“Mank” set decorator Jan Pascale is no stranger to black-and-white films: She received an Oscar nomination for George Clooney‘s “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005). But those two monochrome films couldn’t be more different.
“When I first met with [‘Mank’ production designer Donald Graham Burt] about it, I said, ‘I’ve done black and white. I can do this.’ And Don said, ‘No, no, no, this is different.’ The way the images were captured was quite different,’” Pascale tells Gold Derby at our Meet the BTL Experts: Film Production Design panel. “On ‘Good Night, and Good Luck,’ we shot on film … and we had a really limited budget on that one — $7 million the whole movie — so I couldn’t paint anything or really paint anything, so everything was shot as is. But it sort of worked.”
“Mank,” however, was shot in black and white on a RED digital camera, completely changing the way images and details came off onscreen. But Pascale got some very modern assistance to help her do color-testing. “David [Fincher] and Don had done some testing with the camera that we were going to be using. And they discovered if we used our iPhones with the noir filter and photographed everything, that’s how it would appear in our movie,” she shares.