Uncut Gems is the latest movie from directing duo, the Safdie Brothers. The movie tells the story of a charismatic New York City jeweller and gambler (Adam Sandler), and is set in the diamond industry of New York. So it is appropriate that the colour palette was created at The Mill NY by colourist and director of DI, Damien Van Der Cruyssen.
Van Der Cruyssen collaborated closely with cinematographer Darius Khondji, as well as the Safdie Brothers, all of whom he had worked with previously on the Jay-Z video for Mercy Me. “At that point I got a good understanding of their relationships and how I could fit into the equation.”
Visually, Uncut Gems has a classic New York City look, but with a modern twist. “The Diamond District hasn’t changed much over the last forty years, so it automatically had that 70’s ‘noir’ feel,” commented Van Der Cruyssen. “But we wanted to break away from the steely, gritty New York to a more real-life aesthetic – less forced and contrived.”
Around half of the movie was shot on 35mm film to give it a more natural look, which meant Van Der Cruyssen had to treat the digital footage to match. “Marrying the film footage with the digital scenes was quite challenging,” he explained. “So I asked the crew to shoot some grain elements that could be overlaid in Baselight and adjusted per scene.”