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The teal and orange age of Hollywood
March 19, 2010 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Those who have watched a lot of Hollywood movies over the past few years may have noticed a trend: many of these films sport a uniform palette of teal and orange, a result of the availability of digital colour-grading. Originally derived from applying complementary colour theory to human skin tones to make them stand out more, the teal-and-orange rule has spread, and is now being lazily applied across the board, whether appropriate or not.
posted by acb (125 comments total) 131 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome article. Now I won't be able to not see it.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 10:00 AM on March 19, 2010 [18 favorites]


The only thing I found more surprising/disturbing than the pervasiveness of this color scheme was the fact that sentient beings wrote, greenlit, paid for, produced, directed, acted in (WTF Cusack), edited, and released a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine.
posted by sallybrown at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


Something tells me this might be a combination of a visual trend that's far from universal combined with confirmation bias and selective screenshotting.
posted by Plutor at 10:03 AM on March 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


Is this something I would have to not be colorblind to understand? ;)


In all seriousness, even though I don't see colors well, Oh Brother Where Art Thou seemed more sepia to me than orange or teal. For that authenticated old-timey look, dontcha know. Is he just using the movie as an example of why the gradient has suddenly been applied to movies across the board, or was it really a problem there as well?
posted by zarq at 10:04 AM on March 19, 2010


In all seriousness, even though I don't see colors well, Oh Brother Where Art Thou seemed more sepia to me than orange or teal. For that authenticated old-timey look, dontcha know. Is he just using the movie as an example of why the gradient has suddenly been applied to movies across the board, or was it really a problem there as well?

I thought he just mentioned the movie as the starting point of digital color control in film.
posted by not that girl at 10:05 AM on March 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


I see a teal and orange palette and I just *know* the movie won't have a sex scene. I miss the 80's & 90's. Back then these movies used to make me cringe (sittin' with the 'rents and all, "...bathroom break! no need to pause, carry on!"). I'm older now, but stuck in a vibrant dearth of sensually passionless storytelling, awash in teal and orange.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:07 AM on March 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


If only color grading was the only thing wrong with Transformers 2...

(Orange/teal will not stop me from enjoying the hell out of Iron Man 2)
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:07 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Very interesting article, as Carmody'sPrize said it will be difficult to unsee now.

Is just me or did a number of films which followed the Matrix use a similar green tinge to that used in the Matrix, could swear I made a mental note of that on several occasions?
posted by therubettes at 10:08 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought he just mentioned the movie as the starting point of digital color control in film.

OK. Good. I kinda thought so. But I can't see muted orange (or teal) tones well enough to be sure.

Then again, I see one particular sepia tone as a sort of dull, muted green, and my wife informs me that there wasn't really any green in the entire movie. So I suppose this means I'm seeing a color which isn't there.
posted by zarq at 10:10 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Thank You, not_that_girl. :)
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on March 19, 2010


he's right, only thing worse than teal and orange was "greenified". 1, 2, 3. but i think that trend is over.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:12 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wish the blogger had linked to the specific entry at ProLost that describes how this is done. Anybody? I'm curious.
posted by not that girl at 10:12 AM on March 19, 2010


Are you implying Hollywood lacks originality and simply copies things that were (mildly) successful in the past? The makers of the four Karate Kid films would surely disagree.
posted by tommasz at 10:13 AM on March 19, 2010


haha, exactly therebuttes... was busy searching for examples so didn't see your post
posted by nathancaswell at 10:13 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Then again, I see one particular sepia tone as a sort of dull, muted green, and my wife informs me that there wasn't really any green in the entire movie. So I suppose this means I'm seeing a color which isn't there.

Zarq, both of my sons, now 6 and 8, are mildly color-blind, and the biggest sign of it is that they see browns as greens. We're white but our adopted daughter is black, and my younger son was watching me change her diaper one day and said, "Wow, I didn't know she was green all over!"
posted by not that girl at 10:14 AM on March 19, 2010 [42 favorites]


Something tells me this might be a combination of a visual trend that's far from universal combined with confirmation bias and selective screenshotting.

oh, I wish. It's really not. He's describing a real thing.
posted by shmegegge at 10:14 AM on March 19, 2010


Plutor, I don't know. I think this puts its finger on exactly why I've always thought that so many comic book movies somehow look alike. It's not the scenery, cinematography, or art direction, it's the color palatte. Movies didn't used to look the way they look now. I hadn't picked up on the orange part--I'm rubbish at color theory--but a lot of movies do look overwhelmingly blue somehow, even where you wouldn't think that they should.

I don't have screenshots for you--again, I'm rubbish at this--but this connects with my intuitions and experience.
posted by valkyryn at 10:14 AM on March 19, 2010


Yeah, "Oh Brother" used DI to color-control the entire film, and produce that distinctive (and awesome) old-timey look. This is because the Coens are artists. Unfortunately, they unleashed a technique that had the power to take hackery to whole new levels.

I predict this is the film industry equivalent of what page curl and bevels were in early 90's web design. Even hacks will get sick of it sooner or later.
posted by rusty at 10:15 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


This kind of color "pop" is endemic in all the visual arts. People (myself included) have been bitching about that "flickr look" for quite some time. In fact, the auto tone setting in the ubiquitous Adobe Lightroom is very, very contrasty.

If you'd like to know why EVERY goddamn modern wedding picture looks the same, talk to these people. *shivers*
posted by lattiboy at 10:15 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


The only thing I found more surprising/disturbing than the pervasiveness of this color scheme was the fact that sentient beings wrote, greenlit, paid for, produced, directed, acted in (WTF Cusack), edited, and released a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine.

Sometimes a movie with a premise so inconceivably stupid it makes you want to punch yourself in the face until you pass out can turn out to be amazingly funny and or creative.

If you are in doubt, please refer to Pootie Tang and Step Brothers as evidence (I know I'm right on this and no amount of discussion will change my mind.)

