"Goodnight Sally" is a short film that focuses on the complex existence of one of America's most controversial historical women, Sally Hemmings. Sally was a mixed race slave who lived on Thomas Jefferson's Monticello as his lover for over thirty years and accompanied him to the White House in 1800. This film explores her perspective of Jefferson's incredibly complex views on slavery on the eve of the passage of the 1807 Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves.
Behind the scenes of Goodnight Sally
Our goal aesthetically was stylish realism. We shot with 100% candle light in one long evening at the period accurate historic George Taylor house in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, All the costumes were made from scratch by our writer-director-designer Alexandra Nyman in under a month. To really play with the candlelight we decided to shoot on the a7s mark 2 typically between 3200 and 12,000 ISO. With multiple layers of on camera filtration and smoke we aimed to 'burn in' the look of the candle flames to better match the watery eyed human perception of lighting by wax, oil and wick.