Clerks : Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?

Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?

It seems like this was the last movie of its kind to be shot on black and white film purely for budgetary reasons (because it was on a budget of less than 30k).

Everything else since seems to have been for artistic choices. So the question is: is Clerks the last genuine black and white movie?

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?

Hawkeye did a music video in black and white in 1998-ishly or perhaps even later for budgetary reasons.

I dont know of any feature films with success after Clerks though.

Re: Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?

Actually, I realized the 1998 documentary The Cruise was also shot in b&w, maybe for budgetary reasons. Not sure.

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?

Wasn't it also shot in black and white to give the feel of as if watching from a CCTV camera? I remember reading that somewhere.

Also, given how most of the film was shot at night when the store was closed, shooting in black and white helped hide the fact that it was dark outside and they needed lights.

Apparently that's why the shutter locks being 'gummed' was written in, so that people wouldn't be driving by and stopping in thinking they were still open.

Re: Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?


So the question is: is Clerks the last genuine black and white movie?


Much Ado About Nothing was filmed in black and white because it's cheaper. And so was Following.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?

Following maybe.

I don't think Much Ado.... by Joss Whedon counts. It was shot on digital, so they just converted it to black and white for artistic reasons, not because it was cheaper.

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b&w for budgetary reasons?

Actually, he's specifically mentioned it was for budget reasons. He saved on lighting, wardrobe, and set design since he didn't have to worry about how those things would look.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?

The thing is it can be harder and more time consuming to properly light sets with black and white, from what I've read, as well as working in tones instead of colours and making sure they show up well.

And really it seems like they used b&w more for the artistry than being absolutely forced to use it because of the budget (i.e. Only being able to afford to develop b&w film stock).

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


The thing is it can be harder and more time consuming to properly light sets with black and white, from what I've read, as well as working in tones instead of colours and making sure they show up well.


Yes. But not for Much Ado About Nothing.


And really it seems like they used b&w more for the artistry than being absolutely forced to use it because of the budget


That's what it may seem, but as was pointed out by the director, that's not why. It was to save time and money. I.E. for budget reasons.

Example: one of the character's rooms is a bright pink. Had he shot in color, Joss would've had to repaint the entire room. Which would cost time and money.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?

The flaw with the example is that they could have chosen to simply not have the room be pink. That seems more an artistic reason than a practical one.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


The flaw with the example is that they could have chosen to simply not have the room be pink. That seems more an artistic reason than a practical one.


Except they were filming in Whedon's house (again for budget reasons) so they were limited in number of rooms.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?

I understand, but for one, Whedon has a worth of about $100 million, so I'm sure he could have dipped into his coffers if he had to offset the limited budget. Secondly, there would have been such a minimal difference if they had decided to keep it in color instead. One character having a bright pink room is the sort of thing that lends character to the nature of moviemaking.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


I understand, but for one, Whedon has a worth of about $100 million, so I'm sure he could have dipped into his coffers if he had to offset the limited budget.


Irrelevant. I could spend several hundred dollars completely remodeling my place, but if I can find cheaper ways to do it on a small budget, I will. Just because he has the money, doesn't mean he wants to spend it needlessly.


Secondly, there would have been such a minimal difference if they had decided to keep it in color instead.


Exactly. Which proves it wasn't for artistic intent and the black and white was for budgetary reasons.


One character having a bright pink room is the sort of thing that lends character to the nature of moviemaking.


Unless the director does not want that.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


, but if I can find cheaper ways to do it on a small budget, I will. Just because he has the money, doesn't mean he wants to spend it needlessly.


If he's passionate enough about the final product; filmmakers often use their own funds to finance their films if they have to.



Exactly. Which proves it wasn't for artistic intent and the black and white was for budgetary reasons


You seem to be misinterpreting me. What I'm saying is they didn't have to shoot in black and white, they could have kept it in colour. They weren't absolutely forced to other than for artistic reasons.



Unless the director does not want that.


Exactly, purely because of aesthetics and not money limitations.

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


filmmakers often use their own funds to finance their films if they have to.


Exactly. "If they have to." Joss didn't have to. He could just shoot in black and white and not spend the money..


What I'm saying is they didn't have to shoot in black and white,


They did to save money.


Exactly, purely because of aesthetics and not money limitations.


To not spend money changing the aesthetics.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?



Exactly. "If they have to." Joss didn't have to. He could just shoot in black and white and not spend the money..