/derail

I feel like this artificially dingy color palette in movies can be traced back to the success of one man - Mr. David Fincher. After the highly stylized and dirty lookin Se7en and Fight Club, the industry seemed to start making movies that are exclusively the color of poorly lit caves and burnt fields of wheat. "Realistic" video games tend to have a similar palette, with the liberal addition of a lot of futuristic-robot-suit gray.
posted by orville sash at 10:16 AM on March 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


I noticed this happening on The Daily Show the other day. Their background is mostly blue, and I swear Jon is lit up in some kind of orangey tone.
posted by desjardins at 10:18 AM on March 19, 2010


Creating a summer blockbuster film look
posted by elgilito at 10:19 AM on March 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


I didn't know anything about this at all or think of it that way. I actually assumed film quality was improving or that my poor vision was getting better.
posted by anniecat at 10:19 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


zarq, Oh Brother... is included as an example of the technology, not of the look. And... yeah. This has been bugging me for a while.

I was watching Executive Decision the other day and thought about how you could tell this was a pre-2000 action film because it didn't have that color palette.

However I do prefer it to the gloomy, blue-tinted look that seemed to be popular for a while... Underworld, etc.
posted by brundlefly at 10:19 AM on March 19, 2010


I wish the blogger had linked to the specific entry at ProLost that describes how this is done. Anybody? I'm curious.

In digital color grading the OCN (original camera negative) is scanned frame by frame at either 2k or 4k resolution and then run through a hightly specialized machine in a process called telecine like they've done for music videos and commercials (things that stay in the video realm) for years. In the telecine you have a tremendous amount of tools to adjust color, brightness and contrast. You can tint the blacks, midtones, and whites separately, apply colored mattes and digital gradients, and selectively swing one color towards any other color you want (ie make Caucasian skin purple, if you wanted to). At the end of the process the film is exported as an image sequence of super hi res still frames and burned back onto film using something like an Arrilaser. That negative is then traditionally timed and prints struck from it and sent out to theaters for you to enjoy like any other film.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:21 AM on March 19, 2010 [25 favorites]


Oh my god this is the best post + thread
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:23 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has this spread to TV too? I keep noticing that NBC shows just look different from ABC shows, CBS shows, etc.
posted by sallybrown at 10:25 AM on March 19, 2010


First time I heard reference to grading was in one of the Peter Jackson LOTR commentaries. Interesting that in that context, the grading was being used to unify the look of a "different" (ie: fantasy) world, allowing the filmmakers a few tweaks they hadn't really had access to before. And it worked rather effectively, I think, in contributing to the overall realization of that world.

As for the teal + orange subversion of our everyday planet earth reality though, all I can think is, man, gimme the old days.
posted by philip-random at 10:27 AM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


You do realize that this page right here is blue with gold accents, right?
posted by paisley henosis at 10:27 AM on March 19, 2010 [43 favorites]


So where does the hyper-drenched "charmingly offbeat indie-ish film" color palette play into this? I'm thinking Juno, Wes Anderson's films, (500) Days of Summer, etc. They seem to have a lot of reds, pinks and rich blues as well. Is this essentially a variation on the teal-orange palette, or is it something else?
posted by lunasol at 10:29 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can anyone explain to me why I can tell the difference between 70s/80s/90s/00s film grain (each separately) and DV and tape? I can't figure it out. Or why single-camera sitcoms look so different than 3-camera sitcoms? I've read about filmization/filmlook but why does, say, Dexter and Torchwood look so different than 30 Rock or Arrested Development? I can tell all these differences but it bugs the hell out because I can't figure out what the difference is, exactly?
posted by griphus at 10:29 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Zarq, both of my sons, now 6 and 8, are mildly color-blind, and the biggest sign of it is that they see browns as greens. We're white but our adopted daughter is black, and my younger son was watching me change her diaper one day and said, "Wow, I didn't know she was green all over!"

I am still imagining how frickin' awesome it must be to be a 6-year-old with a GREEN sister!
posted by briank at 10:30 AM on March 19, 2010 [12 favorites]


watched a lot of Hollywood movies

Well there's the problem right there.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2010


Has this spread to TV too? I keep noticing that NBC shows just look different from ABC shows, CBS shows, etc.

If anything it should have been adopted first by TV shows, since the hardest part about the whole process is taking the digital version and lasering it back to film. You don't have to do that in television. The majority of TV shows are shot digitally now, so the process becomes even easier, since you don't have to scan any film before you start tweaking stuff in the DaVinci.

That being said, you generally make less extreme stylistic decisions when dealing with TV. I don't watch a lot of network stuff, but I'm assuming shows like CSI have been heavily tweaked in telecine for years.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've complained to my husband about a similar issue - the flat, grimy, greyish-green & greyish-brown set design & wardrobe palettes of 50s - Early 70s movies & television.
Drives me nuts. I've never been sure if this was do to the limitations of cameras and film processing techniques of the time, or if it was simply the stylistic norm of the times.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:37 AM on March 19, 2010


Can anyone explain to me why I can tell the difference between 70s/80s/90s/00s film grain (each separately) and DV and tape? I can't figure it out. Or why single-camera sitcoms look so different than 3-camera sitcoms?

Kodak and Fuji are constantly updating their film stocks (or were, anyway) so that's why you can tell the difference between the grain. As the technology got more and more advanced grain got tighter and tighter, and people were able to shoot on progressively faster filmstocks and get a usable image. Faster filmstocks means you can use more available light and stuff doesn't look as obviously lit. Look back at old Hollywood movies from the 30s which were lit by carbon arc lamps. That's why they have that insane high gloss glamor look. The stocks were so slow they had to light everything tremendously.

Tape looks different because film grain and digital noise look different.

