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Colorizing B&W vs. Colored

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Chris:L, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Chris:L

    Chris:L Well-Known Member

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    I've been noticing this common complaint about not wanting a certain season of a show colorized when sequential seasons ahead have been filmed in color.

    My question is, what's the different in colorizing a black & white product and having a product been filmed in color.

    Like for example.... the ladder seasons of Bewitched are colorized due to being filmed in color. What's the harm in colorizing the earlier seasons? Wouldn't they have the same look and feel as the condition of the color in the future seasons? I don't get it.

    You could say the same for Adventures of Superman and I Dream of Jeannie and, heck, why can't we colorize the episodes of I Love Lucy... what's the harm in that?
     
  2. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Ouch. Dude, you definitely did NOT grow up watching these shows in the 60s or early 70s. If you did, you'd consider what you just wrote as "taboo". To me even the thought of watching Lucy or Superman (first 2 seasons) in color makes me feel sick! Why not colorize Psycho? It would look scarier in color right?

    Still, if there are others like you who want these classics in color, then why not offer colorized versions as well? To each his own. [​IMG]
     
  3. Nikie

    Nikie Member

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    I think if they was filmed in Black & White, leave at that, it ruins the original feeling you get. I actually like shows that are in Black & White, I like the first three season of Bewitched and the first season of IDOJ. I don't think you should mess with the original color of older shows like Lucy, Bewitched, IDOJ, Superman. That just don't seem right to me. I don't think it is the same as filming them in color and have them colorize, I think they look different.
     
  4. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Well-Known Member

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    Good thread discussion on this topic.

    I go along with Nikie and Carlos. It removes something from the original "feel" of a series if it's colorized. It might have something to do with those of us who watched the 60's series when they originally aired. I think that's the main reason that I'd rather leave the B&W shows as is.

    I'm amazed that there are younger audiences that appreciate the older TV classics like us "baby boomer" generation folks. [​IMG]

    - Jeff W.
     
  5. Chris:L

    Chris:L Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I'm only 20. Going on 21 coming up this September. I'M GETTING TOO OLD. I only watch old classic shows of the 50s, 60s, 70s, a few from the 80s, nothing of the 90s.

    Okay, so you guys don't want these altered. Well, what about discoloring colored episodes? Turning them to B&W?
     
  6. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Chris you don't seem to get it. You either like or hate something, but color or black and white shouldn't have anything to do with it. The problem I have with colorization is that it doesn't look real to me, it looks flat, like someone painted in the numbers. Always remember this though, a show is either good or bad, and color or black and white should have nothing to do with it. For example, how many people like the color episodes of the Andy Griffith show better than the black and white ones?
     
  7. Joseph Miller

    Joseph Miller Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you one thing that's wrong with colorizing, and it involves "Bewitched."

    There's a B&W episode where Samantha gets some witch's disease which covers her face with big green spots. They keep saying in the episode, "Oh, my goodness, look at those big green spots."

    Since this episode was filmed in black and white, they didn't really make her spots green. They were black. (I guess that would make them photograph better in black and white.) And, the way I understand it, colorizing supposedly reproduces the real colors by analyzing the gray levels.

    So the colorized version of this episode shows us Samantha with big BLACK spots on her face, while everyone keeps saying they're green.

    Colorizing is wrong for many reasons, but in the case I pointed out here -- and there are other examples, I'm sure -- it can result in what the characters are saying not matching what we see!
     
  8. DavidofLondon

    DavidofLondon Well-Known Member

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    Well this is just my humble opinion. There are several shows out there that started B&W and went colour. Bewitched, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea etc. Plus others that never made colour Twilight Zone, Munsters and more.

    Personally I wouldn't colourise anything that was original filmed in B&W. Regardless of whether later seasons were B&W or colour.

    It's clear, particularly for those shows that went colour that with colour available most producers/directors will choose to film in colour (although some Movies have delerately been made B&W - Young Frankenstein, for example.

    But the fact is when they originally filmed in B&W the director, cameramen, lighting people etc. etc. all KNEW they were filming in B&W. Even ignoring Joseph's excellent comment about the green spots, the decisions made about camera positions, lighting etc. etc. where all based on what the final product would look like.

    TV series or films that were made in B&W will not look the same colourised as they would have looked in colour, regardless of the quality of the colourisation process, because different artistic decisions would have been made.

    So personally I'd say no to colourising, keep everything with its original format, aspect ratio, and music.

    David
     
  9. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the posts that say "leave the original BW shows as they were originally intended to be viewed".

    Thanks for some great thoughts/posts on this thread.

    -Jeff Willis ("Bionic" series fanatic [​IMG]
     
  10. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Well-Known Member

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    Another thing I'd like to add is the beauty of black and white. I don't know about the rest of you, but to me there's something really artistically creative about black and white. Look at "The Munsters" for example. I think the show looks awesome in the black and white DVD release. The shadows and makeup of the characters make for a truely creepy feeling. However, when you look at either the Munsters movie "Munster Go Home" or the Munsters pilot episode, that great "creepy" feeling is gone. It suddenly feels like you're watching clowns at a circus instead of characters in a scary environment. I can't imagine classic scary movies like "Psycho" or "Night of the Living Dead" in color, it would just change the complete outlook for me.

