The American Society of Cinematographers

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The Path
Page 2
ASC Close-Up

The most noticeable visual interruption in the film occurs during flashbacks featuring young Hux (Logan Morris) and her beloved grandfather (Harry Dean Stanton). “We shot it on a Canon [EOS 5D Mark II] DSLR, because we did it on a separate day and we didn’t have any gear from Panavision at the time,” Lieberman says. “I knew I could at least desaturate color, and it already has a lot less data than the Sony. It’s part of what helped to give the flashback its [distinct] look.” Tovah thinks the choice helped to express the bond between the characters. “I wanted it to be really soothing and warm and safe,” she says. “That’s what her grandfather was for her.”

A more fluid style was selected for the film’s affecting climax, in which a young girl (played by Tovah’s then-4-year-old niece, Aurora Elise) emerges from a patch of woods. For use in this and other scenes, camera assistant Pascal Combes-Knoke provided a Steadicam. “I was able then to design shots where we could use it,” Lieberman says. “The camera finally could move, which was great. The problem with low-budget is you often don’t get to ever move the camera.”

 The Steadicam follows Hux from behind as she approaches the girl. Hux gruffly spits out her rehearsed line — “Hi, how are you?” — before rephrasing it in a more gentle tone of voice. The girl says she wants her mother, the two sit down in the dirt, and the girl moves her hand toward Hux. “With her autism,” Tovah says, “touch that she can’t control is bad for her.” However, with a gesture she had used to connect with her grandfather, Hux places her hand on top of the girl’s.

Tovah has plans to develop Hux into a feature film, and as far as Lieberman is concerned, the actress-turned-filmmaker proved her mettle in making the short. “Mageina was so great,” he says. “She ran it. She made the props. She did everything. It’s her movie.”

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