Single camera sitcoms look better than 3 camera sitcoms because the lighting department only has to light for one camera. Therefore they can nuance the lighting more for one specific framing. Also the camera operator has a lot more freedom because he doesn't have to worry about catching one of the other cameras in his/her shot.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:38 AM on March 19, 2010 [47 favorites]


Am I the only one who loves and appreciates film and doesn't see this as a wholly negative and undesirable thing? All time periods have film looks and styles (and colors) that are copied from the innovators and artists in the bunch. Yes some directors/cinematographers take this to a ridiculous or laughable extent, but many of the lowest common denominator films of today have better cinematography/colors/lighting than many, many films from the 80s/90s. I'm not sure who or what exactly was responsible for it, but all through the history of film, I think the bulk of 80s film sticks out as the most egregious for looking terrible (obviously there are exceptions). Sure not every film should necessarily use the same palette, but the writer saying "It is one of the most insidious and heinous practices that has ever overwhelmed the industry." is just ridiculous. Blaming something like Transformers 2 on teal and orange is just laughable.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:39 AM on March 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


The only thing I found more surprising/disturbing than the pervasiveness of this color scheme was the fact that sentient beings wrote, greenlit, paid for, produced, directed, acted in (WTF Cusack), edited, and released a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine.

Hey, John Cusack needs to eat and pay off his Malibu mortgage just as much as Seth Rogen and Vince Vaughn ..... besides, Cusack stepped into the realm of unforgivable long before this.
posted by blucevalo at 10:40 AM on March 19, 2010


Film director Tony Scott is all about the hyper-stylized blue filters and all of his movies tend to look damned same-y.
posted by unwordy at 10:41 AM on March 19, 2010


Now I want to make a movie or a short, where the main character has green skin and find excuses to make everything in the background a purplish hue.
posted by quin at 10:42 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


The teal part I've noticed, and has actually bugged the hell out of me, how all movie trailers look that way. Ugh.
posted by ifjuly at 10:43 AM on March 19, 2010


Zarq, both of my sons, now 6 and 8, are mildly color-blind, and the biggest sign of it is that they see browns as greens. We're white but our adopted daughter is black, and my younger son was watching me change her diaper one day and said, "Wow, I didn't know she was green all over!"

!! I have the same vision your son does! I have always seen light-skinned black people's skin as green. Before I met my wife, I dated two women who (unbeknownst to them) were green -- something they both found completely hilarious.

Too cool. I've only ever met one other colorblind person who saw those skin tones as green: my grandfather. :)
posted by zarq at 10:44 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I do prefer it to the gloomy, blue-tinted look that seemed to be popular for a while... Underworld, etc.

Underworld, Van Helsing a little... but Pathfinder was the worst. There was so much day for night in that movie plus the timing, you literally couldn't even tell what was going on sometimes it was so blue and dark.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:46 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can anyone explain to me why I can tell the difference between 70s/80s/90s/00s film grain (each separately) and DV and tape?

Further to what nathancaswell just posted ...

To my mind, it's about two things.

1. evolution of technology (faster film stocks, faster lenses, improvements in lab processes, eventual advent of digital processes),

2. commodification and industry adaptation of certain "accepted" applications of above, and how these "conventions" have evolved over time.

That is, first you get a cool new tool that helps you accomplish things you've never been able to accomplish before, so there's a bunch of experimentation. Then certain experimental results "stick" and others simply don't, often for no particularly good reason (other than said movie made a killing at the box office, or won its tech team a bunch of big-deal awards).

Fairly quickly, things start to get pretty uniform ... until some fresh new tech tricks get unleashed, and so on ...
posted by philip-random at 10:48 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Great article! It's funny because I have been noticing the trend towards a blue palette, but maybe I just couldn't see the orangey side as much. Absolutely fascinating.

haveanicesummer, nothing dates itself faster than a stock photo, and you're right about film looks and styles. Applying a blue filter to every image used to be very popular back in the 90s. It looks pretty nauseating now :S
posted by Calzephyr at 10:48 AM on March 19, 2010


...the fact that sentient beings wrote, greenlit, paid for, produced, directed, acted in (WTF Cusack), edited, and released a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine.

My wife and I were just discussing this the other day, the best theory that we can come up with is that someone, correctly, remembered that some of the best moves ever were 1980's films with a young John Cusack. They then set about trying to figure out a way to make one of these movies today, and someone came up with the idea, "Hey, why don't we just make another '80 Cusack movie?" To which someone responded, "Naw, he's old now", prompting the reply "Well, what if only we could see that he is old... what if everyone else saw him as he looked in Better Off Dead?"

To which the only possible reply could be, "Fucking brilliant! Let's celebrate '80s style with coke and hookers!"

And thus, we have Hot Tub Time Machine which I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I want to see.
posted by quin at 10:49 AM on March 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


Does this explain what I hated about the look of the movie Twilight? It thought the green and red colors were just heavy handed symbolism.
posted by vespabelle at 10:53 AM on March 19, 2010


iamkimiam: "Back then these movies used to make me cringe (sittin' with the 'rents and all,."
I'm sorry, did you mean to type "parents"? Because what in the love of all that is holy is with the effin' apostrophe abbreviating the word PARENTS?!
posted by hincandenza at 10:54 AM on March 19, 2010


It certainly has spread to TV - the various elements of the CSI franchise do this a lot. It's particularly noticeable when they do crossover episodes - the Vegas one applies a greenish tint, in Miami it's orange, and in NY it's blue.

They've made changes within episodes, too; I remember a Miami episode (back when CSI: Miami wasn't quite as teeth-grindingly awful as it is now) when the team's evidence was stolen, so they had to recreate the crime scene from memory. Each character's flashbacks were shown with a different colour tint, appropriate to their mood and the atmosphere they perceived. It was really rather effective, and a better idea than I generally give Jerry Bruckheimer credit for.
posted by ZsigE at 10:56 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why are we blaming O Brother, Where Art Thou? The video for Len's "Steal My Sunshine" came out almost a full year earlier.
posted by Iridic at 11:00 AM on March 19, 2010


FYI, the extended "Episode 22: Creating a Summer Blockbuster Film Look" video that not only discusses the teal and orange but shows you how to recreate it can be seen here, and even if you hate the teal-orange palette it's an awesome video to show how easy (and photoshop-filtery) it is to give a movie that action/comedy/drama veneer that we've come to expect.
posted by hincandenza at 11:01 AM on March 19, 2010


