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Steven Spielberg refused to colorize SCHINDLER’S LIST after Universal was upset by his black-and-white plan

Universal Pictures was not happy when they learned of this Steven Spielbergplans to film his own Holocaust drama Schindler’s List in black and white. The director had a very specific vision for the film, which told the story of Oskar Schindler and the Jewish people he saved. That vision was in black and white, but if the studio had its way, the film would have been shot in color.

Tom Pollock he was head of Universal Pictures at the time and under his leadership oversaw the release of 200 films, seven of which were nominated for Best Picture. But when the time came Schindler’s Listhe didn’t agree with Spielberg’s black-and-white plans and when he talked about it in an interview with THR, he said:

“Tom found out that I had decided to shoot the film in black and white. He was really shocked. He called me and said: ‘It’s a big job in itself. The subject alone isn’t enough.’ guarantee any return.” Because they had agreed to put up $20 million to make the film. “But if you make it in black and white, it won’t give us any chance of recovering our investment.'”

I can understand Pollock’s concerns because it was his job to have those concerns. Hollywood has always been a place where money comes before art. But Spielberg stood his ground and would not compromise his vision. He also had an experience with another film he made that inspired him to shoot it in black and white.

He initially wanted to shoot his 1985 drama film The color purple in black and white, but he didn’t finish it. After the film’s release, however, some people criticized it for romanticizing the film’s dark subject matter. Spielberg explained:

“I said, ‘If I do it in color, it’ll do what shooting “Color Purple” in color did with “Color Purple.”‘ ‘The Color Purple’ should have been black and white. I was accused of embellishing ‘The Color Purple’ because it had such a bright palette for such a dark subject. I said, ‘With the exception of the George Stevens footage of the liberation of Dachau, everything what anyone was exposed to regarding the Holocaust was in black…and white. I will not color the Holocaust.”

Spielberg didn’t want Schindler’s List to feel warm or romanticized in any way. It makes perfect sense that the film is shot in black and white. But Pollock attempted to compromise with Spielberg by asking, “Well, why don’t you shoot the film in color, you can release it in black and white, but we’ll sell the cassettes in color?” Spielberg said no.

by Joey Paur
Source: Geek Tyrant

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