The film, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, follows three Southern women – two sisters and their loyal but not entirely suservient servant - in the twilight of the American Civil War who must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers.
Director Daniel Barber said, “I didn’t need to consider who I would work with on the colour grade for The Keeping Room, there was only ever one person in my mind, Jean-Clément Soret, my old friend and resident grading genius at MPC. I love working with Jean-Clément, we have such a shorthand now. After discussing the film with him and showing him various sections, I invited him to ponder, how he felt he could help express the story and overall look through the use of colour.
Jean Clement presented a series of colour tests and sketches, all were very beautiful. We discussed the merits of each test and through a series of conversations settled on a colour grade that I believe has really enhanced the cinematography, and has helped give the film a very beautiful and distinctive look and feel.”
Jean-Clément said, “The Keeping Room was beautifully shot by Martin Ruhe, who I have collaborated with on many projects. While respecting his work I proposed a few possible directions to Daniel who then chose what he thought would suit the film best. There are a fair amount of night time sequences in the film: some needed extra detail work to help the audience understand the situation, other times it was about hiding elements, simplifying the image or working on the composition. We worked overall on contrast and saturation to give the piece a contemporary look throughout, enhancing the grittiness of the sets and characters."