This has a lot to do with cinematographers using bleach bypass chemistry to give strong blacks and high contrast, which was everywhere in the late 90s, and which digital graders then started to mimic and 'enhance'.
posted by unSane at 11:04 AM on March 19, 2010


I'm sorry, did you mean to type "parents"? Because what in the love of all that is holy is with the effin' apostrophe abbreviating the word PARENTS?!

rents
posted by zarq at 11:07 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this why MetaFilter looks so dated?
posted by monospace at 11:09 AM on March 19, 2010


where does the hyper-drenched "charmingly offbeat indie-ish film" color palette play into this? I'm thinking Juno, Wes Anderson's films, (500) Days of Summer, etc

I'm not sure about this, but I doubt that these films were heavily graded. Digital Intermediates have become much more common recently but they still make the most sense when you're adding a lot of digital special effects (Transformers, LOTR, etc) because you have to scan vast portions of the film anyway. In a quirky small budget dramady it seems like kind of unnecessary expense.

Wes Anderson is a perfectionist and has a highly defined style, so I could see him using a DI as a tool, but his color palette probably has more to do with production design than photography.

I didn't see 500 Days of Summer, and had to turn off Juno (no thank you!), but from the trailers I remember the look being fairly standard. They may have used a DI, but probably all they were doing is adding contrast and saturation, crushing the blacks a bit and blowing out the highlights. Not all the gradients and selective color stuff you see in blockbusters.

Someone here mentioned LOTR earlier. I think this was a good use of the DI, but sometime watch the special features on the color grading and you'll see how much power you have in a telecine. The camera negative is incredibly flat and bland (which is how you shoot something that you really want to tweak out later, especially if adding SFX, you want to capture as much information as possible so you can manipulate it. No pure whites, no pure blacks, no outrageous colors other than green screens).

In really highly stylized stuff you actually transfer multiple passes of the same shot and composite them together. For instance in a luxury car commercial you might have a hero "car pass" where you tweak the telecine to make the metal look as good as possible. Then you might have a "road pass" where you crush the blacks so the asphalt looks all sexy. Then you have a "background pass" where you blow the desert out so that it's all white and overexposed and fashion looking. By rotoscoping individual elements from each pass, you can create something that you could never get in a single telecine pass or in camera. Very similar to HDR photography, and very similar in how quickly it approaches cheesiness.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:09 AM on March 19, 2010 [17 favorites]


Indie features are increasingly being shot on digital now anyway. I may be shooting a $5m feature in the fall and we will definitely be going that route, probably on a Red camera which seems to be fast becoming an industry standard. One side benefit is that you can use Canon 1Ds and 5D SLRs for a second unit, which can make a lot of difference in making your day.
posted by unSane at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


unSane has a good point, before the advent of DI technology cinematographers had to use chemical processes like bleach bypass and ENR (which I always loved) or photographic tools like grad filters to achieve these looks (some of the stuff Slawomir Idziak achieved with hand made grad filters is outrageous. Blackhawk Down was one of the last films to use real grads a ton. Maybe Bad Boys 2 also. Nowadays all you have to do is tell your colorist, gimmie a bleach bypass effect, drop a grad there and bam, you have something that approximates it. So it's very easy to go nuts applying stylistic gimmicks.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:17 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just came in to agree with the person who likes Pootie Tang.
posted by mintcake! at 11:17 AM on March 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


Hot Tub Time Machine is a dumb movie that knows it's dumb. Deej-o-meter says: thumbs up!

Transformers / Transformers 2 are dumb movies that don't know they are dumb. Deej-o-meter says: thumbs down!

(Haven't seen any of them. Deej-o-meter is really just Pullingitoutofmyass-o-meter.)

Or why single-camera sitcoms look so different than 3-camera sitcoms?

Supplementing the comment above, three-camera shows tend to be shot with all the cameras at eye-level to the actors, positioned on or near the "fourth wall." Single camera shows, which use hand-held cameras for many shots, can look up or down at a subject, shoot over someone's shoulder, pan and tilt more quickly, and get closer in among the actors, making you feel like you are in the room with them instead of just an observer watching a play. Shows like The Office have a faux-documentary look that would be very difficult to do with a traditional three-camera setup. For example, there is often a visual gag pulled off by the camera quickly panning to another part of the room, then back to the original subject. In a traditional three-camera setup, this would probably look clumsy and induce nausea. It works on The Office because we accept that we are in the shoes of the camera operator, capturing the events as they unfold.

On the original topic: I certainly don't mind a deliberate color palette, even if it's digitally induced. But not the same one for every movie! The palette should tell us something about the movie's characters or plot. The copycat use of teal and orange is indeed tiresome. Thanks for post. Now, as with the Wilhelm Scream, I'll always be aware of it when it comes up.
posted by The Deej at 11:27 AM on March 19, 2010


One other reason for the teal/orange overload is that the human eye is naturally drawn to the reddest thing in the frame (don't ask me why, but you really have to watch it if you're a photographer). So by warming faces and cooling backgrounds you make the frame much easier to read for a lazy audience.

Personally I hate the look... there are so many more interesting things that can be done with grading.
posted by unSane at 11:27 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey, thanks for the explanations of why we can immediately see the differences in movies from different decades. In particular, there seems to be something about movies from the 1970s that show deeper, harsher colors, a kind of rough quality that I can't really explain but really stands out when an older flick comes on TV.
posted by etaoin at 11:32 AM on March 19, 2010


So when is Jay-Z going to announce the death of auto-tone?
posted by condour75 at 11:36 AM on March 19, 2010


I just rented Grand Prix from 1966 with James Garner and the bright and clear colors in that movie looked so refreshing after watching so many dismally colored modern movies. Not to mention the non-ADD editing style that let you actually see what was going on.
posted by octothorpe at 11:36 AM on March 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


And here I thought everyone was extra orange due to tanning spray.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:43 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


there seems to be something about movies from the 1970s that show deeper, harsher colors, a kind of rough quality

Many people consider the 70s to be the pinnacle of American Film... so you're absolutely right about films from the 70s standing out. There are many reasons for this. Here's a very simplified explanation: in addition to the advancements in film stocks and lenses, a large amount of small, lightweight film cameras came onto the market. Many American filmmakers at the time were heavily influenced by the French New Wave, which utilized lots of handheld, featured "regular" characters (the French filmakers were influenced by Italian Neorealism) and an almost improvisational style.

