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Talented Cinematographer Bradford Young To Shoot Ava DuVernay's Upcoming Feature 'Selma'

by Nijla Mumin
April 4, 2014 11:01 PM
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Ava DuVernay and Bradford Young on the set of "Middle of Nowhere"
Ava DuVernay and Bradford Young on the set of "Middle of Nowhere"

Wonderful news for your Friday! Writer/Director/Distributor Ava DuVernay recently announced that Bradford Young will serve as Director of Photography on her upcoming feature film, Selma, starring David Oyelowo, produced by Oprah Winfrey, Christian ColsonPathe UKBrad Pitt's Plan B, and distributed by Paramount. The film centers on Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1965 landmark voting rights campaign, regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement. 

DuVernay and Young have worked on three previous projects together, most notably the 2012 indie hit Middle of Nowhere, for which DuVernay became the first black woman to win the Sundance Best Director Award. Young has amassed a stunning portfolio of narrative work over the years, mastering light, color, and texture in painterly compositions that have elevated independent filmmaking and techniques for photographing brown skin. A two-time Sundance Award-winner for cinematography, his noted works include Mother of George, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, and Pariah, which we've covered extensively on this site. In addition to DuVernay's Selma, he's also attached to Edward Zwick's upcoming film Pawn Sacrifice

We're excited to see the evocative images that DuVernay and Young create together with Selma. This is a DP-Director team that may rival the likes of Spike Lee and Ernest Dickerson, or Darren Aronofsky and Matthew Libatique. As the project moves through pre-production and into production, we'll continue to keep you updated. 

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  • Invisibleman | April 9, 2014 5:48 AMReply

    Not true.... Bradford just shot Ed Zwick's new film and JC Chandor 's new film. Both were budgeted in the 25-30 million dollar range. Bradford is a well established and well thought of DOP in the studio system.

  • goodlookingout | April 7, 2014 12:12 PMReply

    surprised paramount pictures signed off on him without him having big movies of this kind on his resume. good for her for sticking by her early co-workers. i hope this turns out great and makes them both stars.

  • Epee | April 7, 2014 9:29 AMReply

    congrats Bradford Young !!

  • ALLENJQ | April 5, 2014 2:03 PMReply

    If you've heard them talk at panels or in-person, they are both very smart, very creative, very BLACK people if you catch my meaning which helps with me not thinking this'll be The Butler part 2. I think Spike is the only African-American director who has had a relationship with a DoP that's stretched for more than three films so it's positive to see it happening again with this pair. He's a strong visualist so much so that on a few flicks he overwhelms the story to me. only thing I saw in Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Mother of George was the cinematography to the adverse affect of the story which is what I wanted to see. She seems to reel him in where you get pizzaz without sacrificing what the movie's about. He brings out the beauty in her stories which can be too spare in someone else's hand like on I Will Follow which has good ideas but the pictures don't always match what the image vision seemed to be. As you can see, I'm invested and excited about these two and this flick and need that DVD commentary in hand as soon as possible.

  • Mr. Director | April 5, 2014 10:54 AMReply

    I knew it! Told you Hans!!!

  • Dankwa Brooks | 'Nother Brother Entertainment | April 5, 2014 6:01 AMReply

    I'm NOT the guy to be "star struck". I been around celebrities and kept it moving. But when BRADFORD YOUNG came to the Maryland Film Festival to present 'Mother of George' I knew I had to meet him! And I did!

    He was a really chill guy and very cool guy to talk to. (I wrote about it all on the 'Nother Brother Entertainment blog. )

    I'm excited for this news!

  • scripttease | April 5, 2014 2:05 AMReply

    Mr. Young does beautiful work. I wouldn't mind working with him if I can ever get noticed.

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