Topic of Research

We need to do a research, which can last for the whole semester, and also has to be related to one of the courses we are having now.

There are two courses I personally really like, one is AV technique, the other is Sound Design.

I couldn’t help wondering : What is like in the old days, the days there were no color correction or sound design in movies? How did people cope with that? How did they make the movie still attractive?

A lot of classic movies were black and white, and even silent movies. They were made more then 50 years ago. If nowadays we are still watching the movies made 50 years ago, no color correction or no fancy sound design, will the people 50 years later still watch our movies, which are made by fast lenses, good color grading, and super good sound design? Will the people in the future still watch all these just like we are still watching the old black and white and even silent movies?

The more questions I asked myself, the more I am triggered to find out. Then I decided to do a research of  this.

Of course I am not the first one who raised this topic, and I am sure I will not be the last one either. This is a big question, I first need to narrow down my research field, find a point to start with.

  • When start using color in black and white movies?

While some color film processes (including hand coloring) were experimented with and in limited use from the earliest days of the motion picture, the switch from most films being in black-and-white to most being in color was gradual, taking place from the 1930s to the 1960s. Even when most studios had the capability to make color films, they were not heavily utilized as tinting techniques and the Technicolor process were expensive and difficult.

For years color films were not capable of rendering realistic hues, thus mostly historical films or musicals were made in color and many directors preferred to use black-and-white stock. For the years 1940–1966 a separate Academy Award for Best Art Direction was given for black-and-white movies, along with one for color.

  • How is Black and white style movies in modern time?

Since the invention of color, black-and-white  media often connotes something “nostalgic”, historic, or anachronistic.

Celebrity (1998) by Woody Allen was shot entirely in black-and-white, and Allen has often made use of the practice since Manhattan in 1979.

The Wizard of Oz (1939), American History X and Pleasantville play with the concept of the black-and-white anachronism, using it to selectively portray scenes and characters who are either more outdated or dull than the characters and scenes shot in full-color.

 Sin City

Wim Wenders’ 1987 film Wings of Desire uses sepia-tone black-and-white for the scenes shot from the angels’ perspective. When Damiel, the angel (the film’s main character), becomes a human, the film changes to color emphasising his new “real life” view of the world.

Since the late 1960s, few mainstream films have been shot entirely in black-and-white. Some modern film directors will occasionally shoot movies in black and white as an artistic choice, though it is much less common for a major Hollywood production.



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