So you got fast film, light cameras, and a global cinema culture that embracing gritty, unpolished, yet stylized movies. You also have the first wave of talented, American filmakers coming out of schools like USC, UCLA, NYU. Throw in the fact that they grew up in the counterculture generation and what you get is stuff like the French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, The Conversation, etc. Movies that are active and raw, and realistic, dynamic, naturally lit, while also stylized in many regards. Films that literally couldn't have been made with the technology from the 1950s.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:43 AM on March 19, 2010 [14 favorites]


There's another insidious and heinous practice out there: White type on a black background.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:46 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


In particular, there seems to be something about movies from the 1970s that show deeper, harsher colors, a kind of rough quality that I can't really explain but really stands out when an older flick comes on TV.

Yes, it's the contrast and grain from the film used in production.

If you want an exercise in 70s film look, check out Black Dynamite It was filmed on super 16mm film for authenticity. The look is immediately refreshing. It was converted to digital for editing, but it appears the filmmakers kept the color and grain just as they should be.
posted by The Deej at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I will have to RTFA in more detail after work, but from my experience as a color retouched in Hollywood, I think I know what's going on. This is an attempt to digitally recreate "the Golden Hour." Back when films weren't as high ASA, the most prized shooting time was just after sunrise, or just before sunset, when the color of the sunlight gave everything a golden glow. So they're trying to recreate that classic look from older films (and quite unsuccessfully too).
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


This discussion, especially the informed commentary from NathanCaswell and a couple of others, is why I LOVE Metafilter. Thank you.
posted by etaoin at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Retouched -> retoucher.
Damn iPhone autocorrect
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:52 AM on March 19, 2010


"Realistic" video games tend to have a similar palette, with the liberal addition of a lot of futuristic-robot-suit gray.

Actually, modern video games have a washed-out color palette for a completely different reason.

(Orange/teal will not stop me from enjoying the hell out of Iron Man 2)

I will step out on a limb and predict that movie will also have some fire-engine red.
posted by straight at 11:53 AM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you want an exercise in 70s film look FUCKING AWESOME, check out Black Dynamite.

I adjusted that a bit, mainly for me.
posted by quin at 11:53 AM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I dig Charlie's theory up there. Matches my observations pretty neatly.
posted by Mister_A at 12:00 PM on March 19, 2010


Physiologically, they human eye is more sensitive to colors along the teal/orange axis. That's why lifejackets and safety vests are usually orange. That's also why color TV (NTSC) codes color information along quadrature axes, one of which is approximately teal/orange.
This may be nothing more than the chromatic equivalent of the CD compression "loudness wars" - making "eye-popping" visuals to grab your attention.
posted by rocket88 at 12:01 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Someone help me find a screenshot of the scene in Eyes Wide Shut where the protagonists are having a discussion or argument in their bedroom. The bathroom door opens, and the bedroom is completely blue and cool and the bathroom is orange and warm. This gives one of the actors an orange background and the other one a blue background, and this fist (or affects how we perceive) their mood perfectly.

I loved that scene because the color scheme is completely over the top and looks like my homework from Remedial Color Theory 101, but it works perfectly.

What I am trying to say is that like anything else in art, orange/teal can be just right in the right hands.
posted by dirty lies at 12:02 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you want an exercise in 70s film look FUCKING AWESOME, check out Black Dynamite.

I adjusted that a bit, mainly for me.
posted by quin


CORRECTION NOTED AND SECONDED!
posted by The Deej at 12:05 PM on March 19, 2010


The palette thing is bad, but there are plenty of things about most movies these days that are worse.
posted by JHarris at 12:05 PM on March 19, 2010


sallybrown: Has this spread to TV too? I keep noticing that NBC shows just look different from ABC shows, CBS shows, etc.

Chuck Klosterman has written about this, and has come up with some good theories about why this would (and wouldn't) be the case.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:11 PM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am still imagining how frickin' awesome it must be to be a 6-year-old with a GREEN sister!
briank
And to grow up with a green president too!
posted by krilli at 12:14 PM on March 19, 2010 [9 favorites]


Someone help me find a screenshot of the scene in Eyes Wide Shut

You've got an orangeish (NSFW if W is nipple intolerant) main room with a blue focal point (for lack of terminology knowledge) in background and also a blue main room with an orangeish focal point in background. Here you've got Tom "Glib" Cruise lit by both light sources.

And here's the index of screenshots if you want to do your own perusing--really easy to look through.

I miss Kubrick, even though I know he's overrated and blah blah. He was so intricate in his design.
posted by sallybrown at 12:14 PM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


teal and orange are also the colors of daylight and incandescent lighting as well as the filters necessary to work with them. orange is also often used in both film and video as a stand-in for red, as red is almost impossible to shoot in either medium without 'bleeding'. (this is mostly due to the intrinsic properties of the color red and the materials (dye, pigment) used to represent it, as opposed to any failure of the technology
posted by sexyrobot at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Amelie has a few good bits in its director commentary about how he was using digital color manipulation in his shots. He uses it selectively, depending on the scene though; not as an overall wash as in Twilight et. al.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:40 PM on March 19, 2010


You do realize that this page right here is blue with gold accents, right?

#069 and #CC0 as compared to #29B and #FA6 (semi-websafe approx.) which means it should look something like this.