Now you're starting to get it. Joss had the ability and the funds to shoot in color. The success of his film did not depend on it in being black and white. The film would have been the same in color or in b&w. Whereas with Clerks, Kevin Smith was forced to use black and white film, he had no option to use colour like Whedon did.



They did to save money


A neglible amount. Whedon did it more to emulate Italian Neo-realist filmmaking. In short, because he's a pretentious clown.


o not spend money changing the aesthetics


Aesthetics that only need to be changed subjectively, not by any strict requirement.

However, I can say that you already answered he question succinctly by suggesting Following. Nolan had limited resources and a budget, he was a nobody at the time, so he had to go with what was available.



~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


Joss had the ability and the funds to shoot in color.


Doesn't mean the movie was budgeted with his unlimited funds.


Whereas with Clerks, Kevin Smith was forced to use black and white film, he had no option to use colour like Whedon did.


Robert Rodriguez made a color film for a fraction of Smith's budget. By your rationale, Smith had plenty of money to shoot in color and chose not to. So Clerks was not black and white for budget reasons any more than Much Ado About Nothing.


The success of his film did not depend on it in being black and white.


Of course not. Getting made depended on it being in black and white. He wasn't shooting in black and white to make some huge profit. It was to just get it made.


The film would have been the same in color or in b&w.


Exactly. Not for artistic reasons since there's no difference.


A neglible amount.


The amount is irrelevant.


Aesthetics that only need to be changed subjectively, not by any strict requirement.



Or he doesn't want to repaint his house. As many filmmakers do not wish to repaint sets.

You can make all the arguments you want, but at the end of the day, the creator himself has specifically stated he shot in black and white for budgetary reasons.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


budgeted with his unlimited funds.


A misnomer. Simply spending an extra grand or two (seeing as Whedon probably financed the film himself) to repaint a couple of rooms or reconfigure lighting wouldn't break his costs.


Robert Rodriguez made a color film for a fraction of Smith's budget. By your rationale, Smith had plenty of money to shoot in color and chose not to. So Clerks was not black and white for budget reasons any more than Much Ado About Nothing


Different circumstances. Just because Rodriguez could afford colour film doesn't mean Smith could. Rodriguez also transferred it to video for editing, to avoid film cutting costs. Kevin Smith could only afford b&w film equipment.


He wasn't shooting in black and white to make some huge profit. It was to just get it made.


And he could have easily just made it in colour.



Or he doesn't want to repaint his house. As many filmmakers do not wish to repaint sets


Or he could have just not repainted it and shot it as it was. In colour.


You can make all the arguments you want, but at the end of the day, the creator himself has specifically stated he shot in black and white for budgetary reasons.



No doubt he would say that to avoid labels of the film going for style over substance. In my mind, the b&w was nothing but a gimmick that distracts the viewer. The budgetary excuse is just that... An illegitimate excuse.

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


A misnomer. Simply spending an extra grand or two (seeing as Whedon probably financed the film himself) to repaint a couple of rooms or reconfigure lighting wouldn't break his costs.


Irrelevant. Plenty of studios wouldn't break bank to shell out a few million for a movie. Doesn't mean they should if a budget has already been established.


Just because Rodriguez could afford colour film doesn't mean Smith could.


If it's all about the bottom line, as you are pointing out, then yes, Smith could've. He had nearly four to five times the budget. Robert Rodriguez made it work. Clearly, Smith could've too since he had more money, which you're arguing Whedon did.


And he could have easily just made it in colour.


He'd have to repaint and redress the sets. Which would cost money.


Or he could have just not repainted it and shot it as it was. In colour.


Which he did not want. Plus, there's a lot more to set/costume design than just "shoot it as is."


No doubt he would say that to avoid labels of the film going for style over substance.


So the only recourse left is to call the creator a liar?

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?



Irrelevant. Plenty of studios wouldn't break bank to shell out a few million for a movie. Doesn't mean they should if a budget has already been established


You keep saying irrelevant as though you can just wish away facts. Whedon produced it through his own company. No doubt he would have planned ahead to calculate the budget and scout out the proper shooting location. Are you really telling me he couldn't write an extra check for a few thousand to repaint some rooms and get some proper lights?



If it's all about the bottom line, as you are pointing out, then yes, Smith could've. He had nearly four to five times the budget. Robert Rodriguez made it work. Clearly, Smith could've too since he had more money, which you're arguing Whedon did.


