Craft-Talking the A-List Team for Unbroken

Angelina Jolie lined up an A-list crafts team who delivered their best work on Unbroken.

Unbroken follows the struggle between light and dark inside Olympic athlete-turned-bombardier Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell). We watch him learn to fight through to find spiritual transcendence. His extraordinary true-life survival story is a study in contrast — harrowing yet beautiful — which sophomore director Jolie wanted to emphasize visually, sonically, and musically.

After speaking with cinematographer Roger Deakins, I grabbed more of the behind-the-scenes crafts story from production designer Jon Hutmancostume designer Louise Frogleysupervising sound editor Becky Sullivaneditors Tim Squyres and Billy Goldenbergand composer Alexandre Desplat.

Point-of-view is key. “My goal is to make the place look the way it feels to Louis,” says Hutman. “For example, when he lands at Kwajalein after 47 days in a raft, there are two things that are emotionally important: One is strangeness, foreignness, the most scary, unfamiliar place he’s ever been in his life, and the other is claustrophobia. After infinite space, he’s in a room like a coffin.

So is verisimilitude. “The Omori camp [which is dusty and wooden] is the land without life. There is this monochromatic palette. ['Unbroken' author] Laura Hillenbrand describes it as being like the moon. It’s this man-made island in the middle of Tokyo Bay. Angie had these clear, strong visual ideas, particularly about the palette from the beginning. On Omori, the dirt matches the wood matches the uniform matches the men. And then you get to Naoetsu and it’s all about contrast: black men covered with coal against stone and metal and snow — black and white in this location that feels like it’s at the end of the world.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Costume, Editing, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX

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