Close, but no Transformers. Still, close enough to make me momentarily consider changing to the "professional white"...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:42 PM on March 19, 2010


sexyrobot just beat me to it (not to discount this thread's awesome contributions from nathancaswell, unSane, and others) - the orange/teal axis doesn't come from a reckless application of complementary color theory, but rather because those are the colors of the most common gels you'd use to match your light sources to what the film stock's expecting to see. So when a film crew wants to make something pop a bit in frame without looking completely artificial, they'll use colors that are on the same axis as light sources we'd encounter in the real world. If they used green/red/purple/whatever, it'd take the viewer 'out' even more. A lot of common looks also come from leaving light sources purposefully uncorrected; shoot something outside during the day under the sun's cool light, but using film balanced for warm incandescent light, and you'll get a blue look not dissimilar from that used in a million billion terrible movies (UNDERWORLD I AM LOOKING AT YOU).

What the author of the linked article is missing, though, is that this is something that's been around waaay longer than digital intermediates. This is the Wikipedia page most relevant to the discussion (and boy do I wish I was more awake so I could be more eloquent about one of my favorite subjects in the world). Also:
You see, in order to get flesh tones to look that warm and orangey, the entire image would look warm and orangey - like golden hour, just before sunset. And in order to get teals to look that blue and tealey, the entire image would look cold and blue - like at night.
NIGHT IS NOT BLUE. N I G H T I S N O T B L U E. "Blue" nights are an effect; the blue light signifies "night" so you're not just looking at an underlit scene.
posted by jtron at 12:54 PM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


this thread has some more, somewhat more technical discussion, for those interested in how this works practically
posted by jtron at 12:56 PM on March 19, 2010


Has this spread to TV too? I keep noticing that NBC shows just look different from ABC shows, CBS shows, etc.

The State of the Union Address, coming from the same CSPAN source camera, looks different on the different networks. This gives me the impression that any signature network look is driven by something done at time of broadcast rather than something done during filming/recording or post-processing.
posted by cardboard at 12:59 PM on March 19, 2010


I thought the orange-ness was because filmmakers were using cross processing as a visual effect (?)
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 1:06 PM on March 19, 2010


Black Dynamite is a much better (red band) trailer than movie. The joke just doesn't stretch that far. Two stars. Two and half if you caught in a really generous mood.
posted by NortonDC at 1:23 PM on March 19, 2010


I thought the orange-ness was because filmmakers were using cross processing as a visual effect (?)

Very few people have the balls to actually cross process 500,000-1,000,000 feet of negative or to even shoot reversal. You're risking a lot by what it does to your latitude. When you're shooting a scene in motion, unlike in stills, you have to pick a stop and trust it. What happens if the lead actress's face is underexposed the entire scene? You get fired, is what.

I think the mentality is why risk it when you can ballpark the effect in telecine?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:28 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is an interesting notion, but once you agree to an approximation/generalization like:
...flesh tones exist mostly in the orange...
Then any scene in any movie that contains 1) human skin and 2) something vaguely in the neighborhood of blue (like, say, blue jeans) becomes an example of "teal and orange." You'd expect that to add up to a lot of scenes, even by accident.
posted by Western Infidels at 1:31 PM on March 19, 2010


I missed the teal but I sure have noticed how orange actors are getting. Everyone looks like they took a swim in 90s spray on tan; it is quite refreshing when someone truely pale is in a movie.

"I am still imagining how frickin' awesome it must be to be a 6-year-old with a GREEN sister!"

I've got this colour blindness too and it leads to constant confusion because my frame of reference is just different than anyone else. And I've learned to keep my opinions of what cars look good in what colours to my self.
posted by Mitheral at 1:34 PM on March 19, 2010


Then any scene in any movie that contains 1) human skin and 2) something vaguely in the neighborhood of blue (like, say, blue jeans) becomes an example of "teal and orange." You'd expect that to add up to a lot of scenes, even by accident.

More importantly than blue jeans, consider the sky. Also important is this:

"Blue" nights are an effect; the blue light signifies "night" so you're not just looking at an underlit scene.

Which means the sky is generally "teal" at night, or in a darkened room as well.

This is a topic that I find hard to believe anybody actually giving a shit about. But it seems easy to posit theories without being an expert because color is subjective in almost every way.
posted by dogwalker at 2:15 PM on March 19, 2010


Thanks sallybrown. That is exactly the scene I had in mind.
posted by dirty lies at 2:35 PM on March 19, 2010


These colour effects always look better when they're done with real lights. With real lights, you get nice three dimensional interactions of the complementary colours, and the colours that aren't part of your primary palette still get to exist in parts of the image without being neutered into oblivion.

Punisher War Zone, in addition to being full of nihilistic ultra-violence, featured a lot of nice contrasty coloured lighting. It even had some ... well... (more purple than teal)/orange.
posted by rustyiron at 3:08 PM on March 19, 2010


I thought he just mentioned the movie as the starting point of digital color control in film.

Yep. And if anything, it really serves as a nice contrast by distinctly not having that palette.
posted by davejay at 3:16 PM on March 19, 2010


I just rented Grand Prix from 1966 with James Garner and the bright and clear colors in that movie looked so refreshing after watching so many dismally colored modern movies. Not to mention the non-ADD editing style that let you actually see what was going on.

Want to have the same experience audibly? Get a record player plugged into your good stereo and listen to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John.) It shocked me, after 2+ decades of CDs.
posted by davejay at 3:20 PM on March 19, 2010


This is a topic that I find hard to believe anybody actually giving a shit about. But it seems easy to posit theories without being an expert.

I've sat in dozens of $2000/hour high end telecine sessions. I've watched people spend 16 hours minutely tweaking the colors of less than 2 minutes of film. That doesn't make me an expert, but it means I have watched the experts work.

A point and a couple questions.

1) teal ≠ blue. maybe it does to you, but it doesn't to a professional colorist. these are people who work in rooms painted matte black with all the lights off. they have special control surfaces that cost $20,000 that allow them to minutely adjust RGB and luminance values. if you bring them a tear of something for color reference they pick up a phone and an assistant wheels in a neutral color temperature light to to use while they examine it so they can make sure they are matching the EXACT color.

2) do you believe in the trends?

3) do you actually think $200-$300 million movies look the way they do by accident?
posted by nathancaswell at 3:22 PM on March 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


Black Dynamite is a much better (red band) trailer than movie. The joke just doesn't stretch that far.

