Making “Pleasantville”

I’ve alway loved the film “Pleasantville,” two cynical 1990s teens go back into the world of a 1950’s sitcom- and ruin it just by being real.

I knew they used 1998 digital after effects to get the mix of black and white and color seen in the film. But it’s interesting to se exactly how they did it. AND how simple some of it is….

I’ve read how when they shoot Black and White the sets and costumes are often bright green or red, because they look better in Black and White.

See this 8mm home movie shot on the set of “Son of Frankenstein”

The green registers as a paler shade of white on B&W film. This has led to almost a century of mild controversy, “is Frankensteins monster supposed to be green?”

The green makeup trick was repeated on PLEASANTVILLE.

I still say the coolest “effect” was a real colored actress in a set just painted in shades of grey.

I wonder if todays young people would get a story like that, since they didn’t grow up watching reruns of 50s TV sitcoms.


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