Making The Great Debaters
Denzel Washington shoots 'The Great Debaters.'
Director Denzel Washington is at the helm! Denzel, along with cast and crew, shot several scenes for The Great Debaters at a school in Grand Cane, Louisiana.
Ken Walker works on the cast's hairstyles.
Stylist Ken Walker and the makeup team get the actors ready to shoot their next scene in Grand Cane.
The crew readies for a dance scene with actor Denzel Whitaker
The crew readies for a dance scene with actor Denzel Whitaker, nicknamed "little DW" by the crew.
Denzel and Mark Labonge
Denzel Washington and camera operator Mark Labonge prepare to shoot a scene in Palestine, Texas. Less than a week before shooting, a tornado burst came through the area and destroyed the train station set. Crews had less than a week to get things back in working order!
Denzel on 'pig road'
Denzel and the crew prepare for a scene on "pig road," in which a car crashes into a giant pig! Not to fear...this swine is just a prop. No real animals were harmed.
Carl Fullerton and George Wilson
Carl Fullerton, a genius in prosthetic makeup, bloodies up actor George Wilson. He also gives him a swollen lip and eye!
Denzel on a scouting trip in Mansfield, Louisiana
Mansfield, Louisiana, was home to a lot of The Great Debaters sets. Here, Denzel is scouting the area which will later serve as the location for a sheriff's department built by the set crew.
The crew waits for a tow truck.
While working in Mansfield, Denzel and his crew got stuck in the mud...literally! Executive producer David Crockett, production designer David Bomba and location manager Kay Rowan-Young wait as their car is rescued by a tow truck.
The Juke Joint
Marshall Jones, a lawyer in Jefferson, Texas, offered his stunning land on Caddo Lake to the production for filming. The crew built this "juke joint" from the ground up, and Marshall liked it so much he kept it!
Denzel at Caddo Lake
Denzel checks out the waters of Caddo Lake.
The special effects team starts a fire.
The special effects team lights a fire in preparation for a scene.
Philippe Rousselot
Cinematographer Philippe Rousselot gets his first look at a new HD camera.
Lighting on Caddo Lake
The crew, and their balloon light, await the next scene as the sun sets over Caddo Lake.
The crew hangs out at the juke joint.
Cast and crew try and cool down at the juke joint from the hot Texas day.
Caddo Lake
Caddo Lake.
Todd Black
Producer Todd Black takes a breather on the Marshall Jones property.
Styrofoam welcome sign
Residents of Mansfield welcome Denzel to Louisiana with a sign made entirely of Styrofoam cups!
Denzel Washington
Denzel studies the script in the study at the James Farmer house in Mansfield.
Denzel interviews Melvin Tolson Jr.
Denzel interviews Melvin Tolson Jr., the real-life son of Denzel's character in the film.
Henrietta Wells
Henrietta Wells was one of the original debaters from the early '30s. Now, at 96 years old, Henrietta is the inspiration for Jurnee Smollett's character, Samantha.