So, what’s the deal with filmmakers and black and white? George Miller issued the “Chrome edition” is his masterful “Mad Max: Fury Road,” while James Mangold also prepped a monochrome version of “Logan” for home video. It turns out, yet another director had a distinctly two-tone idea for the movie.
It turns out that when Guillermo del Toro was first putting together “The Shape Of Water,” he pitched it as a black and white movie.
“When it was in black and white, the budget was $12 million,” production designer Paul Austerberry told EW. “And then Fox Searchlight said, ‘You know, if you make it color, we’ll make it $19.6 million.’ We were struggling at even $19.6 million to get it all down, so thankfully it went that way.”
As anyone who has seen the movie can attest, its as richly detailed and gorgeously conceived as anything in Technicolor, and in fact it’s hard to imagine “The Shape Of Water” unspooling in two tones.
“I was a bit nervous about the black and white, because color is such a strong element that you can play with in a story or movie to help shape the mood. When people see the movie, they comment a lot on the color, so I’m glad we went that way,” a clearly relieved Austerberry said.
However, for del Toro, he probably wouldn’t preferred to stick with black and white, but realized if he want the movie to happen at all, he would have to play ball.
“To be disarmingly and horribly honest, it was a pawn sacrifice. It was one of those things that I knew I was not really interested in, but I knew I needed to appear reasonable. ‘Oh, Guillermo. He’s such a nice guy. He gave up black and white,’ ” he explained.
The end result is truly dazzling, and as the film rolls out this month, do everything you can to soak up every frame of “The Shape Of Water” on the big screen.