Pulling an old franchise off the shelf, giving George Miller a ton of cash, and sending him off to the desert doesn’t seem like the smartest idea on the surface. But, in the case of Mad Max: Fury Road, it totally worked.
Miller turned in one of the most exciting films of 2015 with Fury Road, and the film’s unique level of saturation was a big part of what gave it that over-the-top visual feel. But, according to Miller, the color is just a distraction. You want to see the “best version” of Fury Road? See it in black and white. Luckily for us, Miller is pushing the studio to include a black-and-white cut in a future Blu-ray release.
Here’s how he explained the difference to The LA Times:
“The best version of ‘Fury Road’ was what we called a ‘slash dupe’: a cheap, black-and-white version of the movie for the composer. Something about it seemed more authentic and elemental. So I asked Eric Whipp, the [‘Fury Road’] colorist, ‘can I see some scenes in black and white with quite a bit of contrast?’ They looked great. So I said to the guys at Warners, ‘can we put a black-and-white version on the DVD?’ There wasn’t enough room. [It’ll end up] on another version with commentary and other features.
We spent a lot of time in DI (digital intermediate), and we had a very fine colorist, Eric Whipp. One thing I’ve noticed is that the default position for everyone is to de-saturate post-apocalyptic movies. There’s only two ways to go, make them black and white — the best version of this movie is black and white, but people reserve that for art movies now. The other version is to really go all-out on the color. The usual teal and orange thing? That’s all the colors we had to work with. The desert’s orange and the sky is teal, and we either could de-saturate it, or crank it up, to differentiate the movie. Plus, it can get really tiring watching this dull, de-saturated color, unless you go all the way out and make it black and white.”
Telling a story in black and white can give it an entirely different feel (see: The Walking Dead), and we’re positively fascinated to see Fury Road in black and white. Along with a Blu-ray release, here’s hoping Warner Bros. might even consider a theatrical release for the black-and-white cut.
(Via The LA Times)