The Garret Inside George Miller's F Street Tavern

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Reference Art

We used Alexander Rider's etching of Jesse Torrey, Ann Williams, John Paker, and Rosanna Brown from Torrey's 1817 publication, A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States, as a basis for our recreation of the tavern garret. Although the image contains only a single window, we were able to determine the approximate size and location of the second window relative to other images of nearby buildings painted around the same time period.

Jesse Torrey, A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States (Philadelphia, 1817), facing 46.

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We created a reproduction of Rider's etching for the credit sequence. The decision to overlay the painted animation with an etched effect was made to give the impression of a motion-based version of the original artwork.

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3D Model

A 3D model of the garret allowed the director to explore the various angles that Anna could tell her story from. This model includes a small stove and chimney that was later changed to a brick wall in order to be historically accurate.

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Textured 3D Model

A second 3D model of the space was created in Adobe After Effects. Hand-painted and illustrated textures were applied to the walls, ceiling, and floor. Not pictured here are the various images of 19th century structures and interiors that informed how the artists recreated the animated surfaces.

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Lighting Control

Various lighting points were placed in the completed model to control and recreate lantern lighting. The changes in lighting that appear throughout the animation are made possible by controlling the lighting scenario.

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Final Scene

This shot from the final sequence of the film shows the end result of the lighting control and completed modeling.