Taking inspiration from 15th century Dance Of Death paintings and 17th century Baroque paintings, the film takes a dreamlike journey down the banks of Death's river. As the film floats downstream, the camera rolls over portraits of motionless figures on the shore. It might sound bleak, but it's not. It's beautiful and eerie. The figures on the shore are still and lifeless, and the water they sit near is, by its nature, fluid and moving. The composition and set up of each shot mimics the layout of Dance of Death paintings. And just like in a Baroque painting, the light gives life to the still, rigid bodies and the darkness sets the mood.
Mill colorist Luke Morrison worked closely with Nick to set the deep, somber look for the film, full of both dark and light, and movement and stillness. Luke explains, "The whole film takes its inspiration from painting and in particular, the beautiful way light is used. When deciding how to approach the grade with Nick, we wanted to further echo this painting technique. With this in mind, I played with the use of shadow in different densities of black to give it depth and added a slight inky blue. I also used contrasting tones in the key light again, adding to the shape of the image and echoing back, in some ways, to the Baroque style."
One of the main themes in Dance of Death paintings is that all members of society are the same and united in death. Something the viewer is reminded of as the film ends, floating downstream into the unknown darkness.