Competition time: tickets to Hidden Figures

Posted Friday 20 Jan 2017

Hidden Figures

We're giving away three double passes to Hidden Figures, in cinemas from January 26.

Just watch the trailer and answer this simple question: How many hours was one of the characters away from her children?

Send your answer in the subject line to by 5pm Friday 27 January, 2017. Only winners will be notified.

HIDDEN FIGURES is the remarkable untold true story of three brilliant African-American women mathematicians who were the behind-the-scenes heroines of America's triumphant launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962. And yet, until now, their story has been hidden in history.

Katherine Johnson (Golden Globe winner and Emmy-nominated Taraji P Henson Empire), Dorothy Vaughan (Oscar winner Octavia Spencer The Help) and Mary Jackson (Grammy-nominated Janelle Monae in her film debut) worked as "computers" in the pre-IBM world of NASA during America's Space Race against Russia.

Inspirational, emotional, tense and deeply rewarding, HIDDEN FIGURES is directed by Theodore Melfi (St Vincent), based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly and also stars Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons and Kirsten Dunst.



The HIDDEN FIGURES DoP is Australian Mandy Walker.

From the start, Walker and director Ted Melfi talked about iconic photographers of the period, particularly Saul Leiter, a pioneer of the so-called New York School of photography, which emphasised lush, colourful, humanistic street scenes. They also talked about a theme Melfi had in mind.

"For me, the word of this movie was 'through.' Everyone's going through something. The women are going through obstacles of racism and sexism. The U.S. is going through space," Melfi elaborates. "So we talked about using the camera to shoot through doorways, windows, through any and all objects. We set out to find beauty and emotion through things. We didn't overdo it, but whenever we could, we approached things that way."

Melfi and Walker also made the decision to shoot on celluloid film rather than digitally to befit the handcrafted era when the space program was still doing calculations on paper. It also gave Walker warm contrasts to work with.

"I was really glad when Ted told me that he wanted to shoot on film," says Walker. "We felt that it would handle the contrast of color and of light so beautifully."

To add to the visual appeal of the period, Walker also utilised an array of vintage lenses. "We used older Series Panavision Anamorphic lenses and we also shot on old Kodak stock," she explains.