As I said, their circumstances were different. Smith has gone on record saying his only light source was florescent lighting since they were shooting at night (Rodriguez obviously didn't have to worry about that), and they wouldn't have the money to colour-correct it if it turned out bad in colour (Whedon wouldn't have that problem).




He'd have to repaint and redress the sets. Which would cost money.




Again, purely for aesthetic reasons.


Which he did not want. Plus, there's a lot more to set/costume design than just "shoot it as is."



Maybe, maybe not. Again, depends on the circumstance. I hardly think a pink room would ruin the set design.


So the only recourse left is to call the creator a liar?


Well aside from being talentless and a hack, I'd imagine being a liar is the least of his faults.

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


You keep saying irrelevant as though you can just wish away facts.


Kinda like you wanting to wish away that Whedon already said he shot in black and white for budget reasons.


Are you really telling me he couldn't write an extra check for a few thousand to repaint some rooms and get some proper lights?



You're the only one hung up on "couldn't." I said didn't. To maintain a low budget.


As I said, their circumstances were different. Smith has gone on record saying his only light source was florescent lighting since they were shooting at night (Rodriguez obviously didn't have to worry about that), and they wouldn't have the money to colour-correct it if it turned out bad in colour


Except when Smith shot during the day.


Again, purely for aesthetic reasons.


Yes. Which would cost money to change.


Maybe, maybe not.


Well, no, there is no maybe. There is a lot more to designing the visual look of a film than just "Let's just shoot it." That's why people specialize in cinematography and DP'ing.


I hardly think a pink room would ruin the set design.


You'd be wrong. An overpowering color like that could throw off the entire look of the scenes, bleeding into other colors, ruining the tone, over powering the characters, and distracting the audience.


Well aside from being talentless and a hack, I'd imagine being a liar is the least of his faults.


Blatantly ignoring evidence that goes against what you think? I see. Good to know you're one of those.

But I would like you to elaborate on how he's "talentless and a hack." But please, none of that "in my mind" nonsense. That's not evidence.

In any case, back to your original point: That's wrong too. Following, Pi, and Escape from Tomorrow all came out after Clerks. In black and white. For budget reasons.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


Except when Smith shot during the day.


Only scenes outside the store. They were only able to shoot inside during the night when the convenience store wasn't in use.



Well, no, there is no maybe. There is a lot more to designing the visual look of a film than just "Let's just shoot it." That's why people specialize in cinematography and DP'ing.


Again, it depends if there is anything about the set that needs "correcting." Plenty of filmmakers are able to use a set "as is" because they don't need to redecorate.



You'd be wrong. An overpowering color like that could throw off the entire look of the scenes, bleeding into other colors, ruining the tone, over powering the characters, and distracting the audience


Yeah. "Could" throw off a scene. Or it could just add to a film's charm. Anyway, as I've repeated tirelessly to you, it's an aesthetic decision, not a practical one.



But I would like you to elaborate on how he's "talentless and a hack." But please, none of that "in my mind" nonsense. That's not evidence.



It's evidence precisely because he's the sort of person that would use the black and white budget excuse as some kind of fashionable attempt to dismiss it as an artistic gimmick. There was no reason for it to be in b&w other than laziness.



In any case, back to your original point: That's wrong too. Following, Pi, and Escape from Tomorrow all came out after Clerks. In black and white. For budget reasons.


Following maybe. The other two don't count. Especially Escape From Tomorrow. The fact that we can now shoot movies with iPhones proves those filmmakers were just more hipsters jumping on the "we're too cool to shoot in color" bandwagon.

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


Only scenes outside the store. They were only able to shoot inside during the night when the convenience store wasn't in use.


Except of course in scenes where you can clearly see the sun outside.


Plenty of filmmakers are able to use a set "as is" because they don't need to redecorate.


Sloppy ones.


Yeah. "Could" throw off a scene. Or it could just add to a film's charm


Yep, could. Not for this movie.


Anyway, as I've repeated tirelessly to you, it's an aesthetic decision, not a practical one.



Except when it saves money. Like in Much Ado About Nothing.


It's evidence precisely because he's the sort of person that would use the black and white budget excuse as some kind of fashionable attempt to dismiss it as an artistic gimmick.


Your opinion is not evidence. Sorry.


Following maybe. The other two don't count.


Yes, they do. Especially since Pi came out the same year as Following.


The fact that we can now shoot movies with iPhones proves those filmmakers were just more hipsters jumping on the "we're too cool to shoot in color" bandwagon.


