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Color Me Curious


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#1 of 4 Frank Soyke

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Posted May 10 2013 - 12:54 PM

Some of you have much more technical expertise than me with the in's and out's of how a particular show is filmed so I have a question that I hope won't seem too stupid.
By 66, when all shows went to color. I noticed that shows of that period (Jeannie, Gilligan's, Get Smart, etc) had extremely bright sharp colors to them. Even a program like Hogan's which used mostly darker colors exhibited very sharp color when it was used in the story. By the time we got into the 70's, the colors seemed to have dulled somewhat on many programs such as Odd Couple or All In The Family. The bright sharp hues weren't there anymore. I kind of equate it with the way the movie Love Story was filmed. For those familier with the movie, the whole picture has kind of a dreary colorless look to it Am I just imagining this or is there some truth here. I thought maybe it might have something to do with a film vs. videoape issue but that doesn't quite make sense to me either.

#2 of 4 TravisR

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Posted May 10 2013 - 03:14 PM

I could be totally wrong but I would chalk it up to the networks and TV manufacturers wanting to make sure that when you saw a color show that it was COLORFUL. Then by the 1970's, color had become more the norm and so they didn't feel the need to have shows be that colorful.

 

EDIT: Once again, that's all a guess.


Edited by TravisR, May 10 2013 - 03:15 PM.


#3 of 4 Harry-N

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Posted May 10 2013 - 04:12 PM

Travis is exactly right. In the fall of 1965, NBC took the leap to be the "full-color network" and promoted themselves as such. Even people with black and white TVs saw NBC bragging about its shows being in color, and the iconic peacock device that ran before nearly every show. (Even in that full-color year, NBC still had a few black & white shows on the schedule, I DREAM OF JEANNIE and CONVOY.) In that same year, there were only a smattering of higher-profile shows that had gotten the go-ahead to switch to color, and other producers resisted. THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW was going into its last year and didn't want to add color; THE FUGITIVE was entering its third season and liked its black & whiteness; etc.

 

In the fall of 1966, all three networks pulled out all the stops and went full-color (in prime time). And you're right, the set decorators, the lighting crew, the costumers went all out to make sure that everything looked eye-poppingly colorful. In NBC's case it was surely to sell RCA color TVs. The other networks just did it to be competitive. Shows like BATMAN and LOST IN SPACE were just dazzling in their color, but other shows followed suit.

 

A while back, I happened upon a showing of an early color PETTICOAT JUNCTION on a local station and was just amazed at all the primary colors people dressed in:

 

PetticoatJunction.JPG

PetticoatJunction2.JPG

 

These two images are from the same episode, yet all of the women seemed to have changed into a different primary-color outfit!

 

And it's true that by the '70s, filmmakers and TV producers began to make shows look more realistic and gritty, making the '70s decade a generally rather ugly one to look at in many respects.

 

Harry


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#4 of 4 Frank Soyke

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Posted May 10 2013 - 04:43 PM

The dreariness of 70's shows amazes me. It often looks like every scene was shot on a cold, rainy day. Opinions vary, but I think it adds a whole negative connotation to most of these shows. Quinn Martin and Garry Marshall shows tend not to be that bad but the Lear shows make me feel like I wanna call in sick to work. Most others as well.

I mentioned it before but shows like Jeannie and Gilligan simply look beautiful. The colors are bright and crisp and generally just make you feel good. Room 222, on the other hand, makes me feel like I'm coming down with a cold.






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