Ernest Dickerson, director during Never Die Alone - New York Premiere - Outside Arrivals at Clearview Chelsea West Cinemas in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing Started With A Request On The Set Of School Daze
Speaking with The Guardian, Ernest Dickerson said that during production on “School Daze,” Spike Lee told him he was writing a screenplay called “Heatwave” that would eventually become “Do The Right Thing.” It was to be a racially-charged Brooklyn drama on the hottest day of the summer, so Lee asked the cinematographer to think about ways to convey intense heat visually.
Dickerson shared his initial vision to portray the heat in “Do The Right Thing.” He explained, “The first thing I came up with was the use of color. I did a lot of research on its psychology and worked on a controlled palette that pretty much stayed in the warm range — yellows, reds, earth tones, ambers — and tried to stay away from blues and greens, which have a cooling effect.”
The distinctive look of “Do The Right Thing” is a testament to Dickerson's skill and a mark of shame for the Academy Awards, which has never nominated him for Best Cinematography. Despite this injustice, cinephiles can still savor Dickerson’s painterly genius in Lee's early classics, and that, in the words of Mister Senor Love Daddy, is the double truth, Ruth!