Coming up in the July/August issue, HDVideoPro interviews Henry Adebonojo, the director of photography for the Oscar®-nominated film I Am Not Your Negro.
The cinematographer faced a unique challenge when director Raoul Peck tapped him to work on the film—nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2016 Academy Awards—which was based on the writings of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. Largely comprising historical footage and old photographs, the film needed Adebonojo to create imagery that would lift and support the narrative without overpowering it. The DP’s work gives the film a poetic quality without ever compromising the integrity of the content.
The DP also works as a still photographer. “I say to young people today, always be honing your visual identity,” offers Adebonojo. “Always be looking for your own particular voice, learn your own way of seeing. It’s good to have references, it’s good to know the history of photography, but how do you develop your own voice within that? And I always encourage them to carry a camera with them, at the very least a still camera. An iPhone is not good enough. You should have a still camera where you’re actually making mechanical choices about how you’re exposing an image, I believe, so that you’re not doing the same thing everybody else is doing.”
Look for the full article by William Sawalich when the issue goes on newsstands July 4, 2017. Visit Henry Adebonojo’s website at www.henryadebonojo.com. Learn more about the film at www.iamnotyournegrofilm.com.