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Old Settler
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The Written Word
The Look
The Shoot
The Camera
After the Shoot

Role & Bio

The DP In-Depth

The Production Designer In-Depth

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Debbie Allen: The Director In-Depth


The Look

My Initial Vision

"The production team's first meeting took place at my house. I had ideas and a color scheme in mind, how I wanted the movie to look, because that has to be a real collaboration. If one of the entities steps away from this initial vision, it changes it.

So I had conversations with John Iacovelli (production designer), Marilyn Matthews (costume designer) and Johnny Simmons (director of photography) who was my right and left hand on this whole thing.

They had a clear idea about what I really wanted to see, based on our initial conversations, and they did a great job."


Debbie Allen With Director of Photography
Debbie Allen confers with DP John Simmons


Designing Hair & Makeup

"The look of the movie has a kind a muted tone to it at first, and then we introduce color to it as we go along.

I wanted Elizabeth to go from having tight hair and no lipstick to being more colorful and alive, with her hair loose."


Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad
Elizabeth's look changes from the beginning (left) to the end (right) of the film.
Phylicia Rashad


Developing the Costumes

"The clothes back in those days were made so much better than clothes are today. They actually took time to make clothes to fit a woman's body. Today they make clothes that fit sizes, so it stretches to fit this and that.

The clothes back then were so well tailored and so beautifully crafted.

Of course, I didn't like the underclothes. (Honey, they can keep those girdles and bras. It was like being an armadillo, or being in battle.) But the dresses were beautiful."


Extras in Costume
A group of background players, in period costume, chat outside the soundstage on KCET's back lot where The Old Settler was shot.


The Written Word   |   The Look   |   Casting



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