ground, and I swear to you, I was on the ground for more than an hour when they were trying to light me up. From time to time, I was such a DP who doesn’t know how to brighten the difference between black and brown skin, and that was a big problem with her.”


Daniels eventually replaced his DP with Andrew Dunn, who shot King George’s Madness And Bodyguard.

Precious It was eventually nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

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