Making 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.
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, nicknamed "little DW" by the crew.
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 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, a genius in prosthetic makeup, bloodies up actor George Wilson. He also gives him a swollen lip and eye!
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.
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.
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 checks out the waters of Caddo Lake.
The special effects team lights a fire in preparation for a scene.
Cinematographer Philippe Rousselot gets his first look at a new HD camera.
The crew, and their balloon light, await the next scene as the sun sets over Caddo Lake.
Cast and crew try and cool down at the juke joint from the hot Texas day.
Producer Todd Black takes a breather on the Marshall Jones property.
Residents of Mansfield welcome Denzel to Louisiana with a sign made entirely of Styrofoam cups!
Denzel studies the script in the study at the James Farmer house in Mansfield.
Denzel interviews Melvin Tolson Jr., the real-life son of Denzel's character in the film.
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.