Ahhh, now I see. There's more to filming a movie than just aiming a camera.

Randy Moore: "We were shooting with really fast lenses wide open, so our depth of field was razor thin. Black and white helped us enormously with focus and composition, since we were doing almost everything in camera and didn't use a focus puller."

Black and white was practical.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


scenes where you can clearly see the sun outside.


A small minority of scenes.


Yep, could. Not for this movie.


Subjective enough not to be considered a budget issue.


Except when it saves money. Like in Much Ado About Nothing.


It saved him a tub of paint. The black and white was part of the movie's main attraction.


Your opinion is not evidence. Sorry.


The problem is your not willing to see the other side of the story. You're myopic.


Yes, they do. Especially since Pi came out the same year as Following.


Fact: It was more expensive for Aranofksy to film Pi in black and white.


Randy Moore: "We were shooting with really fast lenses wide open, so our depth of field was razor thin. Black and white helped us enormously with focus and composition, since we were doing almost everything in camera and didn't use a focus puller."


This proves nothing. It's just more psychobabble from stuffy indie film-makers. They could have used different lenses, they could have used different cameras. The fact that a movie was released this year that was shot on an iphone on the streets of LA proves that black and white isn't a necessary tool anymore.

It's a given fact that modern filmmakers are able to shoot in colour and not worry about costs.

~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


Subjective enough not to be considered a budget issue.


Not for the filmmaker.


It saved him a tub of paint.


Yep.


The black and white was part of the movie's main attraction.


Yep. Doesn't mean it wasn't done for budget reasons.


The problem is your not willing to see the other side of the story. You're myopic.


Nah. That's you. You immediately ignore everything that disagrees with you.


Fact: It was more expensive for Aranofksy to film Pi in black and white.



Citation?


They could have used different lenses, they could have used different cameras.


So go out and spend money on other lenses and cameras? Yep. Budget reasons.


It's a given fact that modern filmmakers are able to shoot in colour and not worry about costs.


As proven with Much Ado About Nothing, not necessarily.

Only someone with no film making experience would think it's that easy.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


Subjective enough not to be considered a budget issue.


Not for the filmmaker.


It saved him a tub of paint.


Yep.


The black and white was part of the movie's main attraction.


Yep. Doesn't mean it wasn't done for budget reasons.


The problem is your not willing to see the other side of the story. You're myopic.


Nah. That's you. You immediately ignore everything that disagrees with you.


Fact: It was more expensive for Aranofksy to film Pi in black and white.



Citation?


They could have used different lenses, they could have used different cameras.


So go out and spend money on other lenses and cameras? Yep. Budget reasons.


The fact that a movie was released this year that was shot on an iphone on the streets of LA proves that black and white isn't a necessary tool anymore.


Yes, we all know about Tangerine. This year. That doesn't change the past for movies that filmed in black and white for budget reasons.


It's a given fact that modern filmmakers are able to shoot in colour and not worry about costs.


As proven with Much Ado About Nothing, not necessarily.

Only someone with no film making experience would think it's that easy.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?


Citation?


INTERVIEWER: Why did you choose to shoot Pi in black and white?

DARREN ARONOFSKY: It was always a creative choice not really a budgetary constraint. Actually some people think black and white is cheaper. So few films are done in black and white these days that it's actually more expensive. So it actually cost us more money to do it. It cost us even more than most black and white movies because we decided to shoot a film stock called "black and white reversal" which no one has ever shot for a narrative feature film before. And it's this very sort of hard to get film stock that actually comes up very, very, contrasty.


http://aronofksy.tripod.com/interview14.html


So go out and spend money on other lenses and cameras? Yep. Budget reasons.


You should understand the vast difference between buying film stock and processing it on a shoe string budget, compared to simply shelling out for a $200 lense when you have over half a million dollar budget. They wanted to shoot with fast lenses, which means they wanted black and white. They weren't forced by circumstance.



~ I'm a 21st century man and I don't wanna be here.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?

You should understand not everyone wants to just spend $200. That makes it a budget decision.

Can't stop the signal.

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?

It is always good to see someone on imdb who knows what they are talking about.

HI-F___ING-YA
Nicholas Cage Deadfall
Films 2015: www.imdb.com/list/ls073224289/

Re: Last movie shot in b+w for budgetary reasons?

well these days most low budget filmmakers shoot digitally which obviously is naturally in color but this certainly wasnt the last movie to shoot in B&W for budgetary reasons. it was near the end of that era for film though.
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