Whoa! Wait a minute! What joke?????
posted by The Deej at 3:51 PM on March 19, 2010


Actually, you know what... I'm going to a session on Monday with Tom Poole (warning, insane flash), I'll ask him about "teal and orange" and see if he knows right away what I'm talking about... rather than us arguing about it.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:53 PM on March 19, 2010


Are you implying Hollywood lacks originality and simply copies things that were (mildly) successful in the past? The makers of the four Karate Kid films would surely disagree.

I think you mean Five.

Also, James Cameron has been doing the orange face/blue frame his entire career. Funny to see now everyone else is doing it, he has gone in the opposite direction to having blue faces.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 4:06 PM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't stand that brown murk that they have in action sequences to make them look "dark" and so they can skimp on doing proper blocking for fight sequences.
posted by jonp72 at 4:07 PM on March 19, 2010


I've noticed this highly restricted color palette in movies for a long time now. It seems to coincide with my declining enjoyment of movies. I have actually caught myself thinking "Why isn't there any color in this color movie?"
posted by Thorzdad at 4:10 PM on March 19, 2010


I can't stand that brown murk that they have in action sequences to make them look "dark" and so they can skimp on doing proper blocking for fight sequences.

They can use whatever color scheme they want, as long as the camera isn't jiggling all over the damn place.
posted by brundlefly at 4:14 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, you know what... I'm going to a session on Monday with Tom Poole (warning, insane flash), I'll ask him about "teal and orange" and see if he knows right away what I'm talking about... rather than us arguing about it.

I like that you're trying to explain to me what a professional colorist is and/or does, and then name drop a guy that works for the same company I do.

I'm not looking for an argument. I've sat in all those ridiculously "meticulous" sessions too, and I'm still shocked that anybody in the general public even cares.
posted by dogwalker at 4:15 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've noticed this highly restricted color palette in movies for a long time now

I would argue that it kind of started with Gladiator. That was back before they were using DIs so the blue tone is affecting the actor's skin tones as well as the background. People obviously used toned images before that but after Gladiator came out everyone was shooting without an 85 filter trying to replicate the effect and all action scenes were photographed with skinny shutter (giving it that stuttery, crisp effect that is so played out nowadays).
posted by nathancaswell at 4:26 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like that you're trying to explain to me what a professional colorist is and/or does, and then name drop a guy that works for the same company I do.

It's kind of weird that you work for Company 3 and seem so grumpy about people talking about color timing... but anyhoo.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:30 PM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I know. I'm just overall grumpy today, and apologize for that. You have contributed well to this discussion and I have not.
posted by dogwalker at 4:42 PM on March 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


I knew there was something funny about the current crop of Hollywood blockbusters.

I'm sure I've felt that certain sorts of movies have a visual ‘look’ that makes them actually difficult to watch because they're so bright and glossy. Transformers is certainly one standout example. I know that people are going to shout ‘selection bias’, and you might be right, except that (500) Days of Summer actually looks refreshing. It's very blue a lot of the time, and the subject matter as opposed to the wham-bam of Transformers may have affected my perception of it, but that can't be the whole story. The Bourne films have just as much of an actiony aesthetic, but have a noticeably muted colour palette and a grain that complements the mood of the film.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 4:49 PM on March 19, 2010


Addendum: Oh my god. I just watched the trailer for Hot Tube Time Machine and, like, EVERY DAMN SCENE.

As Goldfinger once said: once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; three times is enemy action.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 4:59 PM on March 19, 2010


I knew there was something funny about the current crop of Hollywood blockbusters.

This exactly. I've been noticing this subconsciously and thinking "All these movies look the same" but lacked the ability to explain what exactly was the same. This article really focused my thinking and a lot of it just dropped into place.

I remember actually really liking this effect at first and thinking the colors in some movies were really unusual and different. I don't see a lot of movies, but I definitely remember this in the two most recent James Bond movies, for example - especially Quantum of Solace, where a lot of shots looked overexposed and washed out. I thought that a lot of it was that Americans are interested in the Middle East these days for a lot of reasons, and so movies were throwing in desert scenes to stay in vogue, which lent itself to lots of lush tans and sandy landscapes and the occasional oasis or fantastic blue-green mosque or supervillain lair or whatever. But yeah, most action movies do look like this now, and some of them don't happen in the desert.

The other way I was reasoning through it was to say that a lot of these movies are based on comic books and so they're picking a palette that doesn't feel realistic on purpose, which I think actually is true in a lot of cases (and certainly the new Batman movies are an exception to the teal-and-orange rule), and since SO MANY action movies are based on comic books these days, I figured the other non-comic-hero action movies were just going a little cartoony in their colors to look modern.

Anyway, I hadn't even considered that these palette choices were motivated by technical innovations (+ laziness) rather than just visual trends, but this adds a whole new layer to my thinking about the symbolism of choosing certain locations and palettes with which to tell a story.

Interestingly, maybe this also explains why I fell so hard (heh) for Die Hard when I watched it for the first time a little over a year ago. Its more naturalistic colors actually made it seem really fresh and different. Die Hard in general is a pretty old-school, minimalist franchise...this actually makes me want to rewatch Live Free or Die Hard to see whether it's busting out this kind of palette or not.

So interesting!! Thanks for sharing this, I'm going to be totally obnoxious about color palettes in movies for, oh, the rest of my life.
posted by little light-giver at 6:42 PM on March 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


OK, I'm back home from work and I looked at the article in more detail.

I note that the majority of the article heaps abuse on the Transformers films. The CG era is a little after my time in Hollywood, but I know enough about SFX to make educated guesses. And I have another theory (not that it invalidates my previous theory).

Movies like Transformers have live action composited with computer graphics. The live action is shot against a screen that drops out in the composite, it's often green, so these scenes are called "green screens." There is always a lot of "spillover" around the edges of an object, some of the green light reflected off the screen hits the back of the actor. This leaves some spillover of the color from the background screen to the actor, and makes it damn hard to get a clean matte. Anyone who has ever tried to composite an image of someone with big fluffly hair in Photoshop knows how hard it is to get a good clean matte. And the big SFX houses do their utmost in preproduction to make sure they'll get a clean matte that works in postproduction. Part of that process is to give everyone clothing and makeup enhances the naturally warm colors of human skin, so the shot will have enough color contrast to get a clean edge on the matte.

