“During pre-production, we did a bunch of camera tests with all kinds of different vintage lenses in combination with 16mm film, but Behn and I ultimately felt the texture of the Kodak 16mm film itself was what we wanted most, rather than any lens artifacts,” he says. “So my lens choice was really based around having a consistent, sharp image through the glass, and we let the celluloid do its own magical thing.”

To depict the movie’s Louisiana-based scenes, Grøvlen went with KODAK VISION3 250 Color Negative Film 7207, pulled by two stops at the lab. He switched to KODAK VISION3 50D Color Negative Film 7203 for the Neverland sequences on Montserrat, Barbuda and Antigua, and used KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative Film 7219 for the movie’s nighttime sequences. Film processing was done at Colorlab, located in Rockville, Maryland.

“I wanted to create a distinct difference between the drab and boring world the kids inhabit in Louisiana, and the rich, exciting fantasy island of Neverland,” explains Grøvlen. “Under-developing the 250D by two stops, as part of the pull-process at the lab, meant the image lost some contrast and saturation, and gave it the dusty and cheerless feel that Behn and I wanted for those parts of the story, while still rendering pleasing skin tones on the children.

“By contrast, normally exposed 50D drinks up color and is especially rich and vivid when it comes to capturing sunsets and natural environments. Blue skies look magical and the skin tones are lovely. There’s a special enchantment in the images of the children dancing in giant shadows and the shreds of amber sunshine in the grass. The 50D also has a higher contrast to the 250D, so it was the perfect filmstock to differentiate visually between the two worlds of Louisiana and Neverland. It also helped to make the transition to the barren, volcanic parts of the island even more impactful, while heightening the sense of magical realism.

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