ENTERTAINMENT
03/24/2017 11:30 am ET Updated Mar 24, 2017

Here's How 'Hidden Figures' Literally Hid Its Main Characters

Lighting and focus techniques obscured the characters throughout the movie.

Much like the protagonists in the movie, “Hidden Figures” has unexpectedly proven itself as a standout among peers.

At the U.S. box office, the story about black female mathematicians who worked for NASA and helped the U.S. win the “space race” continues to outpace fellow Best Picture nominees and 2016 blockbusters alike.

Its current domestic gross is over $160 million, which puts it atop “Jason Bourne,” “Star Trek Beyond,” “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Trolls,” “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “Ghostbusters.” Unlike those big-budget movies, “Hidden Figures” had a relatively modest production budget of around $25 million.

Much like the movie’s early prospects, the characters (played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae) were perceived by their colleagues as underdogs who had to work harder to gain equal footing. To accentuate this feeling of being overlooked, the film’s creators intentionally downplayed the visual “focus” on their lead characters.

As director of photography Mandy Walker explains in this exclusive clip provided to The Huffington Post, she took great care to literally hide the protagonists from the viewers’ eyes at various points in the movie.

Walker’s quote in full: 

Because these women were in the background and they were hidden, we decided that there’s a lot of foreground in the images and we selectively used focus and light to direct the viewer’s eye to something that’s maybe not very obvious in the frame. 

Theodore Melfi, who directed, wrote and produced “Hidden Figures,” also appears in the clip to give further context to the filmmaking process.

The clip was provided to HuffPost in support of the April 11 release of the movie on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD.

HuffPost

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