Of course this doesn't account for the large number of films that have the orange-teal look that have no compositing to CG effects. I still think they're trying to simulate the look of film shot during "The Golden Hour." All serious photographers and cinematographers know about this. I've done the calculations many times to find the exact times of the Golden Hour, so I can get the max shooting time during peak lighting conditions. I have a little program that calculates the exact sun angles for each day of the year. Some photogs use golden reflectors to bounce diffuse gold light onto a subject to simulate the Golden Hour in the studio.

As for the teal, well that's rather weird. Looking in the article's stills from the movie Wolfman, you can see smoky teal backgrounds. Teal seems to work well as a background because it's close to a blue sky color. It also gives a sense of distance, when warmer objects (like peoples' faces) are in the foreground. I notice that films often use hazy blues in the backgrounds to establish "atmospheric perspective." You use a smoke generator, then light it with some floods with a blue filter and a gobo for some streaky sunlight FX. I think this is pretty standard cinematography, but I'd have to do some searching for examples to check this out further. I've also seen blues and teal colors used in CG lighting that are rendered with Global Illumination, I guess they think it gives the objects a look like they're under a blue sky. Or maybe they're just trying to make it look cinematic. Again, more research is needed.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:56 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really liked the way that they used this technique in Clerks 2 -- they desaturated the colours, giving it nice grimy edge and making it fit in with the first movie (b&w) better.
posted by jb at 10:11 PM on March 19, 2010


Has this spread to TV too?

The orange-and-gray palette of the House, M.D. pilot (directed by Bryan Singer—The Usual Suspects, X-Men, etc.) is so over-the-top I thought my DVD player was screwing up. It's probably too much work to do on a weekly basis though.
posted by Lazlo at 11:05 PM on March 19, 2010


The orange-and-teal colour-grading phenomenon seems to be the video equivalent of the loudness wars in recorded music; in both cases, it's a process aimed at increasing what the majority of the target audience consider to be the awesomeness of a medium, at the expense of that annoying and unprofitable "subtlety" thing.

I wonder how long until they figure out how to do HDR processing/tonemapping for film (or digital video). An extreme HDR effect could totally up the awesome level of any exploding robot helicopter chase sequence.
posted by acb at 12:19 PM on March 20, 2010


Oh god this has been bugging me for years and I couldn't put my finger on it. I'd just mumble "the colors are ...off"
posted by The Whelk at 3:37 PM on March 20, 2010


I wonder how long until they figure out how to do HDR processing/tonemapping for film (or digital video).

You can already do it, you just have a few restrictions. You set up and shoot at various exposures like you would shoot HDR. Like HDR, it won't work with moving objects but you CAN move the camera with a motion control rig. A motion control rig is a programable robotic arm / dolly system. You program the move you want the rig to make and it will make the exact same move over and over. These pieces of film at various exposures can then be masked together like HDR.

There are some motion control timelapses in Planet Earth where they would shoot the same shot in various seasons and then dissolve between them. The time lapse scene in Requiem for a Dream where Ellen Burstyn cleans as the sun sets and the camera dollies along the apartment was shot with motion control as it would have been imposible for a human to move the camera in the tiny increments necessary to achieve the effect. LOTR used motion control to mix and match scales. For example, Helms Deep was built at (not so) miniature scale and a motion control camera used to photograph a swooping crane shot. The general architecture was then rebuilt at 1:1 scale in green, actors positioned, and the rig programmed to make the exact same move only scaled up to 1:1. Then they composite the footage of real extras into a miniature environment and the camera move matches perfectly. It's a pretty cool toy, but very expensive to rent.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:52 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, you can take the movement data from the motion control rig and use it to move a CG camera around in 3d objects in Maya...
posted by nathancaswell at 3:56 PM on March 20, 2010


Hey nathancaswell, thanks for illuminating (har!) this subject for us.

Most of the concepts you've clarified here have confused me for a while. I occasionally shoot and edit web video, and even though I don't expect to be working on productions that require as much attention to detail as do the movies mentioned above, it's interesting to learn what goes into them. 16 hours in the matte black room! To color correct two minutes of film! Even on terrible films like Transformers 2 (actually, probably mostly on terrible films like Transformers 2)! Also, neat Cliff's Notes explanation of the tech that made American '70s film look the way it does. And I liked the list of reasons that one- and three-camera sitcoms look so different.

Thanks for explaining using language that we non-specialists can understand. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that the comments, more than the actual content of the FPPs, are the main reason I keep coming back to this site.
posted by andromache at 4:28 PM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I'm seeing it everywhere. I liked the color palette and the lighting of Soderbergh's "Traffic" when it first came out. Ten years later it looks positively pukey awful. I mean, worse than 1960s B-movie awful.
posted by blucevalo at 6:36 PM on March 20, 2010


reminds me of when i first found the color corrections palette in final cut pro... a very dangerous tool for a colorblind filmmaker. but, oh! the power!
posted by prophetsearcher at 3:48 AM on March 21, 2010


Colour Corrected MeFi.
posted by zamboni at 6:53 AM on March 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't even watch Underworld because of the ridiculously blue hue to that film.
posted by stormpooper at 8:25 AM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to report that this thread ruined any enjoyment I might have been able to take in Public Enemies last night. I doubt there was much lost though. How Michael Mann made such a cheap-looking film with so many expensive movie stars in beyond me.
posted by rusty at 9:02 AM on March 22, 2010


zamboni: Colour Corrected MeFi.

Wow, I totally need to set the site list for this to the whole Blue.

(I'm not actually going to do that, but it is pretty funny.)
posted by paisley henosis at 9:17 AM on March 22, 2010


zamboni: that is fabulous. thank you.
posted by olya at 12:14 PM on March 24, 2010


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