    I think there is a reason why many people want classic movies colorized, though. The biggest reason being the first time they were ever exposed to these shows or movies may have been watching a colorized version, so that first impression is what they will remember. I remember back in the early 90s, my little 5 yr old nephew came over and wanted to watch TV, so I popped in a video of the 3 Stooges. Well he had a fit..."I HATE IT, IT'S NOT COLOR, I HATE IT, I HATE IT!" Still I told him to watch it...within 2 minutes the kid was in hysterics asking to see more! I don't know how to interpret this other than reiterate the fact that if a show is good, people will watch it regardless of whether it is in color or not.
     
  11. dany

    dany Well-Known Member

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    You can always turn the color off. I like them both ways and i grew up watching all B&W. They really knew how to use lighting for the B&W shows but its nice to see the great colors that were used and never seen in all the shows i grew up watching in B&W.
     
  12. Joseph Miller

    Joseph Miller Well-Known Member

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    Every time this subject comes up, someone says, "You can always turn the color off."

    And every time someone says that, someone replies (and this time, I'm the one):

    Just turning the color off doesn't result in getting a black and white picture that looks the way the ORIGINAL black and white looked. All you end up with is a kind of washed-out, gray image -- NOT the original B&W photography, which might have been very sharp with dark blacks, bright whites, and a huge range of grays in between. As Carlos pointed out about "The Munsters," there are all kinds of shadows and subtle effects in B&W cinematography that the colorization process ruins -- and they WON'T magically come back merely by turning the color off on your TV.
     
  13. Joseph Miller

    Joseph Miller Well-Known Member

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    I used to say that I wanted all movies and TV shows to stay the way they were when they were originally shown.

    But I have to modify that to, "the way they were originally FILMED."

    There were a few movies filmed in color, but only released in black and white (for economic reasons.) Even though my memory of the movie is in black and white, I'd prefer the DVD of that movie to be in color -- preserving the original intentions of the film makers.

    Perhaps a unique situation on TV is "The Lucy Show." Lucille Ball (or someone) had the foresight to know that color was the wave of the future, so the second and third seasons of "The Lucy Show" were filmed in color -- even though they all knew that CBS would broadcast them in B&W. (They didn't start showing them in color until Season Four.)

    I'm old enough to remember watching "The Lucy Show" first run, so my memories of Seasons Two and Three are definitely 100%, pure black and white.

    Years later, when CBS started showing reruns on weekday mornings, I was disappointed to see Seasons 2 and 3 in color because they didn't match my memories.

    However, since that's the way they were FILMED, it's ok with me. I guess my point is that we can't always go back to the way we first saw some of these things. Even though my original memories of "The Lucy Show" are B&W, I'd have to see them in color from now on.

    Of course, I could always just turn the color off! [​IMG]
     
  14. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Well-Known Member

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    Regarding The Munsters- the show was envisioned as a gentle parody of both the classic Universal horror films of the 30s and 40s as well as the family sitcoms of the late 50s-early 60s, like The Donna Reed Show and Leave It To Beaver, which was created by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, who also created The Munsters. Most of those films were in B/W, as were those sitcoms.

    For this show, it is ideal in B/W. Munster Go Home is unwatchable for two reasons: the colors were too garish (the makeup should've been more muted, the Technicolor Munsters stick out like sore thumbs!), and Universal made the disastrous decision to replace Pat Priest with Debbie Watson as Marilyn!
     
  15. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    The definitive statement on "colorizing" any film/TV show that was originally filmed in B&W was said a long time ago by an artist far greater than all of us:

    "Keep Ted Turner and his God damned Crayolas away from my movie!"
    - Orson Welles, shortly before his death, speaking about Ted Turner's colorization of B&W classics, specifically Citizen Kane.

    Enough said, end of discussion...[​IMG]
     
  16. Chris:L

    Chris:L Well-Known Member

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    hey, here's an idea..... a funny idea, colorize every other frame. Wouldn't that be cool?
     
  17. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Well-Known Member

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    The first and second seasons of "Bewitched" and the first season of "I Dream of Jeannie" have already been colorized. These versions have run on TV all over the world in recent years (Hallmark Channel in the USA) but TV Land is currently airing the B/W versions.

    I prefer the original B/W versions, but the fake color on these is the best I've seen. I'd hate the thought of coloring some series, but for these, I'm not so aghast for some reason. Maybe it is because the B/W seasons were rarely syndicated when I was a kid?

    Though the Japanese DVD sets of "Bewitiched" Season 1 and 2 were colorized only, I hope they offer them in B/W in the U.S. Market.
     
  18. Jonathan_Clarke

    Jonathan_Clarke Well-Known Member

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    I think the biggest problem with colorization is that you're not operating on a blank slate. You're coloring over the grey tones of the b&w frame. So it will always look dampened and unappealing.

    And in many films, b&w wasn't just a necessity. It was a CHOICE. The great cinematographers used contrast the way they might use the pallette in a color film.
     
  19. dany

    dany Well-Known Member

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    JM,a difference between org because a lot will be nice and grainy and specs and all that crap from 50-70 year old prints but if we are talking about remastering the B&W and make them look new,i'd still like it both ways,redone to org and in color. I've seen it already in B&W so both ways would be good for all of us,right? You surly would rather listen to a remastered cd from the 70's then the org.
     
  20. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Well-Known Member

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    On Christmas Eve, American Movie Classics (remember when they showed their movies uncut and without commercial interruption) showed "Miracle on 34th Street" for 24 hours (I think), but they alternated showings in both B&W and colorized. Colorized NEVER looks genuine and really takes away from the feel and tone of the movie in my opinion. Let B&W remain that way.
     

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