January 22, 2013

SAVING LINCOLN, The Other Lincoln Film And Its Digital Creation

I read about this film over at IndieWire this weekend. It's a bio pic about Lincoln told from the perspective of his colorful Southern bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon.  Smartly capitalizing on the current Lincoln-mania and piggybacking on Spielberg's Oscar front-runner LINCOLN, this low budget indie has taken a very different approach toward telling the period story.

Using green screen technology, the film was shot on stages and the backgrounds were created from old Civil War-era photos scanned from the Library of Congress' archive. It makes for some stunning backdrops for sure (especially a birds eye view of the White House that opens the film's trailer below) but it also creates a highly stylized look that seems like an uneasy cross between a music video and a video game. Some of the effects are a little rough too, which might be due to uncompleted process shots in the trailer--a situation that often happens with big budget movies.

Anyway, the film stars mainly unknowns (like any true indie) with the exception of Penelope Anne Miller as Mary Todd Lincoln. You can judge for yourself whether this is an exercise in digital filmmaking or a worthy biopic in it's own right when the film comes out next month...on Lincoln's birthday of course.

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